Alastair Cook vows he will not walk away as Matt Prior stands down due to injury

For now, there is a genuine belief in Cook’s continued tenure and his right to try to halt a serious run of poor performances.

Cricket correspondent

Alastair Cook, the beleaguered England captain, remained defiant last night after his team’s seventh defeat in their last nine Test matches. He insisted he was the man to take them forward to a bright new tomorrow – despite mounting evidence to the contrary – and appears to have the unanimous backing of his bosses and team-mates.

One man who will play no further part in the series against India is Matt Prior. After several poor performances, the wicketkeeper decided last night to take a break to sort out his injury problems, with an Achilles operation more than likely. “I’m not doing justice to myself and more importantly the team and that is what matters first and foremost,” Prior said.

Shortly after England’s loss by 95 runs in the second Test at Lord’s, which puts them 1-0 behind in the Investec series, Cook said: “You always have thoughts when things are tough but I’m just as determined as I was at the beginning of this game. Five days is a long time in sport and I’m still here. I still want to throw it all at being captain. I’ve still got determination.”

For now, there is a genuine belief in Cook’s continued tenure and his right to try to halt a serious run of poor performances. England were whitewashed 5-0 by Australia during the winter and lost the first home Test series of the summer 1-0 to Sri Lanka. They have not lost two series at home in the same summer since 1986. “This was a tough loss in good conditions for us,” said Cook. “It makes it harder not scoring runs, tougher and tougher. When I start scoring and results change, the circle will change but until that moment comes, it’s tough.”

Cook reiterated that he would continue until his position becomes untenable, which he suggested would be the end of the series if England lose it. Another defeat next week in the third Test at Southampton would, however, concentrate minds. He and Peter Moores, the coach, continue to possess mutual trust and belief.

“Me and Peter still think we can turn it around,” he said. “People still feel I’m right. Everyone has doubts. It’s only natural when things aren’t going well, but it makes me more determined.

“I would love to win this series. How much satisfaction that would be from a dark time. I haven’t had any tougher time in my career but I don’t think of walking away from it”

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