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Nick Compton has issued Alastair Cook an ultimatum with regards to his Test career

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In the age of the cut-throat cricket scene, Alastair Cook is one of its great survivors.

As an opener, Cook bats in the most challenging position in the side.

Not only do you come face-to-face with the best of the opposition's bowling attack from ball one, you also cannot allow your mind to drift in the field.

You have to be prepared for a declaration or a batting collapse from the opposition which will then thrust you into the hot seat once again.

Still, only 33, Cook's career is one of great durability where he has played 154 Tests of which 59 were captain (an England record).

For the past year, Cook has played without the burden of the leadership, but instead of aiding his career, it has seemingly had the opposite effect.

The leading scorer in England history (12,028 runs), Cook has scored just one century in his past 17 Test innings, which came at the MCG in the fourth Ashes Test (244 no).

Just like the side, Cook had a wretched time in New Zealand, compiling a dismal 23 runs from two Tests.

Nick Compton, who played 16 Tests for England, and was one of Cook's former opening partners, has come up with a possible solution to his woes.

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The BBC reported Compton as saying: "I would like to see Cook bat at number three or not play.

"England are struggling for a number three at the moment, and I think they need a solid number three.

"It is not about bringing Joe Root up the order, he has always made is quite clear he is happy at four.

"As captain, it would put more pressure on him and not give him enough time to rest."

The suggestion of Cook moving down to three is an interesting one as it could give him a mental break as much as anything.

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While it is always important to freshen up the squad with young and hungry players, there also needs to be a balance.

Experience does not grow on trees, and with Root still in the infinite stages of his captaincy, it wouldn't hurt having a veteran or two around the squad.

However, Compton raises a fascinating point regarding Cook's overall position in the side if selectors do not want to move him from the opening position.

The pressure will certainly come if he has some early failures against Pakistan.

If Cook can somehow approach something close to his top form, then England will be all the better for it.

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England cricket
Cricket

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