England bowler Steven Finn backing Middlesex teammate Nick Compton for Pakistan Test selection

The writing appears to be on the wall when it comes to Nick Compton retaining his England Test place, but close friend and Middlesex teammate Steven Finn is backing the batsman to rediscover his form.

Without a single score of 50 or more since the first innings of the first Test against South Africa in December last year, Compton would have been desperate to leave his mark in the recent three-match Test series with Sri Lanka.

Instead he walked away with scores of 0, 9, 22, 1 and 19 from his five trips to the crease, leaving him with just 117 runs from his past ten Test innings.

It all points towards question marks over his place in the team for next month’s Test Series with Pakistan which gets underway at Lord’s on July 14.

But while Finn admits watching his friend struggle with the bat has made for difficult viewing, the Middlesex bowler believes Compton’s demeanour shows he may be down but he’s not out.

“I’m a good mate of Nick’s and he works hard on his game, so of course it’s hard,” said Finn.

“He may not have got the runs he had wanted to but he still played in the team that comfortably won the series, and his attitude throughout was good.

“You wouldn’t have been able to tell he was not getting runs which is always a good gauge of where someone’s at, and in his last innings at Lord’s he looked a lot more positive and got himself in some great positions.

“He was just a bit unlucky to get a good ball that nipped down the slope really, but even though he will be a bit frustrated, knowing Nick he will be determined to make the most of the coming weeks with Middlesex.

“Hopefully then he can throw his hat back into the ring for Pakistan. Everyone will be looking to prove they are still performing to merit their place in that team.

“That’s the same for Nick as it is for me. When you go back to county cricket you always want to set a marker and show why you are in the England team, and Nick will be doing that.”

For England, attention now turns towards the Royal London One Day Series against Sri Lanka, which gets underway at Trent Bridge next Tuesday.

Finn has been named in the 14-man squad for those games and, while England may have wrapped up a 2-0 Test series win, the 27-year-old expects a stern challenge from the Sri Lankans in the shorter version of the game.

“Obviously we’re switching between formats now and the squad changes considerably for the next phase of the summer, but we can take a lot of confidence from the way that we played against Sri Lanka,” he added.

“But Sri Lanka also have a lot of different players coming in for the Royal London One Day Series, so they will feel refreshed and invigorated and I thought they played a lot better cricket towards the back end of the Test series.

“They will take heart from that and of course we can never take them lightly.

“Classically, apart from the 2013/14 Ashes, the side that loses the Tests comes back a lot stronger in the one-dayers because they are far more determined to get one over on your opposition.

“No-one wants to leave a tour having not won a game, so they’ll be at us. They are excellent at one-day cricket and always go far at world tournaments so we need to be very wary.”

Steven Finn was speaking at a Sri Lankan inspired cooking event hosted by Royal London, proud sponsors of One-Day cricket.

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