Compton to open for England

Nick Compton is England’s first option to replace Andrew Strauss at the top of their batting order. The retirement of the former captain Strauss left the selectors with a headache about who would partner Alastair Cook as an opener. They seem to have decided that the 29 year-old Somerset batsman is their best option.

Compton started the first Tour warm-up match in India alongside Cook, suggesting that he is ahead of Yorkshire batsman Joe Root in the queue to fill Strauss’s opening slot.

Compton, the grandson of England cricket legend Denis Compton, has scored 6,254 first class runs and has significantly more experience than the 21 year-old Root. On the slow Indian pitches, England need batsmen who can stay at the crease a long time rather than flamboyant attacking players, and Compton fits the bill of a solid and cautious player at the top of the order. There are still two more warm-up matches where Root may be given a chance to stake his claim.

The attacking, flamboyant role will be filled by the familiar face of Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen, now "rehabilitated" after his exile for inappropriate text messaging, went straight into the England side after rejoining the Test squad. He will bat at number 4. On the first morning of the warm-up match he did his best to regain his team mates’ affections by taking a smart catch.

The Test series starts in Ahmedabad on November 15, with England keen to restore the number one Test nation status they surrendered to South Africa in the summer.

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