England's Nick Compton needs to get Somerset runs - Andy Flower

Andy Flower and Nick Compton

England opening batsman Nick Compton needs to score runs for Somerset to ensure selection for the Ashes, says national team director Andy Flower.

Compton scored only eight runs in England's second Test win over New Zealand to extend his poor sequence to 54 runs in six innings.

"He's got to go away and get back into form, score some heavy runs for Somerset," Flower told BBC Sport.

The first Test against Australia at Trent Bridge begins on 10 July.

Before then, Compton, who made back-to-back Test centuries on the tour of New Zealand in March, could play three first-class matches for Somerset against Durham, Derbyshire and the touring Australians.

If selected, the 29-year-old may also line up for England against Essex in an Ashes warm-up, although that game at Chelmsford begins the day after the Somerset-Australia fixture is scheduled to end.

Compton scored 39 runs in four innings during the two-Test series against New Zealand, an average of 9.75.

"He has a few days off, then plays in a couple of one-day games before playing first-class cricket," added Flower.

"Hopefully the one-day game will be good for him. He can go out, enjoy batting and enjoy hitting the ball.

"That can be the catalyst for him going into that first-class game to score big runs for Somerset."

England's 247-run victory over the Black Caps at Headingley sealed a 2-0 series triumph following a 170-run win at Lord's.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann, in his second Test back after elbow surgery, was named man of the match for his figures of 10-132, while 22-year-old Joe Root scored a maiden Test century on his home ground.

In addition, Root's Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow made 64 in England's first innings, while captain Alastair Cook made his 25th Test ton in the second.

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Flower defends follow-on decision

Yet Cook's side faced criticism in some quarters for not enforcing the follow-on after securing a first-innings lead of 180, then scoring at a slow rate on the third afternoon.

England finally declared after lunch on day four - setting New Zealand an unlikely 468 to win - and had to dodge the Leeds rain before wrapping up victory on the fifth afternoon.

"Test cricket is a hard game and taking 20 wickets is difficult," said Zimbabwean Flower.

"We had the right to choose and we chose to bat again and get well ahead of them. We thought we would have enough time on a wearing pitch to take the last 10 wickets and that's what it proved.

"It was great to see Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root bat so brilliantly in the first innings. Joe Root was outstanding and it was great to see the passion and enthusiasm that the Yorkshire crowd gave in appreciation of his hundred.

"Alastair Cook scored another hundred, Swann is back in form and he has got his body into reasonable order. Those are all things I would prefer to focus on rather than the negatives."

When asked by BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew if England had been at "100%" during their victory, Flower responded: "I'm sure when you reflect on your broadcasting today you wouldn't have been at 100%; none of us operate at 100%.

"I thought it was a very good performance by our side - we won by over 200 runs."

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