Former England batsman Robert Key has told talkSPORT that Nick Compton’s brilliant century against New Zealand will ease the pressure on him ahead of this summer’s Ashes.
The 29-year-old was yet to hit a big score alongside Alastair Cook since his debut against India last November.
But his 117 in their stunning 231 opening stand during the second innings of the first Test will earn him a reprieve, with youngster Joe Root waiting in the wings.
Key told the Weekend Sports Breakfast: “Compton, as well as he played, he’s been under pressure because of the emergence of Joe Root.
“In the long term you think Joe Root could have a ten year or fifteen year career. Potentially he could have a career like Alastair Cook from what we’ve seen so far.
“Whereas Compton, he played well in India but he didn’t quite have that breakthrough innings, which is what he has got now.
“He’ll now just need to keep churning them out because he’ll always be under that sort of pressure. When you’ve got a big series like the Ashes coming, regardless of how good the Australians are, everyone always looks at who can take on James Pattinson and the Australian bowlers. Is it Root? Is it going to be Compton?
“He’ll just need to keep getting runs like he has and you think, certainly if he hadn’t have got a score, then he would have had this series and then they’d have possible gone for Root, but now it’s on to Root to get some runs, so Compton has got the vultures off his back.”