Gearing up for what promises to be a high-voltage tour of India,England wicketkeeper Matt Prior said beating Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men in their own backyard is a bigger task than clinching an away Ashes against Australia.
“Absolutely,may be even bigger,” Prior said when asked whether beating India in India was as big as or bigger than the Ashes.
“The records are there,we hadn’t beaten Australia in Australia for 24 years,the last time we did it. We haven’t beaten India for 27 years,it is going to be a monumental effort,” Prior said.
“But the thing I love about this team is that whenever there have been targets and records to be broken,we have usually stood up to the task and broken those records. Winning in the sub-continent for this team is almost the final frontier. It’s something we haven’t done and we want to do,” he said.
England beat Australia in an away Ashes for the first time in 24 years in 2010-11 season.
England will be in India later this month for a Test,ODI and Twenty20 series which starts with the five-day matches from November 15.
Prior played a key role in getting disgruntled batsman Kevin Pietersen back in the fold after the infamous text messages scandal.
“I’ve seen Kev,we had a good chat or meeting,whatever you want to call it,” Prior said.
Obviously I don’t want to go into too much detail about what went on in the meeting but the important thing about it is KP playing for England will make England a better team. He is a phenomenal player,we all know that,” Prior added.
Prior said the England dressing room is united enough to deal with problems.
“The really important thing is that we are all pulling and moving in the same direction,and whether it be KP,or myself – if one person steps out of line in the other
direction,it’s tough,” he said.
“Our team ethic and team ethos has been the most important thing in our success over the last couple of years and we want to make sure we look after that and make sure we can get it back to where it was,” he added.
Prior said the England team players stepped into resolve the issues with Pietersen only after the explosive batsman expressed his discontent with the dressing room.
“To be honest,all the time it was KP having an issue with the ECB,IPL,etc,but the minute he said he had an issue with the dressing room,it suddenly became the players’ problem,” he said.
“I felt the only thing to do was to say ‘Right,what are your issues?’ Kev will probably admit he did a few things wrong but if one of our senior players is saying he’s
struggling in the dressing room then it would be wrong of us not to look at it and say,’Okay what are we doing that’s making him feel that way?’ So it works a bit both ways.”