Pakistan v England 2011-12

Defeat a 'good slap in the face' - Prior

George Dobell

January 22, 2012

Comments: 103 | Text size: A | A

Matt Prior pulls a short ball behind square, Pakistan v England, 1st Test, Dubai, 1st day, January 17, 2012
Matt Prior: "You don't become a bad team over night. We've had one bad performance. But look at the stats" © Getty Images

Matt Prior, the England wicketkeeper, has described defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the first Test in Dubai as "a good slap in the face", as England arrived in Abu Dhabi adamant that they can recover to square the series.

Prior, one of the few England batsmen to enjoy a decent game in Dubai, admitted that their pride had taken a serious dent, but said that England's fine record over the last couple of years should not be annulled after one poor game and that confidence remains high.

"It's never nice to lose, but to lose in that fashion is even worse," Prior said. "We're a proud team. We're used to walking off the pitch having inflicted the sort of defeat Pakistan inflicted upon us, so it was a very bitter pill to swallow. No-one in this team enjoyed it one little bit.

"It's taken a few days to get over it, but now there is a steely determination that it will not happen again. This performance has given us a real good slap in the face.

"You don't become a bad team over night. We've had one bad performance. But look at the stats. Look at the performances our guys have put in over recent years. We're still a very good batting unit. We've had two bad innings, granted, but all the guys have taken that on the chin and accepted that we have to improve. We have to get better. I'll back this team and this batting unit to come back strong."

Echoing the thoughts of his coach, Andy Flower, Prior suggested that England may have come in to the match a little underprepared, having not played a Test since August.

"You can spend as much time in the gym and as much time in the nets or on the training ground as you want," Prior said. "But until you're out in the middle, you don't get that ring-ready feeling. Getting used to little things takes time: the nerves; travelling into the ground; switching on and off again when batting. Having that two or three month break was invaluable. It was necessary. But obviously it is then tough to come back in and be ready."

Prior fielded what have become the obligatory questions about Saeed Ajmal's bowling action, and reiterated the view that the England players were not allowing such issues to distract them.

"It would be easy for players to make excuses after we've performed badly," he said. "But we can't get caught up in what is going on off the pitch. It has nothing to do with the players. The ICC has systems in place. We shouldn't worry about things we don't have to worry about.

"The wicket wasn't one of the reasons we lost, either. I thought it was a brilliant cricket wicket. You expect to come over here and find very flat pitches with very little in them for the bowlers. But the seamers had a bit of bounce and a bit of movement, there was a bit of spin and, and if you batted well and played good shots, you earned value for your runs."

The second Test starts in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Prior agreed that England's priority was an improvement in the way they played Ajmal's spin bowling.

"The obvious thing we need to think about is how we play spin and how we play Saeed Ajmal," he said. "But it's important we don't get caught up with just one bloke. Umar Gul came in and took wickets in the second innings, so we just need to improve our general game really.

"We tend to come back strong after these sorts of losses. We've had that bad one now - it's out of the way - now we're going to come back strong. We're behind the eight-ball now and we know we have to play good enough cricket to force results in last two matches."

The England squad - now with the wives and girlfriends in tow - and the Pakistan squad both travelled to Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Although they stayed at the same hotel in Dubai, there has been little fraternisation between the sides. If there may be little warmth, however, there is certainly respect. England know they are embroiled in a tough series against a strong side. By going 1-0 down in a three-match series, they have made life desperately hard for themselves.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Dardemund on (January 24, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

Team Pakistan !! Take the next game more strong and show some classics in batting and fielding departments now and win the Series. Our prayers are with You. UFA Dar

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 24, 2012, 13:29 GMT)

seriously prior is a joke, he represents the united XI well. did he just say england are used to walking off the pitch having won? hahahaha ummmmmmmmmm......

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

it will be a tough battle in the next game n pak should play eith good run rate n england should play with 5 specialist bowlers with eoin morgan sitting on benches n panesar coming in workload btwn bowlers will b distributed easily then

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

The big question now is...Is England ready to turn the other cheek? I predict 2-0 in favour of Pakistan.

Posted by KarachiKid on (January 24, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

I predict that in second match, Ajmal would not be as much a threat. If Pakistan are to bowl England out twice in Abu Dhabi, it would be through Junaid Khan and workman like support from Abdur Rehman. Gul and Ajmal would be getting a few wickets only !!! Secondly though I generally think Umar Akmal is not ready for test cricket, if he gets a chance, he will score a big hundred. Just predictions !!!

