Compton aiming to end on high
Nick Compton will go into the third 'cup final' of England's New Zealand tour with his confidence soaring after his back-to-back Test hundreds.
England have a perfect record in their two deciders so far here, having clinched both the Twenty20 and then the one-day international series against the Kiwis 2-1 last month.
This time, they will head back to Eden Park - scene of their ODI victory - to see if they can repeat the dose in Tests.
It is 0-0, of course, rather than 1-1 after rain-affected stalemates in Dunedin and Wellington - scenes of Compton's maiden Test hundred and then his second, in successive innings.
Alastair Cook's new opening partner is hoping he can help cap England's successful winter, having begun his Test career in the historic series victory in India before Christmas.
At the suggestion a 'cup final' is in the offing in Auckland, Compton said: "That's one way of looking at it.
"I think it's been a good winter for English cricket for all the teams really - and it would be nice to finish on a high, to leave the country having won the last Test and the series."
To do so, England may well need fairer weather than they encountered both at the University Oval and then the Basin Reserve - where, each time, they lost one day's cricket out of five.
Cook's tourists will not lack for motivation, with the series on the line.
"There's no doubt about that," Compton added.
"We'd love to clinch it - and we hope we can have five days' cricket rather than four, and we might have a chance."
He for one will begin the final Test with much reason for optimism, after sharing in double-century stands in his last two innings - first with Cook and then Jonathan Trott.
"I'm very proud," he said. "But it's been disappointing that two Test matches have been played, and we haven't got a result yet.
"If you'd asked me two weeks ago if I'd take back-to-back Test hundreds, I think I would have bitten your arm off. It is a great feeling."
Compton may well have a new challenge on his hands, however, if New Zealand's frontline seamer Doug Bracewell can prove his return to fitness in a Ford Trophy comeback with the Central Stags tomorrow.
Bracewell was today provisionally included in a 14-man squad, having missed the first two Tests after cutting his foot on a piece of glass while clearing up following a house party.
He may well return, to reinvigorate a hard-worked home attack, but coach Mike Hesson was equivocal on the subject.
"I've been in touch with Doug and he's been really frustrated," he said.
"Test cricket is where he's been very good for New Zealand.
"He's disappointed but very keen to get back, and we'll see how he goes tomorrow.
"The three (seamers) we've got have done a great job, so we've basically brought in Doug and got Ian (Butler) there as cover.
"It will be hard to force your way in. But We'll see how the guys scrub up in Auckland - because to play three Tests on the bounce is hard work for any seam attack."