Saturday 17 March 2018

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior: England players will stick together after Trott's departure

England's Matt Prior
England's Matt Prior

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has vowed the tourists will stick up for each other in the heat of Ashes battle after a stormy opening Test in Brisbane.

England were humbled by a 381-run defeat in the first Test at the Gabba where the verbal jousting on and off the field grabbed just as many headlines as the match itself.

Australia opener David Warner described England as having 'scared eyes' and had particular criticism for Jonathan Trott, describing his performance as 'poor' and 'weak' after his dismissal for nine in the second-innings.

Trott has since left the tour due to a stress-related illness, although England director of cricket Andy Flower was at pains to point out that Warner's comments had not contributed to the illness which the number-three has been struggling with for some time.

Australia captain Michael Clarke was also fined by the International Cricket Council after a stump microphone picked him up telling James Anderson to expect a broken arm when the England bowler was batting during the tourists' second innings.

Prior insists England's players will defend each other to the hilt in the face of Australia sledging in the remainder of the series.

"We are a very tight unit," he wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.

"We look after each other and if someone attacks one of the individuals in our team, we will look after them."

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson took nine wickets in the first Test, including bouncing out Trott twice, leading to accusations that England will struggle against the short ball this winter.

Prior, however, does not believe the tourists should change their entire approach to tackle the Queensland-born quick and is confident the batsmen can tackle anything that comes their way.

"The suggestion we are scared of fast bowling is just plain wrong," he said.

"We have played against quick bowlers before and had success against them. Fair play to Mitchell Johnson, he had a good game at the Gabba.

"Sometimes you just have to acknowledge and accept that an opponent has performed. But it was not just one bowler. We lost wickets to the spinner as well, myself twice.

"That shows we cannot just focus on one guy because bowlers such as Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris deserve respect and if we just concentrated on playing Johnson, the others would bite us. We will be very well prepared to face all of them in Adelaide.

"We will have chats together. The batting unit is a team within a team. Bowlers help each other out on and off the pitch. The batting unit is no different."

Online Editors

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