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 2:30 GMT)

The fact that England side is not making excuses regarding bowling action etc is very encouraging. Win or lose dignity is the key. Who knows how the rest of the matches will go!!!

Posted by yorkshirematt on (January 24, 2012, 1:02 GMT)

@Farhan Fani You do suprise me. Not. We seem to be public enemy number one at the moment just because we've won a few games of cricket. I really hope England turn it round to shut the lot of you up.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (January 24, 2012, 0:58 GMT)

what i don't understand is why there is bad blood between teams? yeah there was the spot fixing issue, but anyone noticed the 3 involved are dealt with and out of the way for some time now?? many of these players didn't even play in that series and that includes the captain! we have on record that mazhar majeed said ajmal is one hard to get on his book which shows ajmal was always and is clean. wahab was never charged by ICC or anyone ... i'm not saying start hugging each other but show that good spirit off the field so cricket flourishes.

Posted by CharlesCrasto on (January 23, 2012, 20:08 GMT)

Pakistan better watch out. England look determined to give them a run for their money. All round a great cricket match on the cards. GO Pakistan GO!!! GO England GO!!!

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

dont say only a slap get ready you will shock more and more in the future.excelant work superb job done by pakistan.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

I am from India but i am supporting Pakistan in this series :D

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

i want another slap on the otherside of the face....

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

I am surprised to see people saying Pakistan Batting line is fragile.Did they not watch that opening partnership between Hafeez and Taufeeq ,Misbah's resilience and Akmal slapping Tremlett through the covers.And there is still plenty to come in the shape of Younus and Azhar Ali.No matter how much the Pakistani batting line is fragile they will score more than England Batsmen, at least in Middle East that's for sure.South Africa could not win a single test against Pakistan in this region 1 and a half year ago how can England do it now when Pakistan team is much stronger and eager to win. And I am dead sure Hafeez is going to score a lot of runs in the upcoming 2 test matches.They simply want to take the revenge that's it.

Posted by shahbazsiddiqui on (January 23, 2012, 14:28 GMT)


Posted by ishtiaque786 on (January 23, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

looking forward to next test match. I hope British team find their form back, so we can see thrilling match of cricket. Best of luck for both of teams, and stop criticize British team they are good side, as far as Pakistan concerned they are unpredictable side so don't have your hope high from Pakistan. By the way iam Pakistani cricket team fan. Best of luck both teams.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

There were two England teams playing in Dubai. Their bowlers put it a fantastic shift to bowl out Pakisatn in the first innings. Pak knew and played the conditions and the pitch well and dug in and made their wickets dear. Eng had to winkle each one out with hard graft, without the benefit of extra spinners, in conditions that did not play to their strengths. The other half of the England team was made up of some of the doziest batters we've seen for a long time, playing across the line against a master spinner after they'd just seen their mate get out doing the same.

It's not about Ajmal. That's a lame excuse. It's about concentration and survival and seeing off high quality bowling to earn the right to score runs. England have done this before and are quite capable of doing it again. Pakistan know that and have to try and put a lid on England, nail it down, and sit on it for good measure.

Posted by Phillisco on (January 23, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

@ Prash Ganen - "once you loose pride you become a better player...better person...pride leads to arrogance" I couldn't agree with you less. Pride in representing your country, in ensuring you give your upmost for your flag should motivate ones self to perform to the absolute maximum of your ability. If you take no pride in what you do then you may as well not do it. Quite how pride leads to arrogance i do not know.

Posted by S_Mroke on (January 23, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

will I am sorry Mr Prior ...but it looks like you gonna get another slap in the face .....I predict Englands fall from test status no 1 to be a mirror image of indias....fact is they simply cant play spin ...!

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

Reagrdless of the outcome, Cricket will surely win. We want heated contest for the best of this sport. Whatever goes on off the pitch is part and parcel of the tour. Both sides are almost at their peak, paksitan has someway to go though. We jsut hope it will not be a one-sided game.

