England still undecided on Cook’s partner


England Test captain Alastair Cook says they have still not decided who will be his opening partner in the first Test against the West Indies starting on the 13 April.

Ever since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012, England have struggled to fill the void at the top of the order. Nick Compton, Michael Carberry and Sam Robson were all given a chance but none have shown the necessary consistency needed at the highest level.

With Gary Ballance seemingly secured in the number three slot and Ian Bell and Joe Root settled in the middle-order, the spot at the top of the order is a straight fight between the returning Jonathan Trott and Yorkshire's Adam Lyth, who was the County Championship's top run-scorer last season.

Trott, who has missed more than year of international cricket trying to overcome a stress-related illness, made a successful comeback into domestic cricket, hitting three centuries at the back end of the season.

Cook said: "We're lucky in one sense that we're choosing between two very good players. Ever since Straussy announced his retirement we haven't quite found consistency in that position so whoever gets that chance gets the opportunity to try and nail that down.

"But we haven't discussed that yet.

"Trott has almost demanded selection and it's great for me to see him back in an England shirt. He's a great guy and if he gets his chance he'll be desperate to do well. It would be his 50th game as well which is a great achievement if he gets there."

The decision on the opening slot, and the make-up of the team, for the first Test in Antigua will be decided after England play two warm-up games in St Kitts.