Man of the moment Matt Prior can take strong form into summer

Having already kept New Zealand at bay this year, Matt Prior will be focusing on helping England to a victory over the tourists when the first Test of the reverse series starts at Lord’s on Thursday.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Prior’s superb 110 not out saved both the match and the series against the Kiwis at Auckland in March, and went a long way towards establishing the Sussex man as his country’s Cricketer of the Year – an accolade which was confirmed on Monday night at a celebratory dinner in the famous Long Room at The Home of Cricket.

Prior saw off competition from his captain Alastair Cook and last year’s winner James Anderson to claim the award as voted for by members of England’s cricketing media, becoming the first wicketkeeper to win it as he did so.

Now eyeing the New Zealand Tests, the 65-times capped Prior is generously priced at 9/1 to repeat his form from earlier in the year and end a second successive series as England’s top runscorer.

Prior is the same price to top score in England’s first innings of the first Test at Lord’s, and with Ladbrokes offering money back on losing match bets should it be captain Cook who navigates his way to the top score in England’s first innings, then a punt on the hosts’ Mr. Dependable looks enticing.

However, with his exemplary wicketkeeping to also take into consideration, those backing Prior to impress at St. John’s Wood would perhaps be better directed towards the 20/1 on offer for him to win the man of the match award.

Surely the finest wicketkeeper-batsman in world cricket at the moment, England’s current leading man will have his eye on prolonging an already successful week when he enters Lord’s again on Thursday.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing