Compton comeback delights Bayliss, despite attacking instincts


England coach Trevor Bayliss is happy for Nick Compton to continue batting at number three, although the Australian admits the selection rails against his attacking instincts.

Compton made his return to the Test arena after more than two years away in the first of four contests with South Africa, contributing 134 runs to a 241-run pummelling of the hosts in Durban.

The 32-year-old's dropping from the England side came amid rumours of a strained relationship with former coach Andy Flower, but Bayliss is happy to let bygones be bygones.

"I'd heard some of the rumours but from my point of view anyone is allowed to make a mistake or improve, I suppose, if that's what he needed to do," he said.

"I'm not going to judge anyone on what went before. Everyone is allowed to get better and so far around the squad Nick has been fantastic, fitted in really well with the squad, and obviously batted very well.

"He wants to... not make amends... but show he's a better player than before and come back, do well and play a lot more Test cricket."

Powerful opener Alex Hales has been drafted into the XI in South Africa, alongside the more watchful England captain Alastair Cook, and Bayliss suggested he would prefer more of the Nottinghamshire man's ilk in his side.

"I just think if you have a couple of those guys up at the top it just puts pressure on the opposition a lot easier," Bayliss explained.

"But if you haven't got them, you pick the best available. What Nick has proven at the moment is that, of the guys around, he's in our best top three.

"In Test cricket there is a role for someone who is able to get through those tough periods and make hundreds. We'd take that with our team at the moment, a lot of guys that play shots in the middle order.

"If those guys can bat around Cook and Compton, that could be the way ahead for us."