Mark Stoneman the latest in revolving door of Alastair Cook's opening Test partners since Andrew Strauss retirement

Sport360 staff 10/08/2017
Cook has remained the one constant in England's opening pair ever since Strauss' retirement.

Mark Stoneman is the latest man entrusted with partnering Alastair Cook at the top of the England batting order.

Stoneman, when he faces the West Indies next week, will be the 13th opener other than Cook used since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012.

Here, we assesses how each has fared.

NICK COMPTON

18 innings, 498 runs at an average of 31.12, 1x50, 2x100, top score 117

Despite back-to-back centuries against New Zealand in 2013, Compton failed to firmly establish himself.

JOE ROOT

11 innings, 417 runs at 41.70, 2x50, 1x100, top score 180

A short-lived experiment for the home Ashes series in 2013 produced one brilliant innings but little else of substance. Stepped up once more to open in November 2016 with Haseeb Hameed injured.

MICHAEL CARBERRY

10 innings, 281 runs at 28.10, 1x50, 0x100, top score 60

Recalled aged 33 for the whitewash Ashes defeat in 2013-14. Third in England's averages with one half-century and three scores in the 40s, but became a fall guy.

SAM ROBSON

11 innings, 336 runs at 30.54, 1x50, 1x100, top score 127

Played throughout the summer of 2014 but hit his only century in his second Test at Headingley before problems around off-stump appeared to cost him.

JONATHAN TROTT

6 innings, 72 runs at 12.00, 1x50, 0x100, top score 59

Back in first-class cricket after stress-related problems, Trott returned in an unaccustomed position against the West Indies and made one half-century but five other scores under 10, including three ducks.

ADAM LYTH

13 innings, 265 runs at 20.38, 0x50, 1x100, top score 107

Made his sole hundred on his home ground of Headingley but had a top score of just 19 in his last eight attempts. An Ashes winner, but now a forgotten man for England.

MOEEN ALI

6 innings, 84 runs at 14.00, 0x50, 0x100, top score 35

After a failed experiment as a pinch-hitter against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, Moeen has settled back into his niche as England's spin-bowling all-rounder.

JOS BUTTLER

1 innings, 4 runs at 4.00, 0x50, 0x100, top score 4

England doubled down on top-order aggression against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in October 2015, for a brisk chase of 98 in failing light. Cook was unused in a plucky 74 for four in 11 overs.

ALEX HALES

21 innings, 573 runs at 27.28, 5x50, 0x100, top score 94

England banked on Hales' limited-overs shot-making working out in Tests but instead he occasionally retreated into extreme caution. Failed to convert his five half-centuries and has returned to just white-ball duty.

BEN DUCKETT

4 innings, 92 runs at 23.00, 1x50, 0x100, top score 56

Made one half-century in four innings against Bangladesh, and dropped to number four against India before being jettisoned altogether.

HASEEB HAMEED

5 innings, 160 runs at 32.00, 1x50, 0x100, top score 82

Looked better than his figures suggest and it was injury that cost him his place, but a dreadful early summer with Lancashire kept him on the outside looking in.

KEATON JENNINGS

12 innings, 294 runs at 24.50, 1x50, 1x100, top score 112

The Durham batsman made a century and a duck on his Test debut but has struggled since.

TOTAL (all openers other than Alastair Cook )

118 innings, 3,076 runs at 26.75, 14x50, 6x100, top score 180

ALASTAIR COOK

114 innings, 4,721 runs at 43.31, 26x50, 10x100, top score 263

*Figures refer only to innings as an opener since Strauss' retirement.

*Includes two innings in which England's opening partnership did not feature Cook - Moeen and Buttler v Pakistan ( Abu Dhabi 2015) and Hales and Compton v Sri Lanka (Lord's 2016).

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Keaton Jennings axed as England announce squad for West Indies Test at Edgbaston

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Keaton Jennings has been replaced by Mark Stoneman.

