Under-pressure Compton receives Ramprakash backing


Under-pressure England batsman Nick Compton has been urged to put the occasion to one side when he faces Sri Lanka on his home ground of Lord's this week.

Compton's place in the England team was thought to be under threat ahead of the Test series with Sri Lanka, following a lean run of form in county cricket for Middlesex.

First-innings scores of nought and nine in the opening two Tests have increased the scrutiny on the 32-year-old, who will be aware that the third Test, starting on Thursday, could well prove his last should he fail again.

However, Compton received support on Tuesday from England batting coach Mark Ramprakash, a man who endured his own frustrations at international level despite being a hugely prolific scorer in the domestic game during his 25-year playing career.

"All coaches are shaped by their own experiences and I certainly am," said Ramprakash, whose Test average of 27 represented a stark contrast to his first-class mark of 53.

"I can certainly relate to Nick feeling on edge, with the increased scrutiny about his position. I do feel I can help provide support for that.

"In my mind, I look at him and see a top player who is very capable of getting thousands more international runs. But he needs to go out there and allow himself to play the game of cricket in front of him, not the occasion.

"I think the signs are good. When he's played well, he's latched on to the bad ball - but he's one of those guys who does play the ball on its merits.

"He must still latch on to the bad ball when it comes along. If he does that, he's going to be in good shape.

"He does think about his game deeply, and that's fine. The best players do, because they need to adapt to different surfaces and different types of attacks."

Compton, who averages 30 from 15 Tests, was recalled by England for the 2015-16 tour of South Africa, having initially been dropped ahead of the 2013 Ashes.