Ashes: Matt Prior looking for some payback against Australia
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior is hoping for a change of luck after his lean summer with the bat.
Last Updated: 07/11/13 8:32am
Prior averaged just 19 in England's 3-0 Ashes win and has wondered at times whether he used up a season's worth of good fortune in his brilliant series-saving century against New Zealand in Auckland at the end of March.
Either way, once he gets the chance, he is preparing some payback - preferably against Australia.
"You need a bit of luck, and you can't over-estimate how much that plays a part," said Prior, who saw his hopes of spending some time in the middle against Australia A hampered by the weather in Hobart.
"At Trent Bridge I batted brilliantly, then toe-ended one straight to a bloke twice - when does that ever happen?
"You compare that with Auckland where the ball went off my lid, hit the stumps twice and the bails didn't come off!
"You do sometimes just need that nick to fly through the gap rather than fly straight to the man.
"But just hang in, stay true to yourself - and it will turn round."
At that point, he will make sure he cashes in properly.
"When it does turn round someone is going to pay," Prior said. "When I get that opportunity, I am going to be very hungry to make it count.
"There are times when you are having a good patch that you get a bit lazy when you get to 50 or 60, and you take your eye off the ball a little bit, but the importance of me scoring runs down the order is not lost on me.
"Certainly if I get that opportunity I will be hungry."
Prior is at a loss to explain his run of moderate scores.
"It is a strange one," he said. "All summer I felt I was hitting the ball well.
"I haven't changed anything technically; I haven't stopped practising or working hard. If anything I am probably trying too hard.
"One of the dangers is you can suddenly start trying to reinvent the wheel, and you actually take away one of your strengths.
"Mine is positivity and the fact that I can put pressure on bowlers by being attacking, so I wouldn't want to ever lose that.
"But you have to get it right - you can't just go out and be reckless."
He knows there is no sense in brooding about his batting away from middle too.
"You want to do well and succeed - it is important - but the minute you start putting too much importance on it and losing sleep at night you are in trouble.
"You have to make sure you put it to bed and go away and do other things.
"If you start beating yourself up away from the cricket ground it is going to take longer."