England have named Mark Stoneman as Alastair Cook’s latest opening partner while leg-spinner Mason Crane is a surprise inclusion in the 13-man squad for next week’s historic day-night Test against West Indies.

Stoneman, as widely anticipated, replaces the misfiring Keaton Jennings and will become the 12th batsman since Andrew Strauss retired five years ago to get a chance to stake his claim at the top of the order alongside Cook.

Crane’s call-up for Edgbaston was largely unexpected after an indifferent season with Hampshire although the 20-year-old made a positive impression in England’s Twenty20 series against South Africa in June.

National selector James Whitaker said: “Selectors would like to offer their congratulations to Mark Stoneman and Mason Crane who thoroughly deserve their opportunity in the squad.”

Surrey's Mark Stoneman has replaced Jennings

Surrey’s Mark Stoneman has replaced Jennings.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Joe Root (Yorkshire, captain)

Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)

James Anderson (Lancashire)

Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire, wk)

Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)

Alastair Cook (Essex)

Mason Crane (Hampshire)

Dawid Malan (Middlesex)

Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex)

Ben Stokes (Durham)

Mark Stoneman (Surrey)

Tom Westley (Essex)

Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

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Turbulent Sri Lanka aiming to avoid series whitewash as India go for the juggernaut

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Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal has a lot to ponder.

Sri Lanka are flirting with an embarrassing series whitewash in the third Test against India from Saturday as they struggle with problems on and off the pitch which have thrown the team into turbulence.

A series of poor results, the early departure of their coach and accusations against players and the country’s cricket chief have made for a difficult few months for the former one-day world champions.

Sri Lanka, lampooned by fans and described as pot-bellied by their sports minister, can now ill afford a third loss to top-ranked India in Pallekele, following their crushing defeats in Galle and Colombo.

They have not been helped by a succession of injuries, capped by a back problem which has sidelined their number one bowler, Rangana Herath, for the third Test.

Paceman Nuwan Pradeep could bowl only 17.4 overs in Colombo before pulling out with a hamstring injury, and all-rounder Asela Gunaratne are already out of the series.

India won the Colombo Test comprehensively.

India won the Colombo Test comprehensively.

Sri Lanka failed to reach the semi-finals of the eight-team Champions Trophy in June, and then lost their coach when Graham Ford quit mid-contract.

Worse was to come when they humiliatingly went down 3-2 in a home one-day series to bottom-ranked Zimbabwe.

Former captain Arjuna Ranatunga, a government minister, told AFP that he blamed Sri Lanka’s losses on cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala, and accused him of links to gambling — a claim Sumathipala denies.

There have also been reports of attempts to approach Sri Lankan players for alleged match-fixing.

Skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who missed the first Test with pneumonia, says a consolation victory over India would help put the smiles back on his players’ faces.

“If we can win even one match against a team like this (India), we will be able to really boost the mental state in the team. They are the number one team,” said Chandimal.

“We need to pick up the positives and look forward to the next game.”

There are no such problems for Virat Kohli, who became the only India captain to win two Test series in Sri Lanka as his side smashed first innings of 600 and more in the opening two Tests.

Cheteshwar Pujara leads India’s run-scorers with two centuries and an average of more than 100 in India’s three innings so far.

India’s bowlers have also shone with spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin topping the wicket-takers’ chart with 13 and 11 respectively.

Kuldeep Yadav is expected to replace the suspended Jadeja.

Kuldeep Yadav is expected to replace the suspended Jadeja.

Jadeja is suspended for the third Test for a dangerous throw, with Axar Patel brought in as his like-for-like replacement in the India squad.

Despite their form, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha insists India are taking nothing for granted.

“We haven’t thought about 3-0. Our process is match by match,” he said.

“We are ahead by 2-0, so in the next match the aim is to give similar performance as last two matches as a team in batting, bowling and fielding. We will try to be consistent and if we do then we can win.”

Source: AFP

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