Nick Compton is backing England to bounce back from their thumping at the hands of South Africa and has called on the likes of Michael Vaughan to get behind the current team.
England were twice bowled out cheaply as they crashed to a 340-run defeat in the second Test at Trent Bridge, leaving the four-match series locked at 1-1.
The performance has been heavily criticised by a host of ex-stars and captains, with Vaughan branding it ‘appalling’ and accusing batsmen of showing a lack of respect to Test cricket, Nasser Hussain blasting the selection policy as ‘abysmal’ and Sir Ian Botham calling for Gary Ballance to be dropped.
But Compton, once Alastair Cook’s opening partner, believes the likes of Vaughan, Hussain and Botham should be helping – not turning against – current players.
Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, he said: “Gary Ballance is under extreme pressure, it is really tough, and I think the media should do better to try and get around these people.
“People like Michael Vaughan, ex-England captains, they have a real role to play here. These are guys that can make a real difference to individuals in the team, to go up to them and really help them. That is what I want to see from former players.
“Guys are under a lot of pressure but why put them under more pressure in their own back yard? There are some very good players there.
“There is no doubt they can turn it around in the third Test. You don’t write people off because of one collapse.
“Joe Root has just come in as the new captain. Things aren’t going to turn around in two games. It takes time for him to find his feet, to find his leadership style, and also to get an idea of what he wants the team to do.”
England were skittled out for just 133 in the second innings at Trent Bridge and Compton admits they are currently lacking a ‘little bit of backbone’.
But he reckons only some small tweaks are needed to turn things around in the third Test.
He added: “You can’t have this Twenty20 mentality, which everyone is trying to bring into Test cricket. Yes, there are some players – the likes of Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali – who are box office and add a huge amount to the game. But around that you need the foundations. You need a solid batting line-up.
“I look at that line-up at the moment and, while there are some very good players, it lacks a little bit of backbone. Ben at five and Jonny [Bairstow] at six suddenly looks a bit stronger to me. It is something they will have to look at, but I’m sure they will get it right in the next Test.”
Listen to the full Sun News interview with Nick Compton above