London, Nov. 3 (ANI): England Test captain Alastair Cook has said that the battle between Nick Compton and Joe Root for the opener's slot would be 'cut-throat business' as both vie to the Test captain's opening partner for the first Test on November 15.
On Novmber 9, 10 and 11, both batsmen will play against Mumbai A, while Cook will watch closely from the sidelines.
"It's a cut-throat business and they both have an opportunity to score runs and push their claim," The Telegraph quoted Cook, as saying.
"They're at different stages of their career. One's far more experienced and has got more runs behind him. The other one's a lot younger and has impressed everyone at every stage of his career. We're still waiting to see so these will be an important few days," he added.
According to the paper, when the tour party was announced, many felt Compton, more experienced at 29, would assume Andrew Strauss role and Root, 21, was along for the ride to learn good habits. But Cook scotched that theory on Friday, emphasising no favourite had emerged in either his or Andy Flower's minds.
"It was totally open when we picked the squad. Andy and I haven't seen a huge amount of either. I've played against Nick a couple of times, and I played in Joe Root's first ever game (for Yorkshire, v Essex in the CB40 at Headingley in 2009). It was important we came here with a clear mind and I think we've done that," Cook said. (ANI)