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Video - Cook Absence Precautionary - Prior

Watch as England vice-captain Matthew Prior explains that Alastair Cook's absence from the first match of England's Ashes tour with a sore back is a precautionary measure.

Cook, along with Stuart Broad, Monty Panesar and Kevin Pietersen, who was the last of the touring party to reach Australia, will miss the game against a Western Australia XI, which gets underway on Thursday (31st October).

Prior said that ideally England would be fielding their best side but on this occasion, it would not be possible.

"As in the past, we want to play well, we want to put the best team out and ideally win these games," he said.

"So having the top order get out there and score runs is what we're looking to do, but we all know now what the right preparation is for every player, obviously 'Cookie' (captain Alastair Cook) has got a bit of a stiff back, it's purely precautionary, rushing him into something is probably not the best idea and KP (Kevin Pietersen) is obviously just 'around the world' a little bit and still needs a couple of days rest and recuperation."

Prior will lead the side in Cook's absence and he says that Perth is the perfect place for the side to begin fine-tuning their latest Ashes defence.

"I think Perth as a place in general has been fantastic for us. Not just from a climate point of view, obviously, coming into the warmer weather, I mean it's great for us to get used to it, but also the wickets.

"There's more bounce here, more bounce in the nets and it's almost the most extreme that we're going to face in Australia, preparation for the Gabba as well... so as a place, you know, we couldn't be happier. The preparations are going really well."

England have won the last three Ashes series, in 2009, 2010/11 and earlier this year when they beat Australia 3-0 at home.

England XI: Joe Root, Michael Carberry, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Gary Ballance, Ben Stokes, Matt Prior (captain & wicket-keeper), Boyd Rankin, Chris Tremlett, Steven Finn, James Anderson.

Video courtesy of SNTV. Please note that this video is available until 1st November 2013, after which the player above will display the latest live video content.

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