England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 4th day July 24, 2011

In Tests Matt Prior is the best in the business

Matt Prior has never looked comfortable in coloured clothing but right at this moment, it is doubtful whether there is a better wicketkeeper-batsman in the five-day game
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Some players are forced to settle for the fact that they can't be all things to all forms of the game. Michael Bevan was the best one-day batsman of his generation, but never found a method to combat the short ball in Test cricket; Justin Langer was one of the pillars of Australia's 21st century Invincibles, but played a total of eight ODIs and none in the final decade of his career. Likewise, after another phenomenally composed day of Test batting, Matt Prior is fast confirming his place in this breed of special specialists.

In one-day cricket, Prior's method has never looked comfortable and with the World Cup done and dusted, he may never again get the opportunity in coloured clothing. But right at this moment, with Kumar Sangakkara now a specialist batsman for Sri Lanka, it is doubtful whether there is a better wicketkeeper-batsman in the five-day game. That includes the superhuman MS Dhoni, the hero of the World Cup final, who unstrapped his pads in this game to demonstrate a handy range of prodigious swingers, but who hasn't made a Test century since South Africa were in Kolkata 17 months ago.

Ian Botham, among others, has ventured this same opinion, and with four high-quality centuries in the space of 12 months, Prior has hoisted his Test average to a world-class 45.40. What is more, two of those hundreds - here at Lord's and against Pakistan at Trent Bridge last July - have come in the midst of dramatic top-order meltdowns. On both occasions, England did have a safety net, namely a pair of hefty first-innings leads, but when bowlers of the quality of Umar Gul and Ishant Sharma cut a swathe through your team's defences, it takes some serious gumption to respond with a three-figure salute.

"Getting compliments from guys who have played a pretty huge role in English cricket and watched a fair bit is always nice, but you have to keep working hard," Prior said. "It's a fickle world, and as long as I'm scoring runs and taking catches - or catching more than I drop - and more importantly, as long as I'm part of an England team that's winning, that's what gets me going.

"Of course it inspires you to play against the best in the world, and Dhoni is one of those," he added. "You go into Test series and look at your opposite number and think let's have a better series than that man. That's something I do going into any season. I've had a good start to the series but there's a long way to go yet."

The stakes could not have been higher as Prior joined Eoin Morgan with under four overs to go until the break. At the top of his mark was Ishant, a bowler in the exact same zone that Stuart Broad had located on the third afternoon. His front arm was snagging the clouds as he extended his frame to its limits, his length was full and fuller with an explosive kick off the turf. At 62 for 5, a lead of 250, England knew their revered opponents would be primed to pounce on a fourth-innings target that was anything less than substantial. Failure, quite frankly, was not an option.

"I wasn't really expecting to be batting before lunch, to be perfectly honest," said Prior, after a spell of 3 for 1 in 16 Ishant deliveries had ruined the home crowd's appetite. "I was looking at the menu and thinking, 'I'll have the rack of lamb, that'd be nice', and then there I was taking my guard. Obviously the crowd were noisy, the Indian fielders were really up for it, and Ishant was bowling really well and had hit a good rhythm. So the first thing was to try and build a partnership and settle everything down."

There's a soothing quality to Prior's best performances which can seem at odds with the aggressive intent that he displays at the crease. Few batsmen in the world game, wicketkeepers or otherwise, are better at cashing in on the slightest hint of width, although while Ishant was in the zone, such offerings were few and far between. Instead the only option was to knuckle down and see off the threat, just as he had done in partnership with Kevin Pietersen in the first innings, when Praveen's twin breakthroughs had jolted England's composure at 270 for 5.

It goes without saying that England's revival was abetted by the absence of Zaheer Khan. With Praveen also struggling after a 40-over workload in the first innings, Dhoni felt he had no option but to give Ishant a blow after lunch, though the choice of Suresh Raina was left-field in the extreme. Nevertheless, when Morgan flapped a short ball to midwicket to end a sixth-wicket stand of 45, England's innings was still rocking at 107 for 6, and there was plenty more graft to be done.

