A Lot More To Come From England's ODI Team - Prior
Ravi Bopara, Matthew Prior, Steven Finn, Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen and Ajmal Shahzad show off the new kit
Following a winter that saw England scale the heights of an outstanding 3-1 Ashes success in Australia to the depths of losing to Ireland and Bangladesh in a faltering World Cup campaign, wicket-keeper Matt Prior has already set his sights on helping his side topple India as the best team in world cricket.
And they have an ideal opportunity to measure themselves up against Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men when the two teams meet later this year, as well as pitting their wits against Sri Lanka.
"It's very exciting that both World Cup finalists are coming to England this summer," Prior told Cricket World at an event where adidas launched the new England One-Day International shirt in London - pictured right and detailed here.
"It's a great time to play two very exciting teams, so we'll have to be on our best form and play pretty good cricket to beat them."
Elaborating on the team's aim to become the best in the world, Prior added: "Our goal, even before The Ashes, was to look to be the best team in the world.
"The Ashes was a huge stepping stone and we'll take a lot of confidence from that, but we now to look forward and move forward. India's going to be another huge test, but if we want to be the best team in the world, we have to beat them.
"They will be a big challenge but it's exciting playing against the best teams and players in the world. You want to challenge yourself against them as much as possible, and I’m very confident we have a team that can do well."
And despite the disappointing nature of England's World Cup exit, when they were handed a ten-wicket thrashing by eventual runners-up Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals, Prior is positive that the ODI side is heading in the right direction.
"It's very easy to think negatively and say 'that was a failure' and everything, but actually we knew we weren't playing the best cricket we could play," he said.
"But we stuck in, fought hard and got ourself into the quarter-final. OK, we didn't perform at all in that quarter-final, but we got there, and fought hard when it was looking like we might not even get there.
"Teams in the past would have given it up, and not even reached the quarter-final, so hats off for fighting hard and getting there.
"The other thing left to remember is that we do have some fantastic one-day cricketers in this team, and actually have a very good one-day cricket team. I know we didn't show it in the World Cup, but there is a lot more to come from this team.
"As long as we keep our belief, and keep working hard on the things we know we can improve on, I see no reason why we can't make headway in one-day cricket."
With international cricket on the backburner for most at the moment (England are not in action until 21st May), eyes are glued to the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), which Prior admits he would love to be part of - but perhaps not following a World Cup and an Ashes tour.
"The IPL is certainly something i'm very interested in playing. The guys that have been involved in it have said it's a spectacular competition and a great experience; I would be delighted to play in that.
"Having said that, I think at the end of the World Cup I was a little tired and injured, pretty relieved to be having this time off now and be fully prepared for the season coming, and hit this season running," he added.
Matt Prior was launching the new One Day International England Cricket Kit, supplied by England kit sponsor adidas, at the JJB Sports Store in Enfield yesterday. Purchase your ODI shirt in-store at any JJB or online at www.jjbsports.com
The new shirt features leading technologies including ClimaCool™ and Formotion™. Climacool™ technology ensures that players will keep cool under pressure at the wicket, in the field and delivering that crucial delivery at the end of the innings when every run matters.
The adidas England One-Day International Shirt will be available at retail from adidas Performance stores, JJB Sports retail outlets UK wide and cricket specialists’ shops across the country from 18th April 2011.
© Cricket World 2011