Batsman Nick Compton put to good use the closing throes of England's tour drawn match against Mumbai A, finishing with a telling 64 not out on the third and final day at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy on Monday.
Batsman Nick Compton put to good use the closing throes of England's tour drawn match against Mumbai A, finishing with a telling 64 not out on the third and final day at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy.
The tourists' penultimate practice match prior to the first Test against India saw Compton afford the selectors solid food for thought, perhaps squeezing his way into the starting XI for the series opener in Ahmedabad.
Andrew Strauss' retirement has left a void at the top of the order, with one of Compton, Joe Root or Jonathan Trott expected to fill it. Trott has expressed his ambition to remain at three, while Root's form on the sub-continent has largely been shaky. Compton, meanwhile, has arguably emerged as the frontrunner to replace Strauss.
Monday's vigil did his hopes of a debut a hefty favour, with six boundaries accrued across a determined 162-delivery stay. Enjoying half-century stands alongside Trott (30) and Ian Bell (28 not out), the 29-year-old Compton looked the part of a Test graduate.
Compton was not alone in all but banking a berth in the Test XI, with spinner Samit Patel clinching three key wickets to add to his first-innings century, probably leaving batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan below the all-rounder in the pecking order.
A day which had the home side all out for 286 in reply to the opposition's 345 for nine declared, and a reply of 149 for two, also saw England's worries over the fitness of Stuart Broad quelled. Captaining the XI after Alastair Cook was rested, seamer Broad sustained a foot injury, which a scan later cleared of severity.
The visitors' preparations for the four-Test series have been marred by injury to Steven Finn, who won't compete in the fixture against Haryana - and remains in doubt for the first Test - after enduring a thigh strain. The uncapped Stuart Meaker has subsequently called up as cover.