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Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler called up as cover for ailing Matt Prior in England lineup

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NOTTINGHAM, England - England called up wicketkeeper Jos Buttler on Tuesday as cover for the first test against India after Matt Prior reported feeling tightness in his right thigh.

Prior began feeling pain on Monday, but England captain Alastair Cook believes he will be able to play when the test begins on Wednesday at Trent Bridge.

"We are 99 per cent certain he will be fine," Cook said. "You have a little check in the morning just to make sure, but all looks good at the moment."

Cook can't say the same for his position in the team. The Sri Lanka series last month was heralded as a new era for England, but produced the same old results of late, a loss at Headingley and a 1-0 series defeat, the first at home to Sri Lanka.

Despite withering criticism of Cook's conservative tactics from the likes of former captains Geoffrey Boycott and Michael Vaughan, they agreed Cook was still the man to lead England, and had enough credit to keep the job. Cook, himself, said he would not resign from the captaincy, and would have to be pushed out. He had support from coach Peter Moores, plus India coach Duncan Fletcher and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has his own problems to tend to, but Cook knows he can answer the critics only with wins and a deluge of runs.

Since his last century, a record 25th for England, in May 2013, Cook has gone 24 innings and averaged 25. He denied the captaincy was to blame for his woeful form.

"I can honestly say that it has never crossed my mind, when someone is running in at mid-80s to 90 miles per hour, I'm thinking about what field placings I'm going to set for someone else," he said.

Since the defeat at Headingley, he said he had worked hard to rediscover his batting touch. He said he also wasn't worried about losing the captaincy should he fail to score runs across the five tests against India.

"I'm not in charge of making decisions like that," he said. "It's a huge honour to do this and I can go to sleep knowing I've thrown everything I've got into it."

England have to decide whether to reintroduce allrounder Ben Stokes, who is returning from a self-inflicted wrist injury. With Moeen Ali the part-time spin replacement for Graeme Swann, Stokes could replace Chris Jordan.

England has not won its last seven tests. India has not won any of its last 14 away tests, which began with the 4-0 whitewash in England in 2011.

India has since lost away in South Africa and New Zealand, its high-scoring batsmen failing to receive adequate support from a mediocre bowling attack.

"What is important for us is to take the team forward," Dhoni said. "(We need) to give the team guidance. The more games they play, the more they improve. It is a constant process."

There has been progress, and Dhoni expected the same from Cook.

"It is a difficult phase for him, which each cricketer has faced," Dhoni said. "It doesn't matter if your name is one of the greatest in cricket or not.

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

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