New Zealand v England: Matt Prior backs Nick Compton to bounce back
New Zealand v England: Matt Prior issues backing for Nick Compton after he fell cheaply on day three of warm-up match in Queenstown
Matt Prior rubbished concerns over Nick Compton’s form after the England wicketkeeper’s innings gave his side a 333-run lead ahead of the final day of their warm-up match against New Zealand XI.
The 31-year-old’s composed 68 helped salvage day three for England after the tourists struggled in swinging conditions in Queenstown.
Prior eventually fell after being caught behind but produced a vital knock to help England recover after Compton and Kevin Pietersen fell cheaply in the early session.
Joe Root’s resilient showings with the bat lead many to suspect that Compton’s opener’s spot could come under threat, but Prior backed the Somerset batsman to be firing on all cylinders come the first Test in Dunedin on 6 March.
“You can score all the runs you want in the world in warm-up games, but ultimately that first innings of the Test match is where we want Compo to go and score a big hundred,” he said.
“He would want to have gone out and smashed a hundred, but he’s hitting the ball brilliantly in the nets, and it will be down to him to get his preparation right going into the Test.
“The guys [Pietersen and Trott] are experienced enough and have played long enough now to know that the big test starts next week, and that’s when it’s important they score runs.
“They’ve been on tours where they haven’t scored any runs in warm-up games, and then blitzed a hundred in the first Test.”