England call-up is a dream for Compton
Somerset batsman Nick Compton admits his call-up to the 16-man England Test squad for the tour to India is a dream come true.
News of Compton's selection for the senior side, along with fellow debutant Joe Root from Yorkshire, was rather overshadowed yesterday by that of the omission of Kevin Pietersen.
But Compton, 29, believes he is very much in the squad on merit, following a stellar season for the Cidermen, in which he scored 1,494 runs at an average of 99.60.
Compton said: "I'm just elated, really over the moon about it. It's really something I've worked hard for all my life, so to get the recognition is special. Getting a senior call-up and the opportunity to play Test cricket is really a dream come true.
"I've experienced ups and downs in my career, but I've enjoyed plenty of success and, following on from the past two seasons, this is something I really want to build on."
Compton believes that his experience, as well as his prolific scoring form for Somerset this season and last, will stand him in good stead for the tests of character and technique which await on the sub-continent. As well as playing in India with Somerset in last year's Twenty20 Champions League, he has been on ECB training camps there, and toured Bangladesh with England A in 2007.
"It's another challenge but a fantastic chapter in my life," he said. "I've been to India four or five times, so I know what it's like to play in front of big crowds out there.
"It's nice to know I've been recognised, but I want this to be the first step of a much longer journey. I want to be a successful Test batsman, but nothing really changes in terms of how I will approach games. I want to go out and achieve things for England."
Compton was quick to praise his team-mates and the coaching staff at Taunton for his onward progression, after moving to the County Ground from Middlesex in 2010.
He said: "I owe so many people so much at Somerset. The likes of [coach] Andy Hurry and [captain] Marcus Trescothick.
"Playing alongside the likes of [James] Hildreth, [Marcus] Trescothick and [Craig] Kieswetter raises your game. We have a lot of high-standing performers at Somerset, which makes you get better."
As the grandson of one of England's most celebrated batsmen, Denis, Compton is delighted to be continuing a family tradition – but determined to remain his own man.
"Obviously, with my grandfather, I have always been aware of his legacy and to follow in his footsteps in this way is so special," he said.
"And, especially, to be touring in India, which was a country that was so close to his heart.
"It's not something that has weighed heavy around my neck. I was an ambitious youngster growing up and I wanted to achieve some of the things he did. Nothing has changed there.
"I would love to continue the legacy but it's something I'll have to do my way. I'm not really like my grandfather in how I approach the game, I tend to do things my own way, and that's the way it has to be."
Yesterday also saw international recognition for Compton's team-mates Jos Buttler and Kieswetter, who were selected for the England Performance Programme Squad to tour India.
And, on something of a red letter day in Taunton, all-rounder Peter Trego was named county cricket's FTI Most Valued Player.