"Test wins against quality opposition don't come about very easily, so I felt pretty nervous walking out today," Prior said. "It's still a pretty good wicket and, after playing so well over the first three days, we wanted to make sure we were in a position where we could declare, and go and field with the runs we wanted on the board."

Alongside him was Stuart Broad, whose own performance had echoes of his maiden century on this ground against Pakistan last summer, when he and Jonathan Trott had transformed a scoreline of 102 for 7 with an eighth-wicket stand of 332. However, it wasn't until Dhoni unbuckled his pads once again to signal the end of India's bid for wickets that the boundaries really started to flow. In his first 72 runs, Prior's tempo was propelled by just two boundaries, and yet, he still chivvied along at a remarkable 70% strike-rate, thanks to a devotion to his running between the wickets, and an eye for a gap that has eluded him in the limited-overs game.

Right at this moment, there's no ground in the world where Prior feels more comfortable. Of his six Test centuries, three have now come at Lord's - the venue where, in 2007, he scored a brilliant 126 not out on debut against West Indies. "What's not to love about it?" he said. "Flat deck, quick outfield, and the sun always shines when I come out to bat."

Nevertheless, that summer of 2007 did not continue quite so swimmingly. India were the second team to arrive in town, and by the end of a challenging series defeat, Prior's stock had plummeted thanks to a glut of conspiring circumstances. A rash of dropped catches undermined the value of his runs and led eventually to his axing in the winter. But the nadir came in the second Test at Trent Bridge, where he became the unwitting focus of the infamous jelly bean saga - partly because he had been caught on the stump mic making chippy comments in the field, but largely because it was his misfortune to be put before the press on that infamous evening, moments before Zaheer, quite literally, spilled the beans on his team-mates' childish antics in the field.

"For me it's a huge series, for those reasons as much as anything," Prior admitted. "I've been through some challenging times as anyone who has played any amount of international sport has done. But it's not whether you go through those challenging times, it's how you come out of them. You learn about yourself, how you can improve and how you can conquer the demons. That's been one of my bigger challenges, and to turn it around is very pleasing. But we've still got a long way to go in this series. It's a huge day tomorrow."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JawadSyed on July 25, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    As Tendulkar strives for his 100th century, I have taken the time to look at some of the great records that Tendulkar has under his belt. You may have a look at Sachin Tendulkar's great records @ cricblogger.wordpress.com

  • ygkd on July 25, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    Have to totally agree with comments by Inxia that Prior is a bat-wk, not the otherway around. I mean surely no-one would compare him favourably with Les Ames for example, who apparently could keep to international standard. Most so-called international standard keepers these days are nothing of the sort. Jayawardene and Rahim are two exceptions, but then SL and Banglad. rely on spinners a lot so can't cut corners the way others seem keen to do. Maybe more spin-friendly tracks are the answer to the wasting away of a fine tradition - oh, hang on a minute, most spinners today don't spin it anway.

  • on July 25, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    i think matt prior's knock last night was rock solid! you could see the frustration on india's face every ball he faced and every stroke he placed. indian were looking like bringing themselves into contention in this game and then with prior and broad; they lost that hard gained momentum. whilst i think matt prior's record is positive particularly recently i think that brad haddin has to be considered in the same league; one of the stand outs in a deteriorating australian side!

  • rahulcricindia on July 25, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    Gilchrist is by far the best wicketkeeper batsman ever seen by the cricket..no arguments what so ever....................

  • chilled_avenger on July 25, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    I still don't know why all the people are comparing Matt Prior,The Keeper with Kumar Sangakkara,The Batsman! Its worth mentioning that in the 48 tests Sangakkara actually played as a keeper he averaged 40.48 which is quite lower as compared to Prior's 45.40!Plus,Prior's strike rate of 66.19 is substantially higher than Sanga's 52.05 in those teats! Sangakkara scored 3117 runs with 7 centuries in 48 tests as WK,while Prior has scored 2452 with 5 hundreds in 44,so Prior is not exactly that far behind Sanga in this regard! So tell me one thing my friends,how is Sangakkara much better as WK-Batsman than Prior??

