Ashes: Andy Flower believes injury scare won't keep Matt Prior out of first Test in Brisbane
England coach Andy Flower is hopeful Matt Prior will be fit to keep wicket in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
Last Updated: 09/11/13 1:42pm
Prior was unable to take the field when England declared their only innings in their clash with Australia A in Hobart after hurting his calf while batting.
Joe Root was forced to take the gloves with 12th man Jonathan Bairstow unable to because of the Rules of Cricket, but Root performed well and took a catch as the game petered out to a draw, the middle two days having been lost to rain.
"He's tweaked something in his calf but we are not sure of the extent of it," Flower said at the post-match press conference.
"We need to let it settle a little before we scan it but he didn't make it much worse and he was off pretty much soon after he tweaked it so as soon as we know more about it we'll tell you.
"He'll go for a scan as soon as possible. We travel to Sydney on Sunday but I don't think it is anything too serious and it shouldn't keep him out of the first Test but let's just scan it and we'll give you more information.
"Our reserve keeper is Jonny Bairstow but the Rules of Cricket don't allow a substitute field to take over as wicket-keeper so Root took over and I thought he did a really good job - he looked a natural.
"He takes on any challenge with a smile on his face and also no mean skill. It's not an easy thing to do but he handled himself really well out there. I was surprised but he's a natural ball player and I think he had a bit of fun as well."
The Sydney game is England's last warm-up before the first Test at the Gabba and Flower gave a broad hint his batting line-up at the SCG would be the one picked in Brisbane.
Ian Bell is almost certain to return in place of Gary Ballance, whose struggle for runs continues, which leaves Flower's only quandary the potential selection of Michael Carberry at the top of the order, a move that would see Root shuffle down to No 6.
"Our policy is to name the side at the toss and we're still 12 days away from that," Flower said. "We've got another four-day game at the SCG, which should be excellent preparation and I hope we don't get affected by the rain.
"We've got a clear idea and more than likely the top six, and top seven if Matt Prior is available to play that game, will be the same top six or seven we use in Brisbane."
Watch the Ashes live on Sky Sports this winter, beginning with the opening Test at the Gabba. Coverage begins at 11pm on Sky Sports 2 HD on 20 November.