Posted by keptalittlelow on (January 23, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

Hats off to Mat Prior for being such an honest sportsman. I am a Pakistan fan but I always supported England as my other team. I must admit I am very disappointed with the way English media has behaved again, alongside with English coach Andy Flower, disgraceful is the word. I pray some other Pakistan bowler makes English batting bite the dust in Abu Dhabi, and see what would they find wrong with his bowling action.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 23, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

@Prash Ganen on (January 22 2012, 18:08 PM GMT) - think you're getting the words "pride" and "ego" mixed up.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 23, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

@ Deepanjan Datta on (January 22 2012, 18:53 PM GMT) - Australia were obviously a better all round side as you put it they excelled in all formats whereas England have at times been woeful in OD cricket. However , If you go through the stats in test cricket alone from when Eng last lost in test cricket in early 2009 through to now , work out the win percentage if you like and compare it to the Aus record from any period. You might be quite surprised. Even if you gave Pak and SL series wins win and work out the stats? Also if you look at the Aus stats they lost a number of test series in the SC (mostly in India) from 95-2001 , most were by small margins - same as England - and yet we get called pathetic and Aus all time greats. I agree we have a way to go in terms of longevity and I doubt we'll get near those great sides in that respect but in terms of so far our stats in tests since we last lost 3 years ago compare well to that Australia side

Posted by zoot on (January 23, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

England are talking the talk but their bowlers didn't look very effective in the last game. Panesar should be a nailed on choice for the second test. Do England really need NINE batsmen ?!?!

Posted by JG2704 on (January 23, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

@Baiju Joseph on (January 22 2012, 18:58 PM GMT) - People probably forget about the Australian result because of what's happening now in Australia. The England 5-0 whitewash was bad for England , but it was in a format which England are very inconsistent at whether it's on a slow spinners track or a pacy track - although I admit that their last test vs Pak will give critics ammunition that they can't play on such tracks.. When Eng won the Ashes in AUS last year , the following OD series vs Aus in the same conditions they were thrashed. From what I read of Gambhir he was booing about conditions etc , trying to deflect from the situation that their batsmen have been awful in Eng and Aus. You say "with the emergence of hit-the-deck type bowlers for whom only speed matters" I disagree. These guys still have to bowl well. It's like saying Indian or Sri Lankan bowlers don't have to spin the ball on spinning pitches. Still , quite an amusing post

Posted by JG2704 on (January 23, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

@ Prince Dhumph on (January 22 2012, 15:36 PM GMT)The ICC ranking system is good as far as Im concerned.Your man Younis is up to 4 in the test rankings above all English batsmen who drop down and Ajmal is up to number 3 in the bowling rankings now above Swann + Broad.You also have ranked the best 2 bowlers in OD cricket acc to the ICC so maybe they're not so bad after all?As for team rankings Re team rankings if you go back to when England started their unbeaten run in 2009 Pak lost 2-0 to SL and 3-0 to Australia and since that time they drew with NZ (h)SA(h)WI(a) and ONLY 2010/11 have they started beating sides again.They maybe the hottest side right now but rankings are based on a rolling league table if you like and all the sides above Pak performed better than Pak in 2009 and 10 so this year they're still catching up because of their poor/indifferent form from the past few years. Hope this makes sense.How do you equate that Eng love making controversies? - silly comment

Posted by anindya_mozumdar on (January 23, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

This is the attitude crickets should, and probably a reason why England is the No.1 team. Compare this to Gambhir. Even though all subcontinent fans have concluded that Pakistan will win the series, let's see whether the world's most unpredictable team can keep up the tempo. By the way, I am an Indian who supports Australia and generally do not like England.

Posted by Khan1983 on (January 23, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

As the test is drawing nearer, the English media's fear of Ajmal is compounding more than probably the English team themselves.whereas they might think this may stifle Ajmal, I think this only tells the Brits batsmen that they are just not good enough to pick him.Fearing another capitulation will spell an end to the fairy tale that they have spun around this average English team,they are finding excuses even before a ball is even bowled.I only wish Junaid is included as I can see him ransacking this line-up quicker than Ajmal.and those of who knows me here,would know all my predictions have been true so far ;)

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Far too many people wittering on about the number 1 ranking as if it requires a side to emulate the great Windies or Aussie sides. Well funnily enough it doesn't. It requires you to have amassed the most ranking points in the recent past, the highest agerage points per game based on the opposition played and the result.

We will see a marked improvement in England's batting this game, mark my words.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

Good Article Unlike Englishness were they always ovehyping the points favouring the oppossition for their Crushing defeats in the past

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

"[Defeat a 'good slap in the face' - [Prior]"

"Prepare 'rank turners' for visiting teams - [Gambhir]"

Almost same situations but different reactions. this shows the character and heart! :)

Posted by FawadDurrani on (January 23, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

I wanna see Monty as a spin option for the next match :)

Posted by Chuck_Nunchuck on (January 23, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

Couple of more coming your way Mr Prior and Co. It is going to be a hard and long subcontinent tour. Cheers

Posted by anver777 on (January 23, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

I have a strong feeling that Eng will surely play better cricket in the next match..... like to see the series to be 1/1 & go for the decider !!!!!!!

