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Prince eyes return to form

South Africa batsman out to silence doubters against India

Prince: Century drought

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Ashwell Prince hopes to silence calls for him to be dropped from the South Africa side during the upcoming Test series against India.

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"It does get to me sometimes and it is irritating to read or listen that you are fighting for your place every time regardless of what you have done recently."

Ashwell Prince

Quotes of the week

The batsman is enduring a century drought, with the last time he reached three figures for the Proteas coming against Australia almost 21 months ago.

He was playing as an opener on that occasion but has only managed to record a best score of 78 not out since returning to his favoured middle-order spot.

His run of poor form has led some to say he should be dropped in favour of JP Duminy, and Prince admits that he is irritated by the criticism.

"It does get to me sometimes and it is irritating to read or listen that you are fighting for your place every time regardless of what you have done recently," he told The Cape Times.

"But what can I do but perform every opportunity I get?"

The left-hander has scored three centuries in three games for domestic side Warriors in the SuperSport Series and he thinks it is only a matter of time before he hits top form again at Test level.

Century

He added: "I know, I haven't scored a century for a while, but I did get a 78 not out against the West Indies and another not out against Pakistan recently.

"So (the next 100) is there, hopefully just around the corner against India."

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith is expected to recover from a hand injury in time for the first test against India starting on December 16, but there is still a slight doubt over his fitness.

And Prince has firmly rebuffed suggestions that he could once again step in to open the batting if Smith does not make it.

He said: "We've gone down that avenue and I think that door has now been closed - permanently!

"I don't know the extent of Graeme's injury, but we do have good options in Jacques Rudolph or Dean Elgar or perhaps moving Hashim (Amla) up and everybody else moves up.

"But for me personally, my position is in the middle-order and that is where I can serve my country best in what is going to be an exciting series against India."