Cook's opening XI: Where are they now? | cricketnetwork.com

Cook's opening XI: Where are they now?

13 August 2017

Alastair Cook is still searching for a permanent opener partner // Getty

Look back at the 11 openers England have used - and discarded - since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012

The axing of Keaton Jennings this week means he is the 11th Test opening partner of Alastair Cook to be dropped in the past five years.

Quick Single: Five Ashes questions England must answer

Ahead of Mark Stoneham's England debut next week, we’ve looked back at the successful and not-so-successful batsmen who have filled that spot since the retirement of former skipper Andrew Strauss in 2012.

1. Nick Compton (2012-2013 & 2015-2016)
M: 10 | Inns: 18 | Runs: 498 | Ave: 31.12 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 1 | HS: 117


The right-hander was trialled and discarded on two separate occasions, with the high point of his time in the Test team coming when he scored back-to-back centuries against New Zealand in 2013. Having taken a short break from the game when he was axed a second time in 2016, Compton is now back playing county cricket with Middlesex.

2. Joe Root (2013)
M: 6 | Inns: 11 | Runs: 417 | Ave: 41.70 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 2 | HS: 180


The current England skipper enjoyed a short but successful stint as an opener in the 2013 Ashes, the highlight of which was the 180 he scored at Lord's. He was dropped down the order for the return series in Australia and has barely looked back since.

3. Michael Carberry (2013-14)
M: 5 | Inns: 10 | Runs: 281 | Ave: 28.10 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 1 | HS: 60


Carberry showed plenty of fight in England's horror Ashes campaign four years ago, but it wasn't enough to hold onto his spot and he returned to domestic cricket, including two seasons with the Perth Scorchers. Cricket was put firmly into perspective a few years later when he was diagnosed with cancer, but he marked his return to the game in fine style this year with a century for Hampshire.

4. Sam Robson (2014)
M: 7 | Inns: 11 | Runs: 336 | Ave: 30.54 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 1 | HS: 127


Sydney-born Robson has not played for England since 2014 after his short seven-Test stint delivered mixed results. The highlight of the 28-year-old’s time at the top level was a knock of 127 against Sri Lanka at Headingley. He has found plenty of runs in 2017, with two centuries and two fifties from 11 county innings for Middlesex.

5. Jonathan Trott (2015)
M: 3 | Inns: 6 | Runs: 72 | Ave: 12.00 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 1 | HS: 59


Trott continues to punch out runs consistently for Warwickshire after his Test career ended in 2015 with a short and unsuccessful stint as an opener. A mainstay at No.3 for many years, Trott finished his Test career with 3835 runs at 44.08, including nine centuries.

6. Adam Lyth (2015)
M: 7 | Inns: 13 | Runs: 265 | Ave: 20.38 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 0 | HS: 107


Lyth has 408 runs from 18 innings this county season and he will be looking for plenty more in order to keep his Test dream alive. The 29-year-old’s last Test appearance came at the end of the 2015 Ashes, where he failed to secure his spot having scored a century against New Zealand in just his second Test. Lyth averaged 67 when Yorkshire won the County Championship in 2014, but his average is only 24 this season.

7. Moeen Ali (2015)
M: 3 | Inns: 6 | Runs: 84 | Ave: 14.00 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 0 | HS: 35


Moeen stamped himself as England’s No.1 spinner in the recent series against South Africa, earning player-of-the-series honours for his record-breaking double of 25 wickets and 252 runs. After an unsuccessful stint as an opener in the UAE two years ago, he’s returned to the lower order and now plays a more-than-valuable role batting at No.8.

8. Alex Hales (2015)
M: 11 | Inns: 21 | Runs: 573 | Ave: 27.28 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 5 | HS: 94


One of England’s key players in the limited-overs cricket, Hales made his last Test appearance in August last year. His stint as opener in the five-day format was punctuated by inconsistency, but the hard-hitting right-hander has been in stunning form recently, highlighted by a run-a-ball 218 for Notts earlier this month batting at No.5.

9. Ben Duckett (2016)
M: 2 | Inns: 4 | Runs: 92 | Ave: 23.00 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 1 | HS: 56


The left-hander’s stint at the top of England’s order ended in November following a lean run in Bangladesh, where he returned scores of 13, 5, 0 and 56. The 22-year-old has 542 runs at 38.71 for Northamptonshire in Division Two this county season.

10. Haseeb Hameed (2016)
M: 3 | Inns: 6 | Runs: 219 | Ave: 43.80 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 2 | HS: 82


Hameed played the first three Tests against India last year and acquitted himself well before a broken finger ended his tour. The 20-year-old has struggled for consistent runs in Division One for Lancashire this season, compiling just 297 runs from 14 innings, but is well-regarded by the key figures in English cricket.

11. Keaton Jennings (2016-17)
M: 6 | Inns: 12 | Runs: 294 | Ave: 24.50 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 1 | HS: 112


After six consecutive Test appearances – two against India and four against South Africa – Jennings has been dumped for the coming Test series with the West Indies. He started his Test career with a century, but an average of only 15.87 across eight innings in England’s 3-1 series victory over the Proteas led to his demotion and he will now look to win back his spot with runs at county level for Durham.

2017-18 International Fixtures:

Magellan Ashes Series


First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets


Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets


Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets


Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets


Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets


ODI Series v England


First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets


Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets


Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets


Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets


Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF


Prime Minister's XI


PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets


T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series


First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets


Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets


Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets


Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14


Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16


Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18


Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21