England v India: Alastair Cook defiant about captaincy

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook's England captaincy and batting performance have come under scrutiny
First Test: England v India
Venue: Trent Bridge Dates: 9-13 July
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, tablet and mobile devices. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website/app

England captain Alastair Cook says he has no intention of stepping down and will continue to "throw everything" into the role.

Cook's leadership has been much-criticised, with England failing to win any of their past eight Test matches.

But speaking on the eve of a five-match home series against India, the 29-year-old remained steadfast in his position.

"Until that day the selectors decide I'm not the right man for the job, I will continue," he said.

"I think you have to be determined and stick to your guns.

"We all know you are judged on results and results have not been good enough."

Alastair Cook as England Test captain
Matches: 23 Wins: 9 Defeats: 7 Draws: 7

England lost their most recent two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in June, with Cook scoring just 78 runs in his four innings.

The opening batsman is England's fifth-highest Test run-scorer, with 8,125 runs, but it has been more than a year since the last of his 25 Test hundreds.

Cook heads into Wednesday's first Test against India at Trent Bridge fully aware he must contribute with the bat if England are to get a positive result.

"I know I've got to score runs at the top of the order in this series," the Essex left-hander said.

"I haven't been doing that over the last year or so, and no-one's keener than me to put that right."

With five Tests packed into a six-week schedule, Cook said it was crucial England started well.

"It is very important. We haven't won a Test match for a while now, and we'd love to get back to those winning ways."

India captain Mahendra Dhoni offered his backing to his opposite number in his pre-match news conference, saying the pressure would be the making of Cook.

"It is a difficult job being a captain," Dhoni said. "It is a difficult phase for him and one each and every cricketer has faced - it doesn't matter if your name is one of the greatest in cricket or not.

Matt Prior
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior takes part in training on Tuesday

"It is a phase he must also go through, and it will only improve him as a cricketer, and a better human being."

Meanwhile, Cook said he was "99% sure" wicketkeeper Matt Prior would be fit to play on Wednesday.

England called up Lancashire's Jos Buttler as cover on Monday after Prior felt some mild tightness in his right thigh.

But the 32-year-old took part in training on Tuesday, and Cook said: "We'll have a little check in the morning just to make sure. But all things at the moment are looking good."

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