Posted by satish619chandar on (January 23, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

@5wombats : Lol.. Even Indian fans used to say the same before.. Now its different.. You shd be happy the match is in Road in Abu Dhabi.. Good luck for draw mate..

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

if england was world class why did they lose in india 5-0...

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 3:06 GMT)

Saeed Ajmal is unplayable at this point in his career... all I can say is good luck English team!!

Posted by   on (January 23, 2012, 2:52 GMT)

Matt Prior is a superb player. Future England legend!

Posted by r1m2 on (January 23, 2012, 2:45 GMT)

"You don't become a bad time overnight." tell that to the indians... in fact Matt Prior was there when it happened... does he know what he's talking about, or did he have memory loss...

Posted by plod on (January 23, 2012, 2:17 GMT)

Prince Dhumph, until you beat South Africa, Australia and England in test series, the rest is meaningless. You haven't done that of late, so what is your point?

Posted by plod on (January 23, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

Maddy20, Aussies are more open and honest than England will ever be. All our captains and players tell it just how it is and don't whinge when we lose. So check out the internet or buy some aussie papers, you will see I am correct.

Posted by StewieGriffin on (January 23, 2012, 2:12 GMT)

Great! Now lets give em another good slap ;)

Posted by plod on (January 23, 2012, 2:09 GMT)

Mehmet Safeer. You've got a good memory. Bangladesh have beaten OZ once, in a ODI, not test match. In 2005 at the World Cup, which by the way, we won. So don't know what point you are trying to make. If England is to be considered the true No. 1 country they have to beat all comers overseas as well as the Old Dart. Their record on the subcontinent is appalling, so the jury is still out on whether they deserve No. 1 ranking. If all their test matches were played in England, yes, they are No. 1 at the minute. This will all change before we play them in 2013, I expect them to fall and fall hard.

Posted by simon_w on (January 23, 2012, 2:03 GMT)

Yep, I'm going to agree with most of my fellow commenters -- these are good words from Prior, and the right attitude, now let's see what Abu Dhabi brings. I don't expect any complacency from Pakistan -- they know that England, while not an all-conquering side, is not No. 1 for nothing -- but they will start as strong favourites now, of course, and England have a real challenge but also a real opportunity ahead. Big wins over India and Australia were great, but India were abject, and under the current circumstances Pakistan in the Middle-East clearly represents a tougher challenge than Aus. in Aus. did. Here's a chance for England to really show something, then. I believe if there's a side in the world that's capable of making that step, then it's England. Can't wait to see if they can!

Posted by Manush on (January 23, 2012, 1:06 GMT)

Prior is honest who improved his skills behind the stumps to add to his batting ability and has been consistent for quite some time now. All others proved rusty and lacked serious application to the situation. Their Captain in 12 Tests scored a single 50 & getting away with his poor, show otherwise as a good Captain !! He reminds me of the same mode Mike Brearly who was Captain but a very poor bat !! To regain their reputation in this short series, it is going to be very tough for England !!!

Posted by shamlaatu on (January 23, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

Funny thing is, you would expect pacers to do the damage on day one but England were crippled by Pak spinners on the first day, and you would expect spinners to do the damage on day three and on wards but England were dented by pacers on day three... Well, I am looking for a hard fought game in the 2nd test and being a Pak supporter I would naturally like Pak to win ... but lets hope that the game of cricket prevails at the end of the day. GO PAKISTAN !!! GO ENGLAND !!!!

Posted by Gizza on (January 23, 2012, 0:06 GMT)

Mate just make sure you don't get slapped 7 seven times in a row like India have! I expect Cook and KP to come good eventually. Not sure about any of the other batsmen.

Posted by Hamidf on (January 22, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

Prior is a class act. Is the cry baby English media. Accept the defeat like the English team.

Posted by maddy20 on (January 22, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

One thing I really like about this English team is their honest opinion when they lose. When they lost against Pak in England, Swann was blunt "We played like morons me included". I have seen no other team criticize themselves after a defeat. Captains are always busy blaming the bowlers or the batsmen after they lose and conveniently exclude themselves !

