With the return fixture of the Ashes quickly approaching, all eyes were on the selectors when they announced the squad for the trip. The inclusion of Michael Carberry over Nick Compton certainly raised a few eyebrows among Betfair punters.
Before being usurped by Joe Root, Compton was trailed as England’s opening batsman. He played nine tests for England and managed to score 479 runs at an average of 31.93 runs an innings; during this time, he managed to hit two hundreds and one fifty.
Although not better than Root, Compton is a safe back up to have; he was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the year in 2013.
Michael Carberry played for England in the subsequent one day internationals after the conclusion of the Ashes but has only ever played one test for England. During the one-day internationals, Carberry did little of note to warrant selection over Compton. He hit a score of 63 in one match but did little else.
Many people who gamble with Betfair view Carberry as a one-day player and not a test-match cricketer.
Away from the international stage, the two are fairly similar at county level. Compton (Somerset) has a batting average of 43.94, while Carberry’s is 43.29. Carberry (Hampshire) has played more games at county level and has more hundreds than Compton: 28 to 20. Compton scored 1001 in this year’s County Championship while Carberry playing in the division below has managed only 687.
Why England have opted for Carberry over Compton remains a mystery. Compton has more experience on the international stage, plays at a higher level of cricket than Carberry, and is a better run scorer, as well as being a Wisden Cricketer of the year.