Alastair Cook recently led England to a series win against South Africa © Getty Images
Alastair Cook recently led England to a series win against South Africa © Getty Images

England captain Alastair Cook has said that the task of the selectors have tough decisions to make as they sit together to pick the team for the upcoming three-match Test series against Sri Lanka later in May. With the unfortunate retirement of James Taylor and shaky forms of Nick Compton an Alex Hales, Cook opines that there will be a few places up for grabs. “The selectors have tough decisions to make,” Cook said on Thursday.”The guys went to South Africa and won and that gives the guys a lot of credit in the bank, but then again we did not score the runs at the top order we would have liked,” said Cook. READ: Alastair Cook signs 2-year contract extension with Essex

Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Ben Stokes scored a lot of our runs so the selectors have got big decisions to make,” he added, according to cricket.com.au.

Cook confirms that Joe Root will continue batting at No. 4, but believes that the top -order has to fire for long-term success in Test cricket. “I suppose in a way it’s out of my hands but for this side to step forward, challenge India away, Australia away, get back up to No. 1 ranking, we need to score runs in the top three, more than we have done in the last couple of years.”

It was Alex Hales, who partnered Cook in all the four Tests against South Africa,  but managed to score just 136 runs from eight innings at 17. Nick Compton too did not impress a lot, barring an innings or two.

Former England skipper Nasser Husaain however believes Hampshire batsman James Vince can easily fit into the No. 3 slot for England and both Hussain and Michael Artherton believe that Hales should hang on to his opening position. READ: Alastair Cook refuses to wear better designed helmet in County cricket

If you ask me about the long-term potential, then Vince has got something about him that I would like to see more of – he is a very elegant player,” Hussain told Sky Sports.

“Alex Hales stays as opener – he is the man in possession and I don’t think people are bursting down the door to say give me that position. I think Hales deserves a chance away from home and at home,” Hussain added. READ: Alastair Cook’s unbeaten 130 powers Essex to 335 for after Day 2 against Worcestershire

Veteran Ian Bell was dropped for the Test series against South Africa recently, following a poor run of form in the Ashes and the series against New Zealand before that. He now averages 82 in hi three County innings, while Gary Ballance has scored just one fifty in his six innings so far.

Artherton says that he has always backed Bell to return to the Test arena. “In the past, I used to think a lot about age and where the team was going but now I just keep it simple, I just pick the best team,” Atherton told Sky Sports. “With Bell, although he is 34, you’ve got a guy with 22 Test match hundreds.”