England wicket-keeper Matt Prior has taken an immediate break from the national duty due to a set of injuries and will not be part of the remainder of the Test series against India.
Prior’s decision came after England suffered a crushing 95-run defeat at the hands of the visitors.
The wicket-keeper batsman said he tore his quad before the first Test and apart from a hand injury an Achilles problem has forced him to take the decision.
“As it stands now, I’ll miss three Test matches, and then I’ll do my utmost to get fit and ready for the back-end of the winter. It is a huge decision and not one I have taken lightly obviously, because I could have played my last game,” Prior said, announcing his decision.
“I’m not doing justice to myself and more importantly the team and that is what matters first and foremost,” said Prior, who has struggled behind the wickets in this series.
Prior, who will undergo a surgery on his Achilles, said injuries have made it impossible for him to perform well at the Test level but refrained from saying that he would retire.
“I can’t look too far ahead. Right now, I have to look at this series, and more importantly, the game starting on Sunday. I have to be very honest with myself, my teammates, coach and captain. I just don’t believe I was able to perform at the level I expect of myself and the level I want to perform for England, with the injuries I’m carrying at the moment,” he said.
Prior scored 23 and 12 in the 95-run loss in this second Test, but what hurt England most were the catches he dropped in the two Indian innings during this game. He scored just 5 runs in the only innings in the first Test in Nottingham.
It was apparent that Prior was not fully fit as he walked out of Trent Bridge with a sling around on his arm. But he played through that match and was even picked for the second Test, although he had to seek medical attention within the first hour of play on day one.
Even before the series began there was a fitness scare involving the concerned player but he was declared fit on the morning of the first Test.
“Everyone knows I’ve fought injury for most of this summer and up until now, it’s been manageable. I’ve always said that if I’m able to do my job to the level that I want to do it and I’m fit to play, pain management and everything else goes by the side – you’re playing for your country.
“When it starts affecting your movement and you can’t perform to the level that I expect of myself, then it becomes an issue. That’s what has happened, particularly in this game.
As I said, it’s a tough decision, but the right one,” said Prior.
The England squad for the third Test in Southampton, starting July 27, will be announced on Tuesday. Prior’s spot was already under threat and now his place is expected to go to Jos Buttler.