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Compton content to knuckle down

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Nick Compton believes it was necessary to "get some ugly runs" in order to give England Lions a chance of building a sizeable first-innings total against Australia A at Old Trafford.

The Somerset batsman, a fluent driver, eschewed risk on a slow wicket, preferring instead to battle hard against a tight attack to make 46 off 137 balls on the first day of four.

"It was hard work on a very slow track," said Compton, who opened the batting and shared a 79-run second-wicket stand with captain Eoin Morgan to help England to 140 for four from 66 overs.

"Australia A bowled well; it was a challenge and I thought Eoin and I both stuck at it well.

"It was one of those wickets where you've really got to bide your time, dig in and get some ugly runs in a way.

"They came at us hard but I knew they would. Mitchell Johnson's obviously got a point to prove and Jackson Bird also performed well. He bowled stump to stump and swung it a little bit.

Nick Compton

Nick Compton was content to operate watchfully today for England Lions. "It was one of those wickets where you've really got to bide your time, dig in and get some ugly runs," said the Somerset batsman

"It wasn't something I hadn't faced before, but it was fantastic to be going out to open the batting against Australia and to be wearing the England badge."

Compton normally bats at three for Somerset, but insists he was happy to adapt to the opener's role and the different disciplines it requires.

"You should never put a time limit on how long it takes to get in," he said. "The challenge for any opening bat is to get through that hard first session and then you can cash in. I was happy with the way I played early on and also to spend quite a long time at the crease.

"I feel that getting through that tough early bit of the innings is a case of knowing when to absorb the pressure. You really had to watch that ball because it wasn't a wicket where you wanted to drive too many.

"The ball was turning but it was slow, predictable turn and the ones that stuck up in the air you had to wait half an hour to hit. So timing was an issue, but you're going to come across these wickets and you've got to find a plan.

"This is something that I was keen to do well in. It's my dream to be a Test batsman and it's something I've spent my whole life trying to prepare for. This is just another step on the way to doing that."

Compton also paid tribute to Craig Kieswetter and Samit Patel, who came together at 114 for four and stuck around until stumps in an unbroken 26-run stand.

"We're okay, we're in a good place with two good batters in and we can rebuild tomorrow," he said.

"If you can get up to 280 or 300, you're in the game. That would be a decent score and hopefully this will be a good second-innings game."

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