  • rahulcricindia on July 25, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    @dutta.neil he is not test wicket keeper...read carefully before you write..

  • on July 25, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    @dutta.neil If you read the article you would see he is mentioned - but he is no longer a wicket keeper batsman in tests. Just a batsman.

  • boris6491 on July 25, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    Either people are unfairly comparing Prior to the greats of the previous era or putting him down in some way or the other. How does he deserve it? All credit has to go to the guy who, perhaps 4 odd years ago was viewed upon as a stop gap replacement and a very poor quality wicketkeeper. He has returned to county cricket and come back a much more solid wicketkeeper, a big contrast to the very scratchy MS Dhoni, as well as a consistent batsman. Wicketkeeper batters in test cricket currently are not fantastic, and I am not sitting here and professing that Prior is absolutely incredible, but he has been a safe and reliable option who has continually surpassed expectations. Surely he deserves accolades, not criticism.

  • on July 25, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Some of you need to learn to read. The article isn't claiming that Prior is the best ever, it is saying that, at the moment, in tests, there is no one better. Last time I checked, Gilchrist had retired and Sangakarra is just playing as a batsmen.

    Yesterday was a great knock by Prior. When things were looking a bit shaky, he came in and has hopefully taken the game away from India.

  • on July 25, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    Matt is a good attacking batsman and a good wicket keeper. Sanga is the best currently. MSD comes next, but if i need to pick the best wicket keeper, i pick MSD mainly because of his leadership skills.

  • JawadSyed on July 25, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    As Tendulkar strives for his 100th century, I have taken the time to look at some of the great records that Tendulkar has under his belt. You may have a look at Sachin Tendulkar's great records @ cricblogger.wordpress.com

  • ygkd on July 25, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    Have to totally agree with comments by Inxia that Prior is a bat-wk, not the otherway around. I mean surely no-one would compare him favourably with Les Ames for example, who apparently could keep to international standard. Most so-called international standard keepers these days are nothing of the sort. Jayawardene and Rahim are two exceptions, but then SL and Banglad. rely on spinners a lot so can't cut corners the way others seem keen to do. Maybe more spin-friendly tracks are the answer to the wasting away of a fine tradition - oh, hang on a minute, most spinners today don't spin it anway.

  • on July 25, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    i think matt prior's knock last night was rock solid! you could see the frustration on india's face every ball he faced and every stroke he placed. indian were looking like bringing themselves into contention in this game and then with prior and broad; they lost that hard gained momentum. whilst i think matt prior's record is positive particularly recently i think that brad haddin has to be considered in the same league; one of the stand outs in a deteriorating australian side!

  • rahulcricindia on July 25, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    Gilchrist is by far the best wicketkeeper batsman ever seen by the cricket..no arguments what so ever....................

  • chilled_avenger on July 25, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    I still don't know why all the people are comparing Matt Prior,The Keeper with Kumar Sangakkara,The Batsman! Its worth mentioning that in the 48 tests Sangakkara actually played as a keeper he averaged 40.48 which is quite lower as compared to Prior's 45.40!Plus,Prior's strike rate of 66.19 is substantially higher than Sanga's 52.05 in those teats! Sangakkara scored 3117 runs with 7 centuries in 48 tests as WK,while Prior has scored 2452 with 5 hundreds in 44,so Prior is not exactly that far behind Sanga in this regard! So tell me one thing my friends,how is Sangakkara much better as WK-Batsman than Prior??

  • rahulcricindia on July 25, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    @dutta.neil he is not test wicket keeper...read carefully before you write..

  • on July 25, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    @dutta.neil If you read the article you would see he is mentioned - but he is no longer a wicket keeper batsman in tests. Just a batsman.

  • boris6491 on July 25, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    Either people are unfairly comparing Prior to the greats of the previous era or putting him down in some way or the other. How does he deserve it? All credit has to go to the guy who, perhaps 4 odd years ago was viewed upon as a stop gap replacement and a very poor quality wicketkeeper. He has returned to county cricket and come back a much more solid wicketkeeper, a big contrast to the very scratchy MS Dhoni, as well as a consistent batsman. Wicketkeeper batters in test cricket currently are not fantastic, and I am not sitting here and professing that Prior is absolutely incredible, but he has been a safe and reliable option who has continually surpassed expectations. Surely he deserves accolades, not criticism.

