England in India 2008-09 December 17, 2008

Prior backs 'confident' England to level series

Cricinfo staff

Matt Prior strongly believes England can bounce back © Getty Images

Matt Prior, the England wicketkeeper, has said the side can hit back in the second Test in Mohali despite a "hugely deflating" defeat in Chennai. Prior felt England could take a huge amount from the first Test and turn it into the confidence needed to level the series - much like in 2006, when they won the final Test in Mumbai.

"We had put ourselves in a really good position and when you are going for the win you have the excitement [of knowing] that you can do it," said Prior in Mohali. "When you don't come out on the right side it's almost doubly disappointing. But the games come thick and fast so you dust yourselves down and crack on.

"To get so close was a great effort. Yes, we would have wanted to win obviously but I think we take a huge amount from that last Test match and we come to Mohali very confident as a unit that we can level the series.

"It was very warm and very humid and to play a full five days of intense Test cricket and then to come out the wrong side at the end of it is hugely deflating," he said. "It was a pretty quiet changing room at the end of it, but there were a huge amount of positives to come out of that whole Test match."

Monty Panesar has drawn flak for a poor outing in Chennai - he went wicketless in India's successful chase - but Prior said the left-arm spinner would come back hard. "I think Monty will admit he can probably bowl better, but he was bowling at some fantastic players of spin," said Prior. "Monty is still learning his trade and we have no doubt what a fantastic bowler he is, and we support him wholeheartedly. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he wins those games for England, like he has before."