Posted by MWaqqar on (January 22, 2012, 22:52 GMT)

English players should spend less time with the media and let their bat and ball do the talking.

Posted by SpartaArmy on (January 22, 2012, 22:49 GMT)

"We're used to walking off the pitch........" oh, boy! MP & co has already day dreaming that their team is the current bully after WI/70s and AUS/90s. If subcontinent teams prepare square turners, they will also get used to walking off ...... at home. England may be in top 3 on seaming pitches, but in asian pitches, they come only after IND, SA, SL, PAK, AUS, BD. It is a shame that a team with mediocre players like AS, AC, KP, IB, JA, SB is compared to the teams which contains 9-10 legends of the game. Don't worry MP, you will get used to this before your team complete asian tour.

Posted by Affaf on (January 22, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

I so wanna see Ajmal bowling his "Teesra". He should try it if he really has one..

Posted by Patchmaster on (January 22, 2012, 22:14 GMT)

You can't help but like Matt Prior, he's honest, hard working and the best keeper in Test cricket at the moment. I wish him well. I hope he has a LONG chat with KP before KP next goes out to bat !

Posted by heathrf1974 on (January 22, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

England needs to forgset about the series win in Australia. This is a brand new series and it is currently 1-0 against them.

Posted by Hoppy21 on (January 22, 2012, 22:08 GMT)

I Agree! Slap in the face! Get ready for another one mate!!!

Posted by Ch_Mahmood on (January 22, 2012, 21:53 GMT)

Firstly well done to Prior who not only kept really well but also made the most promising batting performance as yet, and well said, shows he's accepted it and moved on.

Brilliant match, Pakistan lived up to their hype and showed they are a real fighting force who think that losing is a myth. As far as some comments go on here, Pakistan and Misbah have shown they are aware of the attack and mentally England will now bring, as a big defeat, you would expect the only way to go is up lol, whatmore can they say. We expect Eng to come strong, ajmal and crew are in constant preparation. Fielding is looking sharp, (one or two blunders u can expect), Pakistan mentally very strong, unit wise - brilliant just shows with rehman giving way, top order batting hafeez and Umar 100+ stand excellent, form even better.

Finally if this one was 'a slap in face', get ready for the knock out. Big up Pakistan.....Good luck England. Good spirit, good going and good day.....Cricnfo...Thanks for ur work!

Posted by spence1324 on (January 22, 2012, 21:27 GMT)

@prash ganen,thats the indian team motto!

Posted by reality_check on (January 22, 2012, 21:04 GMT)

Why has Saeed Ajmal's action become an obligatory question? Is it because he took 10 wickets and all English batsmen were clueless against him? If he had taken 1 wicket for 100 runs would Bob Willis and English media be talking about his action? Here is a news flash guys. Ajmal was cleared by ICC in 2009 (almost three years ago) so the more you bring his action up the more whiners you look. It's like de ja vu all over again. Next thing, Bob Willis will be criticizing Ajmal's lack of command on Queen's English LOL. Stop being whiners and accept the fact that Eng got beaten by a better team in 1st test and move on and try to do better in the remaining tests.

Posted by dmqi on (January 22, 2012, 20:50 GMT)

Expect a tough fight between English batting and tail up Pakistani bowling. If the English survives, Pak could be in trouble, for their weak batting line up to score big. If Pak wins this time too, English has to bow down without question. I hope to see 2 changes for Pak team.

Posted by Gujjar_Badshah on (January 22, 2012, 20:45 GMT)

I kind a agree with nutcutlet,,i feeling to respect him as opponent.

Posted by WeeBee on (January 22, 2012, 20:26 GMT)

hmm well ! Well said by Prior. I think Pakistan Cricket team knows this thing really well that English will fight back in the next game. And the failure of English Batsman could be just for once not for again and again. But English Team should keep one thing in mind. They have to win both of the test to win test series! or atleast win one to draw it. And Pakistan team wont allow that . if pakistan could draw next one then ... THere is no way English can draw this series! ... Good Luck to both teams ...

Posted by Jamshed78 on (January 22, 2012, 20:25 GMT)

Well done Pakistan Second test team for me to kill England...1) Hafeez, 2) Taufeeq, 3) Azhar Ali, 4) Younis khan, 5) Misbah, 6) Asad, 7) Adnan, 8) Wahab, 9) Rehman, 10) Gul, 11) Ajmal, one change instead of cheema wahab cheema is injured so wahab is swing bowler with 150 mph only one fast swing bowler in pakistan at the moment, should get a chance... anyway best of luck pakistan, Pakistan Zindabad

Posted by donda on (January 22, 2012, 20:05 GMT)

Best of luck to england but 3 month gap is no excuse, they just won two first class games a week ago against good strong sides.

