Alastair Cook vows to continue as England captain for third Test match v India at The Ageas Bowl

Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook

First published in Sport

Alastair Cook has vowed to carry on as England captain despite presiding over a 95-run defeat to India in the second Investec Test at Lord's.

England slumped from the seemingly comfortable position of 173 for four shortly after lunch to 223 all out before tea.

Poor shot selection rather than excellent India bowling led to their downfall and extended their sequence to 10 Tests without victory ahead of the third Test starting at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl this coming Sunday.

Ishant Sharma (seven for 74) accounted for Moeen Ali, Matt Prior, Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Stuart Broad on the final day to record figures of seven for 74.

And while Cook admitted his side lack confidence to take chances to win Tests at present, he insisted he is not about to step down.

He said: “It gets harder and harder the more we don't win and of course that heaps on you at the end of the day.

“Until that bloke taps me on the shoulder and says 'we don't want you to captain' I'm desperate to try to turn this around for England.

“If I'm not good enough at the end of the summer then so be it, but I'm trying my heart out to do this and I need to score runs and need to start winning but I'm here to as long as I'm wanted.”

Cook went on to give his backing to under-fire wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who has come in for criticism for the nature of his dismissal when England needed him to defend his wicket.

“Matt's got a serious amount of talent, he's been a fantastic player for England. He's desperate to carry on playing and at the moment I think he's the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the country,” Cook added.

“He'll be hurting. There were some tough takes there - Lord's has the ability to make the keeper look silly at some stage - so a lot of that wasn't his own fault and he's a fighter and you want people like that in the dressing room.”

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