Honest Prior opens up
Matt Prior believes a big score is "just around the corner" if he continues in his role as Andrew Strauss' opening partner.
Last Updated: 23/03/11 12:55pm
Matt Prior is ready to be England's flexible friend when it comes to his position in the batting order - but insists a big score is "just around the corner" if he continues in his opening role.
The wicketkeeper-batsman was pushed up to the top of the order when Kevin Pietersen returned home early from the World Cup.
So far the move has failed to pay off, though, with Prior managing scores of 15 and 21 against Bangladesh and the West Indies respectively.
But despite not yet cashing in on his promotion to a job he has done successfully in the past for Sussex, the 29-year-old is confident he can help put Sri Lanka to the sword in Saturday's quarter-final showdown.
"When I was told I was opening when KP went back it wasn't a done decision for the whole tournament," he said.
"As a unit, one of our major strengths is that we adapt very well to different teams and different conditions. I don't think any batsman in the top six or seven has a particular argument over where they bat.
"Do I want to open the batting? Of course I do. I love opening the batting - it gives you the best opportunity to bat 50 overs and get a big score on the board for your team
"It hasn't gone to plan which has been a frustration for me. But I don't feel that far away and I know that if I do open, a big score is just around the corner.
"I haven't scored the runs that I've wanted, which has been hugely frustrating for me because I know I can play that role very, very well. I seem to do the hard work and then get out."
Prior began the tournament batting in the middle order, a position he is equally happy in due to his ability to pick up singles when the field is back.
"Over here one of my strengths is moving the ball around the field, especially with the spinners on," he added. "I think that's a part of my game that I back, and that has to used as well.
"Whether that means I open or bat further down the order, I don't really know.
"All I do know is that wherever I'm batting there will be a reason for it and that I prepare myself as best as possible for the conditions I will face."
England head into the knockout stages having squeezed through from Group B, their progression only being sealed when Bangladesh were heavily beaten by South Africa last Saturday.
They do, however, go into the tie with Sri Lanka off the back of a morale-boosting triumph over West Indies that kept their World Cup dreams alive.
"As a team we're in a fantastic place right now," insisted Prior. "That win over the West Indies gave us a huge amount of belief and confidence. It showed to everybody that we will not be beaten easily.
"We have a huge amount of resilience and a huge amount of fight in the group. We haven't played our best cricket, by a long way, but we're still here and we're still in a quarter-final.
"If we do come out and get all three disciplines right, we're going to be very, very hard to beat and a very strong force."