  • on July 25, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Some of you need to learn to read. The article isn't claiming that Prior is the best ever, it is saying that, at the moment, in tests, there is no one better. Last time I checked, Gilchrist had retired and Sangakarra is just playing as a batsmen.

    Yesterday was a great knock by Prior. When things were looking a bit shaky, he came in and has hopefully taken the game away from India.

  • on July 25, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    Matt is a good attacking batsman and a good wicket keeper. Sanga is the best currently. MSD comes next, but if i need to pick the best wicket keeper, i pick MSD mainly because of his leadership skills.

  • tomhedley on July 25, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    @Mervo, that's because we had most of the world as our Empire!

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on July 25, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    People seem to be getting carried away. The article only suggests he might be the best wk/batsman at the moment, but some people are extrapolating from that to suggest he is the best ever. Another thing - being the best batsman out of all the wicketkeepers is NOT the same thing as being the best keeper/batsman - just as the best batsman out of a crop of allrounders is not necessarily the best allrounder. Prior is doing well and his record is second to none out of the current crop but he has a long way to go before he can be talked of in the same breath as the wicketkeeping legends of the game - Evans, Lindsay, Knott, Dujon, Marsh, Gilchrist to name a few.

  • pavan31 on July 25, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    I have seen some outstanding performance from Prior in tests over the past couple of years but I'm surprised that he is not able to continue the same form in ODIs considering he scores his runs in tests at a good strike rate. I don't think we should debate comparing the batting the stills of various wicket-keepers across the world as each individual has a different role to perform for their own teams. For example, Sanga's role in his team is to play stay at the crease for as long as possible whereas McCullum's role is to score some quick runs for the team. But what Gilchrist made other countries realize is that, even a wicket-keeper should be able to win matches for the team on his day.

  • No_Excuses on July 25, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    Flower was a great keeper batsman as his record indicates. However he would never take the game away from the opposition in a session (or in 58 balls) as Gilchrist would and more latterly as Prior can. Marks, rightly or wrongly, are awarded for style (read run rate). No consideration of course is given to the supporting cast. If Gilchrist didn't fire when the team needed it chances are Warne and McGrath would fix the mess with the ball. Although none of the English bowlers are likely to be all time greats they are probably the best attack in world cricket right now. Flower on the other hand had limited support which in some regards makes his achievements even better.

  • dutta.neil on July 25, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    2 words should end this discussion: KUMAR SANGAKARRA

  • on July 25, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    Matt Prior is not an exceptional wicket keeper when compared to Andy Flower, Adam Gilchrist, Ian Healy and Mark Boucher, he is doing well recently, had horrible time in the past. As a wicket keeper batman, he never comes near to Andy Flower, Sangakara and Adam Gilchrist. He has 5 centuries on his name, but most of them came in England, More over I cant recall even a single test match where he batted under real pressure to save a match or to put a fighting total. Andy Flower, Sangakara and Adam Gilchrist has done that over and over in different conditions, So I have to rule out Matt as the best wicket keeper batsman, but he doing well at this moment.

  • SudharsanVM on July 25, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    May be sanga doesn't keep wickets nowadays, so the author takes him out of the equation. Sanga has been there around a decade and has been so consistent. If the word 'wicketkeeper batsman' is discussed. the quality of the keeper also has to be chosen. Sanga has kept wickets in subcontinent turning tracks for murali, mendis and herath all of whom have been different in their own ways. He is a very good batsman too. Whereas Prior doesn't have played much in subcontinent and yet to prove against spinners in subcontinent both as a keeper and as a batsman. He is in good form now and it doesn't mean that he is the best. Sanga is a class act. Form is temporary and class is permanent. Its too early to cal prior as best in business.

  • Wacco on July 25, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    Dhoni's has become more of a goal keeper than WK. His thinking is probably effected because of this. He probably lost an outside chance by not bringing back Ishant immediately after lunch or may be he knew better than all.

