England's opening woes: Alastair Cook's opening partners since 2012
Well begun is half done! This theory is very much applicable to the game of cricket as well. The openers lay down a foundation for a good score and the success of the team largely depends on the openers.
England has always been blessed with technically sound opening batsmen. At present, Alastair Cook is the highest run scorer for England in Test cricket with 12,145 runs in 282 innings at an average of 45.66. However, since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in the year 2012, Cook has had 12 partners in the last 6 years.
Here is an analysis of the woes of English openers after the retirement of Andrew Strauss:
1. Nick Compton
In what was termed to be a tough assignment for the English team, they emerged victorious on the tour of India in 2012. Cook found a reliable opening partner in Nick Compton and on most occasions, the English openers laid down a strong foundation.
Cook and Compton added 123 runs in the 2nd innings at Ahmedabad in the first Test, however, India triumphed over England. The second Test in Mumbai which England won was due to the strong foundation of the openers. Cook and Compton added 66 and 58* in the first and second innings respectively. If this was not enough, the pair added 165 in Kolkata in the third Test and England won the Test series in India.
England then toured New Zealand for a 3 match Test series and Compton did not disappoint. Compton smashed 2 centuries in the 3 Test series. Cook and Compton added 231 in the second innings of the first Test at Dunedin which ensured that the match ended in a draw.
Compton impressed one and all and it seemed that England had found a perfect replacement for Strauss. However, things did not go too well for Compton in the 2 Test home series against England and was left out of the team soon thereafter.
Compton made a comeback to the England team and played a Test in 2015 and 6 Tests in 2017. However, he scored only 296 runs in 11 innings and was dropped from the team again.
In 16 Test matches and 30 innings, Compton scored 775 runs at an average of 28.70. Compton could not get a consistent run in the English Test team and will probably never play a Test in future considering that he is 35 years of age.