KNOCK OF AGES; NZ v ENGLAND FINAL TEST, AUCKLAND, TOMORROW; Compo on for hat-trick of centuries.. just like grandad back in 1947!
NICK COMPTON will go for a hat-trick of Test hundreds in England's Eden project - but his cheerleader will be missing.
Captain Alastair Cook's opening partner has booked his Ashes spot this summer with back-to-back centuries in Dunedin and Wellington.
But in the final Test at Eden Park, Compton will pad up without the support of his biggest fan because his father, Richard, has returned home.
When Compo chiselled out a maiden Test ton at the University Oval, the old man was first to greet him with a hug when he walked off unbeaten at the close.
And when the Somerset opener raised his bat again at the Basin Reserve, his father celebrated with a bag of chips from the catering stall under the scoreboard - a chip off the old block in every sense.
But as Compton, 29, sized up his treble chance against New Zealand tomorrow night, he admitted his breakthrough century in Dunedin resembled a highly-strung tennis player looking for approval from the players' box after every point.
Among the exclusive club of England batsmen who have reeled off three consecutive Test hundreds is Compton's grandfather Denis, who put South Africa to the sword in 1947.
Didn't he do well? The generation game has been extended with Compton saying of his father's presence: "He keeps telling me he's been hiding under the trees, but it's funny that when I got to 100 in Wellington, he was right there by the picket fence with his arms in the air.
"In the first Test, I always knew exactly where he was. I looked over towards him nearly every over and it almost reminded me of watching Djokovic and Nadal when they look up to the players' box after playing a poor shot.
"He was always there, in the corner of my eye, as if he was telling me to keep doing what I was doing so he could watch some more."
A word of warning before anyone thinks Compton has cracked it. The last England batsman to score a maiden Test hundred, and back it up with two more centuries in his next two Tests, was Ravi Bopara in 2009. What became of him?
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK Compton with dad Richard, and (below) grandad Denis in 1947
BATS MY BOY Compton lives up to the family name with a ton in Wellington s
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Mar 20, 2013|
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