Top 5 England Test opening pairs of all time
When it comes to Test cricket, the opening batsmen are the least glamorous members of the batting order due to the very nature of their roles.
They are supposed to dig in against the new ball and lay the platform for the middle-order stars to cash in.
Over the course of their rich cricketing history, England have produced some of the finest opening batsmen, but the opening batsmen work in pairs and in that regard as well, they have been blessed.
Some of the world's best opening pairs have done duty for England over the years in Test cricket and here is a look at 5 of the finest.
#5 Michael Atherton and Graham Gooch
Former England great Graham Gooch is one of the greatest batsmen to have played for his country and in 1990, he formed a superb opening partnership with a young Michael Atherton.
Gooch was at the peak of his powers as a batsman at the time and his technical skill, temperament, hunger for runs and the refusal to give away his wicket made him an extremely tough opponent.
On the other hand, the young Michael Atherton, who went on to become England's opening batsman for the next decade, showed all the hallmarks of the gifts that made him such a vital player.
He was incredibly patient, had the correct technique and was ready to spend hours at the crease without playing a shot in anger. The pair opened in 44 Test matches from 1990 to 1995 and totalled 2501 runs in their partnerships, at an excellent average of 56.84.
Atherton and Gooch put on opening stands in excess of hundred on 7 occasions and crossed fifty 12 times.