England needs to admit that they did not bat well at all and they need to improve their batting performance especially against spin bowlers on slow turning tracks.

I am sure that england as #1 team in the world will bounce back hard but this series is a pride for pakistan and i think pakistanies will fight till the end to win it and make sure that we get our respect back in cricket which we lost playing against same team 1.5 years ago.

Pakistan team now needs to play for win and win hard and get their deserved place back in ICC.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

I am ready to see the contest Prior ! lets do this - I have my green cap on to watch it closely ! Look forward to a super contest , lets take it to the 5th day this time !

Posted by cricket_fan_1980 on (January 22, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

Lets see if England can now walk the walk, after talking the talk. Sure, they need to fightback but will they adjust their techniques greatly to counter some high quality bowing?

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 22, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

If we want to be number 1 then we need to win in Subcontinent. Otherwise we would be no better than India.Although unlike them we did manage to win in Australia.Drew in South Afrcia and won in Bangladesh.

Posted by CricketFundas on (January 22, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

Ok, now get ready to turn the other cheek Mr. Prior!

@Nutcutlet: Lets see how honest Mr. Prior is after England get whipped 3-0 in this series.

Posted by cricket_pak419 on (January 22, 2012, 19:35 GMT)

This really making me happy. For the first time a team is actually standing up for themselfs and admitting there mistakes. Unlike Bangladesh making excuses every time. About the match. Pakistan should try to win but it will be attempted to be drawn. Misbah ratther draw a match then fight bac like a man. No doubt misbah is a good captain but he has to play faster cricket. Hope Junaid can play the next test. Good luck team Pakistan!

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 19:35 GMT)

Nutcutlet:Yep a good old South African like Prior tells it like he sees it. The sprit of the Boor, and all that but he doesn't to say a lot and sound like sore looser when he has the English press and commentators do it all for him. When England loose It is either match fixing, ball tampering, Dodgy DRS reviews, Chucking. or Maradona's hand of God. It is always "Johnny foreigner" not playing by the rules. When in reality it is England bending the rules to include four South Africans and an Irishman in their team. Without wishing to defend Gambhir or the way the Indian team has played it is a well known fact that both England and Australia doctored their pitches to suit their bowlers. Ok no harm in that but don't complain when rank turners are prepared for the return visit.

Posted by crindo77 on (January 22, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

Dont worry about Gambhir. He is all set to exit the Test team. As will VVS and Ishant. Enter Mukund and RohitSharma. But why do players go for all this pre-match talk like boxers? End of the day the egg on ur face looks even more spectacular if things go pear shaped again. Or is all this tuff talk at the urging of the media and the sports agents to stir up interest in a form of sport no one really cares about?

Posted by JG2704 on (January 22, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

@AliSyedain on (January 22 2012, 16:56 PM GMT) English media love to exaggerate when things go wrong. Out of interest what articles have you been reading?

Posted by cricket-is-passion on (January 22, 2012, 19:23 GMT)

@5wombats: Remember England is playing on a much flat track copmared to English conditions. Look what happened when they visited India after India lost terribly in England, it was a white wash. So that is always the case as they can't play well on flat/spin tracks and Asian team can't play well in fast pitches I think Pak is little exceptional since Pak has good fast bowling attach as well. Overall Pakistan is doing a pretty good job. 3-0 is what is am expecting but not sure anything can happen, but agian is it in Abu Dabhi so I think it will be towards Pak. Go Pak, beat their b.. off..

Posted by Omarrz on (January 22, 2012, 19:22 GMT)

@5wombats--> Why you keep on forgetting that all those wins were either in England or in Australia. England is just not good enough a team to stay as brilliant in sub continent or in middle east.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 22, 2012, 19:19 GMT)

