Monday, March 25, 2013

Compton still Competing for Ashes Spot

Despite scoring back-to-back Test match centuries, England batsman Nick Compton has played down talk he has cemented his place in the team for this summer’s Ashes series.

The 29-year old has burst on the international scene during England’s tour of New Zealand, scoring his maiden Test match century in the first drawn game in Dunedin before adding his second in the washed out second match in Wellington.

While only a few months ago it had been Compton whose place in the team appeared least secure, the Somerset batsman has now made it virtually impossible for the selectors to leave him out for the return Test series against the Kiwis at the beginning of the English summer, with the first of back-to-back Ashes series soon after.

Despite it appearing as though he is in the driving seat to face the Aussies this summer, Compton has admitted he still has plenty to prove if he is to fulfil his dream of representing England in an Ashes series.

"I've done well, but do I feel established? No, I still feel a long way off. I think it's great to be a part of this team and contributing but it's still early days. It's my second series,” maintained Compton.

"I've dreamed about the Ashes since I was a little boy. It's something that now feels a bit more tangible but it's not something I'm thinking about at the moment.”

There certainly isn’t a shortage of young batsmen coming through the ranks, but the Joe Roots, Jonny Bairstows and Jos Butlers of this England squad will have to wait for their next chance in the team. Compton has definitely done enough with his chance to warrant keeping his place for the foreseeable future.

Claim your in-play bet offer and take advantage of the latest picks from the cricket betting news on the Bet365 website.

Aussie media savages players

The Australian cricket team has come in for some heavy criticism after they were whitewashed by India in their four match Test series.

India’s victory in Dehli on Sunday means that Australia have lost a series 4-0 for the first time since 1970.

It represents a new low in Australian cricket, that has been in steady decline ever since the first members of their golden generation began to retire around seven years ago.
With no Warne, Gilchrist McGrath or Ponting to turn to, the new generation of Baggy Greens are floundering.

The young side certainly possesses talent, but the manner by which they gave away their wickets repeatedly during this India v Australia tour suggests they may lack the mental toughness required to be successful at this level.

With back-to-back Ashes on the horizon – the next Test they play will be at Trent Bridge in July - there is genuine concern among the media.

Not that they showed it in the aftermath of this defeat, choosing instead to savage the players, including stand-in captain Shane Watson.

"It's official. Australian cricket's class of 2013 are the worst to tour India ... and the nation's worst Test outfit in 34 years. That is the macabre reputation Michael Clarke's battered troops will bring home," wrote the Telegraph.

"...If any player should forensically analyse their form on this shambolic tour, it is Watson.
"The struggling all-rounder can no longer be a selection untouchable after his form slump hit a crisis point during Australia's latest batting collapse.

“In the ultimate indictment, No.11 Nathan Lyon (244 balls) managed to survive more deliveries on this tour than Watson (239). Lyon (18) also finished with a superior batting average to Watson (16.5),"

To read the thoughts of former England skipper Michael Vaughan on Australia, England and this summer’s Ashes, head over to: