Who was your favourite ineffective opening partner for Alastair Cook?

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If we were to ask, ‘who has been your favourite England Test opener since Andrew Strauss retired?’ the answer is obvious. If you say anyone other than Alastair Cook, you are either (a) a contrarian hipster (b) not an England supporter or (c) mental.

That’s an easy one. A far more interesting question is who was your favourite opening partner for Alastair Cook after Andrew Strauss retired, because here we have a veritable smorgasbord of very similar options.

  • Maybe you’re a Nick Compton man
  • Maybe you admired Alex Hales’ flakiness and emotional fragility
  • Maybe you’re all in for Haseeb Hameed
  • Maybe you can distinguish between Adam Lyth and Sam Robson
  • Maybe you were paying attention that time Ben Duckett opened and actually remember that
  • Maybe you want to stick with Mark Stoneman
  • Maybe you enjoyed one of Keaton Jennings’ stints

There were a bunch of others too. All-in-all, none of them were much good, which makes this a very challenging question to answer.

Who was YOUR favourite ineffective opening partner for Alastair Cook?


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  1. Alastair Cook.


    Comparing results against Pakistan. I guess the reason Ireland didn’t play their first test against England is because they’re too good.

  2. Joe Root would probably be the sensible suggestion.

    But I’m going to plump for Craig Kieswetter, because the question you actually asked doesn’t say Test anywhere.

  3. Nick Compton. Not only for his good looks, but also for the way he looks at the bowler.

  4. Nick Compton has to be classed as most successful for me if we ignore Root who has one very important innings holding up his figures.

    At the time I thought we discarded Carberry, Compton and Lyth too quickly.

    Compton was dropped the first time around because everyone knew that Root (who was playing well down the order) would be even better in his proper position as opener – weirdly we don’t talk about that anymore.

    Carberry did as well as any of the batsmen in that disastrous Ashes tour (Mitch J).

    Lyth did ok against a very good NZ attack and struggled against a decent Australia bowling side.

    I don’t think any of the three are still options unfortunately. Personally I’d stick with Stoneman for the rest of the summer unless anyone starts beating down the door. I don’t think the constant changing helps anyone.

    1. I had forgotten what Compton had done wrong in his time. Existing, yes, that was it.

      1. Expanding on this…Carberry was whom I wanted to succeed; Compton was whom I felt did nothing to merit dropping,…

      2. “…Carberry was whom I wanted to succeed; Compton was whom I felt did nothing to merit dropping,…”

        — Amen to that.

  5. Haseeb Hameed. He was discarded rather quickly I thought.

    Keaton Jennings wasn’t bad either.

    1. Keaton Jennings was absolutely shot by the time he was dropped. It was a kindness replacing him in the side.

      Hameed wasn’t dropped, he broke his finger and has since averaged about 10 at first class level. I’m sure the selectors would have loved to have stuck with him, but he’s making single figure scores for Lancs 2nd XI currently – can’t call him back.

  6. Hasbeeb, mainly as it wasn’t being shite in an England shirt that cost him the role rather an injury and a spectacular loss of form in the County Championship that has seen him banished to 2XI cricket.

    1. Agreed. Haseeb was the only one who when he was in the side gave you the feeling that at least we wouldn’t have to try out yet another new opener in two series time.

      As it turns out that feeling was wrong. But at least he looked convincing at the time.

  7. But also Hales. The opener who was going to be the positive foil to Cook and scored at a slower rate.

  8. Favourite to least based mostly on how absurd their initial selection looks after they are dropped :



    1. There may have to be a few recalls from that list if we’re to compete with Langer’s stated drive to make Australia No 1 in humility. I expect that will involve some new form of elite humility never seen before. ‘No one does humility like we do.” That will be the cry.

      1. I would also like to compliment Hoopy on his sense of irony and historical perspective. Fact is, the cricket being played nowadays is not serious, not professional, not skilful, and lacking in character. The match that just finished was a bad joke, pretending to be Test Cricket. Proper openers do not play in this sort of thing. If Edrich were playing Tests today (but in his prime, not aged 80-something) we would still have an England team that understood about selling your wicket dearly. Correcting for modern bats and shorter boundaries, he would be averaging about 55, too.

  9. Carberry. He should have been given a longer run. Wouldn’t have done any worse than the others.

      1. Thanks Ged. The error you pointed out was actually changed during the editing process. So there.

  10. Stoneman.

    You have to remember that this is only the first week of test cricket. Yes, Cook looks good at the moment, and Stoneman looks something of a busted flush, especially now that he’s been dropped. But if recent events in other sports have shown us anything, it is that by the time we get past the third week of test cricket, Stoneman will have scored over a thousand test runs and will be the best in the world ever. Cook, meanwhile, will score minus thirty-nine.

    Bear in mind that this unbelievable effort from Stoneman will in fact not be unbelievable, and will instead be entirely and totally believable.

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