@ Prince Dhumph on (January 22 2012, 15:36 PM GMT)The ICC ranking system is good as far as Im concerned.Your man Younis is up to 4 in the test rankings above all English batsmen who drop down and Ajmal is up to number 3 in the bowling rankings now above Swann + Broad.You also have ranked the best 2 bowlers in OD cricket acc to the ICC so maybe they're not so bad after all?As for team rankings Re team rankings if you go back to when England started their unbeaten run in 2009 Pak lost 2-0 to SL and 3-0 to Australia and since that time they drew with NZ (h)SA(h)WI(a) and ONLY 2010/11 have they started beating sides again.They maybe the hottest side right now but rankings are based on a rolling league table if you like and all the sides above Pak performed better than Pak in 2009 and 10 so this year they're still catching up because of their poor/indifferent form from the past few years. Hope this makes sense.How do you equate that Eng love making controversies? - idiotic comment

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 19:10 GMT)

5wombats: You forgot to mention the series loss in the WI , the 1-1 series draw in S A after the rain and a last wicket stand saved England from another series defeat incidentally England won the first test in a game the Steyn did not feature in. The 5-0 ODI drubbing in India with Cooke, Trott , Bell and Pietersen grouping around like novices. ODI world cup losses to Bangladesh and Ireland. Selective memory or a team perhaps not as good as you think they are.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

' U don't become a bad team over night.' Do agree, neither do master Ajmal over night. Think about that. He can be an handful on an helpful wkt.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 18:59 GMT)

Give everyone England a break; Australia lost to Bangladesh when they were the best team but it did not mean they turned into dust as people are saying about England.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 18:58 GMT)

I really liked what Gautam Gambhir said about rank turners. If a pitch which is grassy and result oriented is deemed perfect how can a rank turner with low bounce be deemed unfit for playing ? Indian batsmen have never been comfortable against quality swing but all these years the teams avoided rolling out grassy pitches because of the quality of Indian swing bowlers to break mayhem if given an opportunity. however with the emergence of hit-the-deck type bowlers for whom only speed matters, these overseas teams have again dared to roll out grass blunders against India. Why do people keep forgetting that Australia lost 2-0 in a winless tour of India and england were recently whitewashed 5-0 after blanking India at home ? and the last rank turner laid out in india was in 2007 against south africa at Kanpur ! and you all thought that you could ambush India with your swing... well breaking news Prior u have a tour to india lined up if u survive Pakistan and South Africa... save ur wits !

Posted by pka1982 on (January 22, 2012, 18:57 GMT)

Many more slaps on the face waiting for England in the coming months

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

Very professional and honest words by Prior - no nonsense, no excuses, no panic. Indeed ENG have been the best all round outfit in last few years and a PAK team on upswing has completely outplayed them, in all departments. No debate. That said, "look at stats" for last 2/3 years? As late as in 2008-2009 season they have lost away series in West Indies and India. Look at the STATs of West Indies team from 1978-1993, or Australia from 1995-2007 - any format, home, away, seaming greentops, bouncy decks, spinning dustbowls, neutral venues, heck even series against World XI - how many series did they drop? players like Wayne Daniel, Sylvester Clarke, Franklyn Stephenson, Stuart McGill, Damien Martyn, Greg Blewett etc. were mostly warming the bench ( any other int'l side would've gladly accepted them). That's the kind of "top dawg" status which demands universal respect. No ICC rankings can accord that ...

Posted by SHMALIKK on (January 22, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

YES every body knows that England is a strong team, they will try to bounce back. I think if Pakistan will not induct a good pacer thay gonna face a bit of trouble 'cause England is fed up by the spiners and disgrace that they had to face due to them. So, they will try anything to reduce the damage by them and I thik for that case Pakistan should also have a strong pace attack to keep the pressure on England. I think Wahab Riaz instead of Cheama will be a good change, 'cause he has pace and right hand and left hand pace attack along with Gul just like Ajmal and Rehman will be a great one.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

best of luck luck to both sides.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

A slap on either side of cheek is better than one slap. England now should present the other cheek and they will wake up fully. Abu Dhabi will be the other slap.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

i expect England to bounce back in the.second.test, after all they are no1 test team and they did not acheive it thru talent only, but with attitude and strong determination

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

Once you loose "pride" you become a better person and obviously a better player. pride is one prevents real progress. pride leads to arrogance and arrogance leads to failure!

Posted by cooltalker on (January 22, 2012, 18:04 GMT)

so than in that case LET THE GAME BEGAN!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by danpaul on (January 22, 2012, 18:02 GMT)

ICC should be really thankful to Pakistan, as it brought again a new life to test cricket. The whole world is now talking about test cricket and the flood of interest in the main format of the game is renewed. It is the existence of a performing Pakistan that brings in the pleasure in the game, the controversies, the newly found consistency and the pleasure of defeating the biggest names!!! Well done Pakistan, we all owe you, and we want to see the more of the same, or else, test cricket used to be a dead game!!! Now we are all looking forward to the next match!!

