Cook's XI - his opening partners since Strauss

1 Nick Compton

Back-to-back centuries in New Zealand suggested Compton had what it takes as a Test opener. But he never again reached 20 as an opener and was dropped ahead of the 2013 Ashes. Perhaps, with more sensitive man-management, he might have fared better but when recalled for a stint at No. 3 (he had one more innings as an opener), he again started well and then faded.


2 Joe Root

Promoted to open in the 2013 Ashes, Root made one memorable century at Lord's - during which he was dropped early - but otherwise only passed 30 once in the series. In retrospect, it was premature elevation for a man still learning his trade. After briefly losing his place at the end of the 2013-14 Ashes, he returned to establish himself as one of the best middle-order players in the world. Briefly returned, with success, to the top of the order in the Mohali Test when Hameed was indisposed.


3 Michael Carberry

One of the more unfortunate players on this list, five of Carberry's six Tests came against an outstanding Australia attack featuring Mitchell Johnson at his best and Ryan Harris not far from his. Carberry performed as well as anyone: he faced more balls than any England player in the series and only Kevin Pietersen scored more runs. But having passed 50 only once he was dropped as England looked to rebuild at the end of the series.


4 Sam Robson

Born in Sydney but with a mother from Nottinghamshire, Robson represented Australia Under-19s before committing his future to England. A century in his second Test promised much but some uncertainty around off stump - he was bowled four times and caught in the cordon five times in 11 Test innings - undermined his progress. He was dropped at the end of the 2014 English season having failed to reach 40 in his final four Tests.


5 Jonathan Trott

An ill-fated return as opening batsman in the Caribbean in early 2015 never threatened to work out. Although he made one half-century in helping Cook post an opening stand of 125 in Grenada, he was dismissed for three ducks and two other scores under 10 in six innings. He later admitted he knew he was "screwed" as soon as he walked out to bat in the first Test of the series with the anxiety issues that had previously plagued him returning with a vengeance.


6 Adam Lyth

Like Robson, Lyth also made a century in his second Test - in front of his Yorkshire faithful at Headingley, no less. But he was unable to kick on from that solid beginning. He only reached 20 once more and never again passed 40 - his next highest score of 37 came in the opening Test of that summer's Ashes at Cardiff. Increasingly loose outside off stump, he averaged just 12.77 in the series.


7 Moeen Ali

Moeen's promotion from No. 8 (he had actually batted at 9 in two of the final three Ashes innings of August 2015) was always likely to prove testing but, with England looking for a way to squeeze a second spinner into the side for their three-match series in the UAE, Moeen was - as ever - the man asked to compromise. He started well enough, adding 116 with Cook in the first innings of the series, but from there his form and confidence fell away sharply. In five other innings he failed to reach 25.

8 Alex Hales

After a tricky start against South Africa, there were times Hales seemed close to cracking it in Test cricket. Three times in five innings he passed 80 against Sri Lanka without converting to that elusive maiden century. He was also never quite able to convert the fluency of his limited-overs cricket to the longer game and, after averaging 18.12 in the four-Test series against Pakistan, the selectors let it be known that he would not have been taken to Bangladesh even if he had not opted out of the tour due to security fears. With the opportunities available to him (and the demands placed upon him) by limited-overs cricket it is entirely possible that future Test opportunities will elude him.


9 Ben Duckett

Promoted on the back of an outstanding county season, Duckett's struggles demonstrated how great the divide between Division Two of the county championship and Test cricket has grown. He was, perhaps, unfortunate to make his debut on tracks offering substantial assistance to spin bowlers but some technical flaws were soon exploited and though he made one fine, counter-attacking half-century before being moved down the order, it was an exciting rather than a secure innings. He is young and talented enough to come again.


10 Haseeb Hameed

Although the raw stats look underwhelming, they do not capture the composure and assurance Hameed demonstrated in his first three Tests. Missing out on a century on debut as he attempted to up the pace and set up a declaration, he nevertheless set a new highest score for a teenager in Test cricket for England and demonstrated both technique and temperament while batting 50 overs for 25 as England battled for a draw in Vizag. Arguably his best innings to date was made at No. 8 after sustaining a badly broken finger, but it was made, in part, against the new ball and demonstrated a wider range of stroke than had been apparent before. It would be a surprise - and a disappointment - if he is not Cook's opening partner for the last few years of Cook's career.


11 Keaton Jennings

Called up following an outstanding domestic season (in which he scored more Division One runs than anyone), an injury to Hameed and the loss of form of Duckett, Jennings is the 11th man to partner Cook in Test cricket since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in August 2012.

*Individual records reflect innings played as opening batsmen only