Alastair Cook has backed Mark Stoneman to hold onto his place at the top of England's order for the Ashes after impressing him in his first three Tests.
Stoneman is the 12th opening partner Cook has had in the five years since Andrew Strauss' retirement and questions have been raised as to whether the Surrey man, too, will soon be replaced.
In his five innings since making his debut against West Indies at Edgbaston, Stoneman has scored 120 runs at an average of 30, with a best of 52 in the second Test at Headingley.
An unbeaten 40 to wrap up the series at Lord's may have earned Stoneman another chance when England travel to Australia in November, with Cook convinced the 30-year-old is the right man for their Ashes quest.
"I like Mark. I really like Mark," Cook told the Daily Telegraph.
"I think out of all of them - and I don't mean this disrespectfully to the guys who've played - Mark seems to have a lot of good stuff.
Mark Stoneman takes England to victory! pic.twitter.com/CmtSYXwS4B— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 9, 2017
"He seems to have fewer weaknesses, which in international cricket get exploited very quickly now; quicker than it was when I started.
"The level of analysis, the feedback is so quick they can hone in on a weakness probably within one or two innings. And social media is so intense everything's out there right away.
"I like Rocky [Stoneman]. I think Rocky's slightly different. He's a bit older, he's seen a lot more.
"He's ready. I think he's going to be good."
Before Stoneman, Cook had been joined at the top of the order by Nick Compton, Joe Root, Michael Carberry, Sam Robson, Jonathan Trott, Adam Lyth, Moeen Ali, Alex Hales, Ben Duckett, Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings.
19 de octubre 2017
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