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Monday, October 18, 2010

Matt Prior will play a vital part in the Ashes 2010-11

He is another South African in England colours, as the Aussies will surely remind us, but Matt Prior has all the battling qualities required for an Englishman to survive down under.

Prior moved to England from South Africa as a child, making his Sussex debut in 2001 and has represented England at all ages.

He was selected for the England A side in 2004 and was in the same A team that went down under while the full squad were being mauled 5-0 by the full Australians side.

One thing lacking from that team was a keeper who could bat and so hopes were high when Prior was eventually handed his Test debut in the 2007 series against the West Indies - was England's desperate search for a wicket keeper batsmen good enough to fill Alec Stewart's shoes finally over? It looked like it when he hit an unbeaten 126 on debut and then 76 in the next game. But Prior seems to have made a habit of dropping in and out of the side, with inconsistency in his keeping meaning he is regularly replaced, more often than not by his county team mate Tim Ambrose.

But Prior's aggressive batting means he is always knocking on the door of an international recall, and looking ahead to the Ashes series down under, a long batting line up, including a keeper who can score runs, is vital when looking to build a defendable score against the talented Australians.

He was an unsung hero against the Aussies in 2009, making the number 6 position his own and also making significant improvement in his wicket keeping. If his batting is up to scratch, then punters may want to keep an eye on any Ashes betting offers releating to the number of runs he scored.

Prior also showed his battling qualities this summer against Pakistan. With England struggling at 94 for 7 in the 3rd test at the Oval he and Stuart Broad managed to bat England out of a big hole. Those sort of qualities will be vital when the Ashes series kicks off in just over a months' time, especially as the Ashes best odds  make Australia favourites to win.

Whatever the side, batting collapses happen and what marks the great teams out from the rest is how the cope with such setbacks. There may be some doubts over Priors consistency with the gloves, but when assessing the character of a squad he is the sort of player you need on your side when heading to take on Ricky Ponting's men.

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1 comment:

  1. eoin morgan will pay a crucial role in the ashes 2010


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