Prior Lauds England's Strength In Depth
Matt Prior was among a number of players who were kitted out in the brand new adidas England gear as part of the preparations for the 2013 international season at Lord's.
After a miserable few weeks of bad weather just about relented in time for the domestic season to get underway, and after himself enjoying a break since returning from New Zealand, Prior is now keen to get going again having watched his Sussex team trounce Yorkshire in their opening game of the season.
"It's nice to see the sun actually come out, and in the new gear, it all looks very smart and it's amazing how little things like that can get you going again," he said.
Prior played a key role in England's historic 2-1 series win in India over the winter, also scoring a brilliant century on the final day in Auckland as they held off New Zealand to claim a draw in a series that ended 0-0.
"It was a very proud moment, I think thats the best word I can use," he said when asked about playing in the India series.
"Having played quite a bit of cricket in the sub-continent you know how tough it is to win over there. To win the series for the first time in 28 years is a moment I'll never forget.
"It's very different to winning the Ashes or something like that in the fact that it's slightly under the radar, people who don't support cricket probably don't know we did it, but take nothing away from what a huge achievement it was."
In the last four years, England have, on four separate occasions saved a Test match by ending the final day with one wicket remaining in their second innings - most recently doing so on the back of Prior's brilliant 110 not out in Auckland, although when asked about the innings, he was quick to praise his team-mates, rather than focus on his own achievement.
"I think that having to change my game slightly and sort of dig in, it was very pleasing to get over the line in the end. It was a huge team effort, someone like Ian Bell facing nearly 300 balls, Broady coming in and the innings he played was exceptional, to take that amount of balls and time out of the game. It was a shame he couldn't of been there at the end and he was gutted about that."
Following on from the series in New Zealand, England take on the Black Caps once again with two Tests in May at Lord's and Headingley. Looking ahead, Prior said:
"Hopefully our preparation and everything will go well in the lead up to the series, [we can] put in some good performances and get off to a winning start.
"The squad looks strong, the great thing about it is that it's genuinely a squad now and not just a team of 11 or 12, there are 15-16 guys that if called upon will do a fantastic job for England. The strength in depth is very strong at the moment and that's important."
Prior is no stranger to competition, having battled with fellow gloveman Tim Ambrose during his time with Sussex and then later for a place in the England team, and indeed he welcomes it.
"It's also good having players pushing the guys in the starting 11 the whole time, you never want to feel comfortable. It's almost quite nice having guys knocking on the door and pushing hard for places. Competition for places is a very healthly thing and we certainly have that now."
Matt Prior was launching the new England One-Day International and Test match cricket kits, supplied by adidas. Visit www.adidas.com to purchase yours or join the conversation @adidasUK.
© Cricket World 2013
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