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (January 22, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

remember to look in to Rehman & Wahab too. Sai Ajmal will take care of it himself. 3-0 is on card and all these words will change to some thing else after the second test

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (January 22, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

Pakistan should win second game as well.. the only worrying bit of pakistan is fast bowling.. but they didnt do that bad overall.. gud luck to both teams and i hope they stay in same sports spirits as they played first game... i hope it will be just pure cricket and one thing is for sure that it wont be easy for england to beat this test side of pakistan.

Posted by 5wombats on (January 22, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

"You don't become a bad team over night. We've had one bad performance". Dead right. Eng lost 1st Test 2005 Ashes, won 2nd Test & then the series. England lost to Aus @Headingley 2009 - won the next Test at the Oval to win the Ashes. Beaten by Pakistan @Headingley 2010 - came back and won the next Test. Lost at Perth 2010 - came back and bowled Australia out for 98 and then put on 150/0 on Boxing Day. Englands record after a defeat is very good. In recent years only Pakistan and Australia have been good enough to beat England.

Posted by AliSyedain on (January 22, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

These to me are the first sensible words by an Englishman since the game finished. The more serious English journalists seem to have joined their tabloid colleagues in a panic dance. I hope the players do not follow the English press; they would otherwise be traumatised more by the opinion pages than they ever were by Saeed Ajmal. England's confidence and sheer ability is bound to propel them forward. However, over-ambition is a real danger. England are weak against spin; and jumping the sub-continental barrier is not easy. Only the 1980 West Indies and the noughties Australia (and none of the sub-continental sides) have managed it so far. If England are to do it, they better start with baby steps. Over-ambition might result in early disappointment and hence quick changes in the batting line-up. Any chance of proving themselves by the end of the year will then be lost. Better to accept the short-comings, and an unpalatable series result, in the interest of a longer-term objectives.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Real No.1 wins everywhere, ask Viv Richards,Clive Llyod or even Steve Waugh. Show your guts if you really have it.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Way to gooo thats the siprit of a CHAMP!!! I wish the English team best of luck cos they desperately need it

Posted by Sports4Youth on (January 22, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

He is right. But the followimg games are not going to be easy as well.

Posted by Romenevans on (January 22, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

Even though i don't like English team, but this guy is one of those immensely improved cricketers who have worked hard on his basic skills. He wasn't gifted or a talented player, but he developed himself and probably the best W/K batsman in Test at the moment.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

Fraternisation? lol England were made to eat a humble pie... I doubt any of their players are in the mood for pleasantries with the Pakistanis!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 22, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Good for Matt Prior! Honest, business-like with no moping or complaining! Now compare Prior's breath of fresh air with Gambhir's whimpering attitude expressed elsewhere today. Perhaps that the difference between a good tourist and one who has developed a negative seige mentality and is longing for the easy life on home wickets. Who would you rather be in the trenches (in some foreign field) with, eh?

Posted by foursandsixes on (January 22, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

Get ready for some more slaps, Matty! Eng are going down 0-3 here, will go down 0-2 in SL and 0-3 when they visit India!

Posted by Rakim on (January 22, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

I hope Misbah's men prepare themselves cuz next match will be tough :D

Posted by landl47 on (January 22, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

Prior at least earned the right to comment, since he was the only batsman on the England side to play a worthwhile innings (and even he only played one out of two). He also kept wicket very well, as has become usual for him over the last couple of years. The fact is, England's problems were mostly in their technique- playing across the line, fencing outside leg stump and choosing the wrong balls to attack. They'll need to tidy that up if they are to make this series competitive.

Posted by ThKhan on (January 22, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

Atleast some realistic comments by someone :) Kind Good job Prior !!!

Posted by oze13 on (January 22, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

Let's see. This is the biggest match England have played under Strauss!

Posted by   on (January 22, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

ICC should back Pakistan coz they have give the best results than all teams in last 14 months..... i dunt believe in ranking system... it doesnt give us the true picture that which player played good innnings in which sort of conditions .. as far as england is concerned they r loving to make controversies .. .. so england team is more controversal of all

Posted by iBilal on (January 22, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

this English side looks really determined to fight back... Ominous clouds for Pakistan, better watch out. There is no room for complacency, teamMisbah.

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