Compton praises Cook’s maturity as skipper sets new Test mark

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OPENER Nick Compton says he was privileged to be batting with Alastair Cook when the England captain became his country’s all-time leading Test centurion with 23 in Kolkata yesterday.

Compton is struck especially by the calmness Cook transmits down the 22 yards, and was delighted to be directly involved at such relatively close quarters.

“Standing out there, looking up at the board and seeing those stats - 7,000 runs, the youngest player to do that, it was quite an amazing moment,” he said. “I thought ‘I’m batting with this guy; he’s just got another hundred and he’s the all-time leading English hundred-maker.”

Compton, grandson of the great Denis - who followed Hammond into bat at the Oval all those years ago - has trodden a very different path to international cricket.

He can only admire the prodigious Cook, a Test player at 21 and now with five successive centuries in his role as captain - another all-comers’ record, of course.

“It speaks volumes that he’s been able to do that from a young age, and still is a young player,” added Compton. “A lot of players only find their feet at perhaps my age, 28 or 29, but he did it a long time before.”

England resume in a strong position today hoping to build a lead in the third Test.