Ex-England captain Alastair Cook should bat at number three in the Test side or not play, according to former team-mate Nick Compton.
Opening batsman Cook, 33, is the country’s leading run-scorer, making 12,028 runs in his 154 Test matches.
But he has struggled for form over the past year, compiling just one century in the past 17 Tests.
“It might be a stage where you could breed a new opening partnership,” Compton told BBC Radio 5 live.
England host Pakistan and India in Test series this summer, on the back of a 1-0 defeat against New Zealand in March and a 4-0 thrashing by Australia in the winter.
The squad for the two Tests against Pakistan will be named on Tuesday and will be the first since Ed Smith was appointed national selector in April.
England were beaten by an innings in the first Test against New Zealand, and Cook made just 23 runs in the two-Test series.
They are without a win in 13 Test matches away from home.
Compton, who made 16 Test appearances for England, told the Tuffers and Vaughan Show: “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.”
Compton believes Smith will “want to make a statement” in his first squad announcement.
“He is an ambitious and intelligent man,” said the 34-year-old. “He will want to come in and do something that sends a message to English cricket.
“The big question is, are England going to select a team that is going to beat India and Pakistan this summer? Or are they selecting a team with a two to three-year longevity that build to turn around what has been an woeful overseas record?”
England begin their series against Pakistan on 24 May at Lord’s, followed by a meeting at Headingley on 1 June.