Wellington: Jonathan Trott has showered praise on his team-mate Nick Compton, saying he has the ability to go a long way and is the perfect man to replace Andrew Strauss as England opener.
"It's a great start to his career," said Trott of Compton. "I hope he can go on and open the batting for a while with Alastair. That's what we want. Straussy managed to do that for a long time, and they were both very successful. It's crucial to team success, having a solid opening partnership who understand each other's game. I think the top three as well need to get on and work well together."
Compton, who made his debut against India in November last year, scored his second century on the trot, making 100 on the opening day of the second Test against New Zealand. Though he got out soon after completing three figures, his second wicket stand of 210 with Trott - who himself made an unbeaten 121 - gave England a perfect platform to score big in the first innings. England were 267 for 2 at stumps on day one, with Trott and Kevin Pietersen (18*) at the wicket.
Trott said it was never easy scoring a hundred at Test level, especially early on in your career and that the two Compton got in his last two innings would give him a lot of confidence going forward.
"You can never go into a Test match relaxed - you are always quite nervous, especially at the start of your career," Trott said. "It could be a last Test match ... you never know. You don't want to take things for granted - but I certainly think he will take a lot of confidence out of it, knowing he can score runs at this level. You are never really quite sure until you score your first hundred. Maybe he felt more confident, but I don't think it's a case of being relaxed."
Trott himself is renowned for his concentration, just like his captain Alastair Cook, and Compton has made his way into Test cricket with similar traits. "That is the art in cricket, finding the balance between intensity of wanting it too much or being a bit too relaxed," Trott added.
"I think his balance at the moment is really good. He has a good work ethic, so he fits right into this team. That's the way he is, very thoughtful on his game thinking about cricket and batting. He is quite intense, but I wouldn't say over-intense. He has to find the right balance between switching on and off, when he's facing the ball and at the non-striker's end. He's done really well."
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