Prior ignoring fatigue of 4-month England tours

Updated: 20 February 2011 22:07 IST

An unexpected trip to the World Cup is helping England's Matthew Prior shake off the inevitable stresses and strains of almost four months away from home.

Prior ignoring fatigue of 4-month England tours
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Nagpur:

An unexpected trip to the World Cup is helping England's Matthew Prior shake off the inevitable stresses and strains of almost four months away from home.

A test regular, Prior had looked likely to miss out on the limited-overs tournament until a rethink in approach from team management and Steven Davies' inability to secure the wicketkeeper's spot.

England's World Cup opener against the Netherlands in Group B on Tuesday will be Prior's 30th day of international action since England opened its Ashes series in Australia in November. But the excitement is helping to mask any fatigue.

"I've got a couple of niggles here and there, but all in all feeling pretty good," Prior said. "A couple of months ago I wasn't even going to be involved, so I'm just delighted to be here. That overruns any other slight injuries or things like that.

"It's a great opportunity for me to do well and cement my place and prove I'm the best choice for England in one-day cricket as well. That's all I'm focussing on right now."

Prior played a central role in England's historic 3-1 Ashes win, scoring at an average of 50.40 and taking 23 catches in the five tests.

He then began the post-Ashes one-day internationals as opener but the experiment was unsuccessful despite the 28-year-old wicketkeeper's belief he could make it work. By the time of the seventh and final game, Prior was back down to No. 6.

He took on his test role of No. 7 for England's final warmup win over Pakistan on Friday.

"I've always thought opening always suited my game better," Prior said. "But having looked at it over here and this role I'm going to play in the middle overs, I think the way the last couple of games have gone, I've found a tempo I'm very comfortable with.

"I don't think opening I managed to get that tempo ever, which was hugely frustrating for me, because I know that if I get that tempo right, I can be very, very successful. Right now, that role is suiting me and I feel very comfortable in it. I feel I can have, fingers crossed, some good success."

But after so long away from home, it's not just about what happens on the pitch.

The squad flew out of England on Oct. 29 and stayed in Australia until this month. Those selected for the 15-man World Cup party then had just four days at home before flying out to Bangladesh and India.

"There certainly are a few more challenges," Prior said. "The big thing is we've been away for such a long time this winter. Sitting around in hotels you can get a bit stir crazy."

Topics : Matt Prior England Australia West Indies Cricket ICC World Cup, 2011
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