  • BigDataIsAHoax on July 25, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Best wicket-keeper batsman ever was Adam Gilchrist. Hands Down. There is no argument good enough against that. Remember how Gilli bashed the POMs in that 5-0 whitewash!! HAHAHAHA. Ridiculous man!! All Freddie could do was look up into the sky. The ball was always in the orbit that series.

  • on July 25, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Can anyone mail this column to Mr.Dhoni.I dont find any better day for him to prove his batting critics are wrong... - A Day where he needs to make use of his utmost potential and bring his batting mind game proven.. All the best:)

  • Mervo on July 25, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    45 % of the English team are not born in England but recruits Prior included. Seems a shame and reflects badly.

  • on July 25, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Without taking anything away from the effort of Prior, I must say that the Indian effort of allowing England from 5 down for nothing to a lead as substantial as 450+ is very very similar to what we are used to over the years. Champion teams do not take the foot off the throat once they have the opposition on the mat. It was poor from India, and they seriously need to look at the utility Harbhajan Singh is providing to this side. Surely, India cannot play with just one or one and a half bowlers and expect to win test matches!

  • Gupta.Ankur on July 25, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Prior is neither the best keeper and neither is he the best wk-batsmen........One century at lords doesn't guarantee that....

  • on July 25, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    I'd be overjoyed if Dhoni performs as a wicket keeper alone. He cant bring himself to dive for half-chances and expects first slip to cover for him. Prior's batting has been very impressive recently and he's more dependable than Dhoni.

  • on July 25, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    Hats off to the man for the way he went about his business at the crease yesterday after all the pressure he has been under in the past couple of months. I was lucky to see this happen and I am sure this would have put a lot of confidence back into him, his capt, coach and the selectors to have him as the main stay of the test team, and why shouldn't he be with the best average of keepers in english test cricket so far...

  • on July 25, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    best keeper batsman ever, and this is beyond dispute, was Andy Flower. Towers above the rest statistically and in a weak team. I'd have in a world all time XI any day. Prior is the best of the current breed (Sanga's average leapt up AFTER he took off the gloves...)

  • chandau on July 25, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    ditto INXIA: One more point; PJ kept to the best spinner ever by far and made it thru! Of the current lot me thinks the little guy in Bangladesh team - Mushfiqur is also a good WK. It seems the world over keepers are under pressure to make runs and concentrate on their batting so much that they forget to practice wicket keeping. Also there is a dearth of quality spinners now, so upclose they are not so good anymore. the era of great keepers ended in the last century i suppose; the likes of Mahesh Gunatillake who sadly played little test cricket and the Indian who lost an eye were really good. Even pakistan had Latiff :)

  • on July 25, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Both teams are similar but at the end of the series the difference in performances of the 2 wicketkeepers may prove to be vital.already in this match we have seen that prior is much better as a batsman.dhoni also kept wickets poorly in this match.he needs to pull his socks up.

  • on July 25, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    For those saying Sanga Sanga, when was the last time Sanga kept wickets in tests? He is not keeping wickets in the 5 day game anymore, that makes Prior the best wicket keeper batsman.

  • on July 25, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    I dont know why ppl dont remember that Mark boucher has still not retired

  • SachinLara1 on July 25, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    kumar sangakara doesn't keep wickets in test matches. he is a specialist batsman not a keeper in test matches..so prior could be the best in tests.

  • on July 25, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    @ Hanuma.... Sangakkara also dont keep wickets in tests... When he is keeping wickets, he only average 40 and for last 5 years, he hasnt kept wickets in tests... same as AB de villiers... So only prior is the best among the lot... on footsteps of my another favt,... Adam gilchrist

  • sandson on July 25, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    What value at number 7.. Prior practically gets down to scoring..is never hampered by the situation.. His performances are shining brighter than the light that bounces off his head..What value at number 7.. Prior practically gets down to scoring..is never hampered by the situation.. His performances are shining brighter than the light that bounces off his head..

  • dilanz51 on July 25, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    sanga must be the best wicketkeeper bastman of all time. I would rate him higher than gilchrist.

