Jun 5 2012 By Jon Batham
THE meteoric season of Middlesex old-boy Nick Compton has come as no surprise to one of his former team-mates at Lord’s.
Compton heads back to the home of cricket today (Tuesday) in the form of his life, having only been thwarted by the rain in his quest to be the first batsman to score 1000 first-class runs by the end of May since Graham Hick in 1988.
The Grandson of the great Denis Compton duly passed the landmark on June 1 with a century against Worcester.
While some have raised their eyebrows at the transformation in the 28-year-old Somerset batsman, Tim Murtagh, who shared a dressing room at Lord’s with Compo for three seasons before his departure to the West Country claims his former team-mate has always had it in him to excel and he’s now added mental steel to his undoubted ability.
He said: “In a way I’ve seen this coming with Compo - he’s always had the natural talent and all the shots.
“It has more been his mind and mental side that has got in the way, but he seems to have found a new happiness down at Somerset and is reaping the rewards of that.”
Murtagh and company have already been on the receiving end of Compton’s blade this season, his 99 at Taunton helping to condemn them to defeat in their County Championship curtain raiser back in April.
However, just as Compton has prospered since then, so have the Lord’s tenants with three wins and three draws, a run which leaves them fourth just behind Somerset prior to this week’s clash.
Murtagh claims his own side’s mental toughness was always key to Director of Cricket Angus Fraser’s master-plan for the county’s first season back at the top table of the domestic game since 2006 and it is a case of so far so good.
He added: “Taking results out of it Gus’ plan for the year was to make these teams who have been in Division One for a while and not played us for some time come away thinking Middlesex are a good team who are on the way up.
“It is still early days of the season, but so far I think most teams we have played would have thought that.
“We have been competitive in all those games, even the Somerset game we lost we just had one bad session with the bat which can obviously cost you in this division, but apart from that we have held our own.”