Nick Compton, grandson of England legend Denis, registered his first Test century in his fifth match. (Getty Images)
Dunedin: England opener Nick Compton was mighty relieved at scoring his first Test century, and doubly so after making a duck in his team's first innings at the University Oval on Wednesday. Compton walked out with Alastair Cook on day four with England trailing New Zealand by 293 runs, and with his captain put on a record opening stand of 231 which by stumps in Dunedin left the tourists only 59 runs behind.
"It's the biggest relief of my life to be honest," Compton told reporters on Saturday. "To get to this moment was something special. I never thought perhaps a year ago, or a couple of months ago, that I'd be sitting here with a hundred. I kept believing, but it's been a long time. I'm just delighted to be here, it's a strange feeling."
With so much pressure at stake on being in the 90s, Compton revealed some guidance from England's captain made his knock a lot easier. "I was holding back the emotions as much as I could. It was one of those [innings] where I was itching to have a flat at the spinner before the new ball, but obviously there was the bigger picture," said Compton.
Compton, 29, came into his second Test series after a middling maiden tour of India last year. Compton played all four Tests of England's 2-1 victory and averaged 34.66 with one half-century. There was talk of Joe Root putting pressure on Compton for the opener's role alongside Cook, but the Somerset batsman looks to have ensured his place with a fine 102 not out off 265 balls.
"You just know instinctively, you don't need to read the press, what you need to do and I felt like this innings was very important and needed to pull something out," said Compton. "I have worked hard. Perhaps having had a couple of months off, so to speak, it was a case of trying to my mind and game together very quickly after just one practice game."