Who will replace Alastair Cook in England's Test squad? We crunch the numbers to find the candidates

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In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, Alastair Cook retired from international cricket on Monday after an incredible 12-year stint atop the England batting order. 

And after the selectors spent so many years searching for a potential partner for the Essex opener, they’re now looking for a replacement as well. 

To county cricket, then, in search of some answers. Or, more pertinently, to the spreadsheets and the databases that are so influential in Ed Smith’s selection.

Freddie Wilde from cricket analytics firm CricViz explains the pros and cons of each candidate with regards to the Sri Lanka tour:

Keaton Jennings 

It would be a surprise if Keaton Jennings retained his Test place but Cook’s retirement may save him (AFP/Getty)

Strengths: strong player of spin (average 41.51); fought hard in difficult summer for Test openers (average 19.20; all openers 25.60)

Weaknesses: unconvincing start to Test career (average 22.09); struggles against pace (33.00)

Rory Burns 

Rory Burns is in line to step up to Test cricket (Getty Images)

Strengths: very prolific run-scorer (1000 runs in four consecutive first class seasons); high dismissal rate (92.6) and average against pace (44.78) suggest he’s well-equipped to see off the new ball; strong player of spin (average 49.27)

Weaknesses: statistics enhanced by playing home cricket at The Oval – the best batting venue in England (average 33.34)

Joe Denly 

Joe Denly of Kent is in England contention (Getty)

Strengths: very strong player of spin (average 67.31); improving leg spin bowler; excellent fielder

Weaknesses: rarely opens (21% as opener since 2015); plays in Division Two; struggles against pace (average 34.45)

Daryl Mitchell 

Daryl Mitchell of Worcestershire in action (Getty)

Strengths: consistently prolific run-scorer (1000 runs in five of last seven years); strong player of spin (average 49.48)

Weaknesses: age – at 34 years old he is coming towards the end of his career 

Haseeb Hameed

Hameed is targeting a Test recall (Getty)

Strengths: high dismissal rate (90.1); exceptional player of spin (average 75.33); strong start to his Test career (average 43.80)

Weaknesses: terrible recent form (2018 average 9.44); struggles against pace (average 26.79)

Ben Duckett 

Duckett has had a chance with England before but can he play spin well enough? (AP)

Strengths: solid overall average as opener (46.84); quick run scorer (run rate 4.33)

Weaknesses: poor form (2018 average 26.70); low dismissal rate (55.1); poor start to Test career (average 15.71); struggled against spin in Tests (all seven dismissals to spinners); largely played in Division Two

Mark Stoneman 

Stoneman returned to Surrey after being dropped by England (Getty Images)

Strengths: consistent run-scorer (1000 runs in five of last six seasons); strong player of spin (average 47.80)

Weaknesses: recently dropped by England after poor start to Test career (average 27.68)

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