Matt Prior: England wicketkeeper happy to be Jos Buttler's back-up

Matt Prior
Matt Prior has scored 4099 Test runs at an average of 40.18

Wicketkeeper Matt Prior denies his England career is over but says he is prepared to act as back-up to his successor Jos Buttler.

Prior, 32, will have surgery next month on the Achilles injury that forced him to step aside after England lost the second Test against India last month.

He has targeted April's Test series in the West Indies for his return from the long-standing problem.

"If I've to go as a number two batter-wicketkeeper so be it," said Prior.

Prior, who has averaged more than 40 and taken 243 catches in 79 Tests, added: "I'm more than happy to do that.

"The minute Jos went in the team I'm only ever there to help and I sent him a message to say if you need anything.

Matt Prior's England career
Strike rate61.6676.76127.00

"But at the moment he is going great guns so I leave him to it, obviously."

Buttler, 23, scored 200 in three innings as England took the remaining three Tests against India to win the series 3-1.

Many pundits were quick to write off the Sussex right-hander because of Buttler's excellent form, but Prior claimed: "I'm only 32 and everyone talks about you like that's it, it's the end.

"People seem to forget very quickly what you have given in the past... but that's the nature of the beast - that's sport, it moves on very quickly and I accept that.

"I'm hoping by January to be as physically fit as I have ever been, and then it's a case of getting some cricket under my belt and getting to the levels I expect of myself and proving to the selectors that I am playing good cricket."

England play three Tests - in Antigua, Grenada and Barbados in April - after a one-day programme which concludes with the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand at the start of next year.