With the first Test just five weeks away, Matt Prior is ready to get nasty as England search for their first series win in Australia since the 1986/87 tour.
Prior believes that the England team are ready to scrap it out if necessary, and insists that “all pleasantries will be saved until the end.”
The wicketkeeper was involved in an incident with Australian captain Ricky Ponting in the fifth Test at the Oval in 2009, whereby Prior caught Ponting flush in the mouth whilst attempting a cover drive.
After asking if Ponting was alright, he received a less than courteous reply from the Aussie skipper, and the incident has left Prior ready to drop all niceties in search of that elusive series victory – England are 2/1 to win the series.
“Ricky is a tough competitor, he’s a player and person I respect hugely,” said Prior.
“That incident was in the heat of battle. He was fielding at silly mid-off, I hit the ball and it smacked him in the mouth.
“I asked if he was all right but he was not too interested and politely told me to carry on batting.”
Along with Jonathan Trott, Prior was England’s best batsman during the victorious summer series with Pakistan and Prior is 16/1 to be England’s top series runscorer.
With an average of 32.62 against Australia, Prior averages just 2.38 runs less than Paul Collingwood but Collingwood is a 7/1 chance to be England’s top series runscorer.
Australia enter the series low in confidence after dropping below England in the ratings, and the Test matches are likely to be tight affairs, meaning Prior has a decent chance of saving some innings if the top order collapse.
The first Test begins on November 25th in Brisbane and England are 2/1 to win. See the full The Ashes betting odds market here.