  • analyseabhishek on July 25, 2011, 3:38 GMT

    Prior averages 6 test runs more than Dhoni- that should settle the debate. Having said that, Dhoni has always been a limited over player and played some tests mainly on the virtue of being the captain. Afterwards, he has worked hard but perhaps keeping, batting, leading (and occasionally bowling!) for the international team in all 3 formats (plus that jamboree called IPL) would take its toll. In this match, if England wins, he would probably have the strongest case for the MoM award- slightly ahead of KP and Broad.

  • on July 25, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    England should be winning this match, I am enjoying this. So, called number 1 Test team can't even take 10 wickets.

  • crazytaurean on July 25, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    Prior in my view is very much in the Gilchrist mould. His success in the limited version of the game has been unimpressive though and can be improved if given an extended run. He is only 29. England dont need to think beyond him as long as he tonks the ball a long way. In tests, he has been one of the reasons why England have been a tough side to get out cheaply. More consistently now, Prior has scored when the top guns have not. Prior has once again changed the flavor of the game and the W-Champs are facing the heat. Champion batsman he is and courageous too !!

  • on July 25, 2011, 3:10 GMT

    by far kumar sangakkara is the best-wicket keeper batsman..he is way above..next man who come close is AB Develliers but he doesn't keep often...mark boucher is stll good at this age...MSD does not have neither technique nor class of sangakkara....he is good only in t20 and 50-50...

  • Rahulbose on July 25, 2011, 3:10 GMT

    I won't write him off in ODIs just yet. He has the game to come big in that format.

  • inxia on July 25, 2011, 1:54 GMT

    Matt Prior is not a wicketkeeper-batsman; he is a batsman-wicketkeeper. Most teams have one these days and, as a result, keeping wicket is seen as the one skill in cricket that has actually declined in the last 30 years. I agree that Prior probably is the most valuable batsman-keeper in Test cricket at the moment. He is certainly ahead of Haddin, Dhoni and whoever Pakistan throw up this week. However, if I was picking a World Test XI, I would pick Prasanna Jayawardene because he is the best current keeper in Test cricket and his batting is good enough to hold its place even though it's not as dynamic as Prior's.

  • Angad11 on July 25, 2011, 1:26 GMT

    MS needs to contribute more often as a batsman. He is unorthodox but should not give away his wicket so easily. Specialy in WI, i think he lacked any serious intent in contributing as a batsman.

  • on July 25, 2011, 0:34 GMT

    in my opinion Kumar Sangakar is the best wicketkeeper batsmen in the game at present, but prior was very impressive today, he showed a lot of courage and class. im sure he won't forget this 100, im sure i won't..........

  • lefty84 on July 24, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    Wonderful knock by Prior today. He showed great application initially in seeing off the Ishant spell and played with great freedom to seize the initiative back for England.

    His offside game is a treat to watch and his attitude to take the attack to opposition is providing great returns for England team.

    He always had batting talent but he has tremendously improved his work behind the stumps which often goes unnoticed. Keep going Prior.

  • on July 24, 2011, 23:12 GMT

    I held Prior as best in the business right during the Ashes. It is pretty demoralising for a team when you have worked extremely hard to get 5 quality top-order English batsmen out and if they have scored around 400 by then like in the Ashes, this dynamite guy comes around and smashes you all around the park. Really hurts the bowlers. And then days like these when the top order's gone for less than 100, he can still stand up. I am personally a fan of his classical batting stance, cover & square drives and his pull. He is good enough to make a cut as a batsman alone! His glovework may not be the best but keeping in test cricket is tough enough!

  • Finn92 on July 24, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    He's going to be remembered as one of the great English keepers. Has to be one of the first names on the teamsheet for Tests every time. Great player and ong may his form continue

  • Alexk400 on July 24, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Prior saved england. England could have lost this game if prior did n't score runs.

  • ygkd on July 24, 2011, 22:17 GMT

    Prior's keeping skills still make me cringe, but to be fair they appear superior to those of his opposite number in the Indian camp, as does his batting. His bowling might be too....

