Mumbai: Struggling England opener Nick Compton on Monday said that he's satisfied that he could stay on the wicket for sufficient time and score runs against Mumbai A in the drawn three-day practice game here.
"It's not been the ideal start. Sometimes you have to give yourself time. It's a new country, a new bunch of team-mates so it does take a bit of time. Perhaps I was a bit hard on myself but for me the most important thing was to spend some time out in the middle as early as I could. The more balls I faced and the more time I spent will help me for future games," said Compton, after scoring an unbeaten 64 off 162 balls at the D Y Patil Stadium. "I was desperate to spend quality time at the wicket. I was happy I stayed there for more than three hours and scored some runs. The time out in the middle felt better, I will definitely try to build on it. I feel like this has given me three hours in the middle. I think I got my balance back and the feet got moving. Earlier in the game my feet weren't moving that well and I got caught out, but that can happen. We've had 6-7 weeks off in England," he added.
Compton, who is vying with rookie Joe Root for the second opener's spot alongside skipper Alastair Cook, made 0 and 1 before Monday's unbeaten knock in the two innings he played at the Indian shores after arriving here on October 29. "I would be lying if I said I didn't have an eye on that opening spot. It was very important to get into the mindset for getting some runs," said Compton, grandson of former England great Denis, who had played the Pentangular and Ranji Trophy games in India but never a Test.
The 29-year-old South Africa-born Compton said he was pleased with the way he was able to leave the ball alone in the second innings. "One should know what to do and what not to do when you come here. Once you are out there in the middle for some time you can bat better. I was a lot more assured in leaving the ball. I stayed calm," he said. Compton also praised left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, who according to him bowled exceptionally well with lot of accuracy on Monday. He also lauded the contributions of English batsmen. "There's been a number of good performances. Cook has got a 100, (Jonny) Bairstow has got a 100, Samit (Patel) has batted consistently well. Panesar's bowling was accurate, exceptional. I do feel that some batsmen have played well and that does bode well," he said.
Echoing similar views, Mumbai A batsman Hiken Shah, who missed a deserved 100 by eight runs this morning, also praised Panesar's bowling. "He (Panesar) was turning the ball from the rough. He was bowling quicker into the rough and making it go straight or turning the ball. It was difficult to score off him," said Shah.
Shah said he and fellow-Gujarati Cheteshwar Pujara, who plays for Saurashtra but was an invited player in the team, got their chemistry going from the first ball during their stand of 163 that frustrated the English bowlers no end yesterday. "He is a Gujarati like me and we got the chemistry going from ball one. We wanted to be patient and waited for the bad ball," said Shah, who added that the third Gujarati in the mix, England's Samit Patel used abusive language but in English. "He abused me but I ignored him and I wanted to give it back with my bat," he said.
Shah said the the tourirst's pace attack was a very good one and rated it surprisingly higher than the Andy Flintoff-led attack that he had faced for the Cricket Club of India President's XI in a previous visit by England. "I faced that high quality attack which had Flintoff, Harmison, Hoggard and Jones. This was even better," he said.