  • on July 24, 2011, 21:31 GMT

    brilliant innnings by prior took the game away from us completely.I can't figure out why he is so rubbish in one day cricket.

  • Vilander on July 24, 2011, 21:29 GMT

    Prior is a better test batsman than Dhoni definitly that makes him the best wk batsman in the world.

  • ArshSK on July 24, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    Kumar Sangakar any day is more complete batsman & he score everywhere not just at home grounds.

  • demon_bowler on July 24, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    Matt Prior is worth his weight in gold, bless his shiny bold pate and crooked, somewhat gruesome grin. It's not just the runs or the rate at which he scores them; his real value is that he is the most unselfish of cricketers. Prior bats for his team first, for his batting partner second, and for himself third. In the first innings he took the heat off KP when the latter was finding the going tough. In the second, he first rebuilt England's shattered innings, and having done so, then rammed home the advantage. When in sight of his century, he kept swinging away, putting the side's total before his own. He long ago settled the argument of who should keep for England, and as a batsman-wicketkeeper, he is probably better now even than Alec Stewart (most of whose best innings for England were without the gloves). Only Gilchrist in recent times has been more valuable. When India were here four years ago, Prior was a laughing stock and an embarrassment. Today he is the team's heartbeat.

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  • demon_bowler on July 24, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    Matt Prior is worth his weight in gold, bless his shiny bold pate and crooked, somewhat gruesome grin. It's not just the runs or the rate at which he scores them; his real value is that he is the most unselfish of cricketers. Prior bats for his team first, for his batting partner second, and for himself third. In the first innings he took the heat off KP when the latter was finding the going tough. In the second, he first rebuilt England's shattered innings, and having done so, then rammed home the advantage. When in sight of his century, he kept swinging away, putting the side's total before his own. He long ago settled the argument of who should keep for England, and as a batsman-wicketkeeper, he is probably better now even than Alec Stewart (most of whose best innings for England were without the gloves). Only Gilchrist in recent times has been more valuable. When India were here four years ago, Prior was a laughing stock and an embarrassment. Today he is the team's heartbeat.

  • ArshSK on July 24, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    Kumar Sangakar any day is more complete batsman & he score everywhere not just at home grounds.

  • Vilander on July 24, 2011, 21:29 GMT

    Prior is a better test batsman than Dhoni definitly that makes him the best wk batsman in the world.

  • on July 24, 2011, 21:31 GMT

    brilliant innnings by prior took the game away from us completely.I can't figure out why he is so rubbish in one day cricket.

  • ygkd on July 24, 2011, 22:17 GMT

    Prior's keeping skills still make me cringe, but to be fair they appear superior to those of his opposite number in the Indian camp, as does his batting. His bowling might be too....

  • Alexk400 on July 24, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Prior saved england. England could have lost this game if prior did n't score runs.

  • Finn92 on July 24, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    He's going to be remembered as one of the great English keepers. Has to be one of the first names on the teamsheet for Tests every time. Great player and ong may his form continue

  • on July 24, 2011, 23:12 GMT

    I held Prior as best in the business right during the Ashes. It is pretty demoralising for a team when you have worked extremely hard to get 5 quality top-order English batsmen out and if they have scored around 400 by then like in the Ashes, this dynamite guy comes around and smashes you all around the park. Really hurts the bowlers. And then days like these when the top order's gone for less than 100, he can still stand up. I am personally a fan of his classical batting stance, cover & square drives and his pull. He is good enough to make a cut as a batsman alone! His glovework may not be the best but keeping in test cricket is tough enough!

  • lefty84 on July 24, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    Wonderful knock by Prior today. He showed great application initially in seeing off the Ishant spell and played with great freedom to seize the initiative back for England.

    His offside game is a treat to watch and his attitude to take the attack to opposition is providing great returns for England team.

    He always had batting talent but he has tremendously improved his work behind the stumps which often goes unnoticed. Keep going Prior.

  • on July 25, 2011, 0:34 GMT

    in my opinion Kumar Sangakar is the best wicketkeeper batsmen in the game at present, but prior was very impressive today, he showed a lot of courage and class. im sure he won't forget this 100, im sure i won't..........