Prior relishing new role

England wicketkeeper will bat at number six during World Cup

Last Updated: 20/02/11 4:47pm

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Matt Prior is looking at his demotion in England's one-day batting order in a positive light and hopes he can become his side's "finisher".

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"I don't think Eoin Morgan's boots can be filled - he's a phenomenal player - but I'll certainly try my best."
Matt Prior Quotes of the week

The Sussex wicketkeeper, a Test regular for the last two years, had been out of favour in the limited-overs formats for most of 2010 before a late change of heart from the selectors saw him picked in the World Cup squad.

He returned to white-ball action against Australia in January and was initially used as Andrew Strauss' opening partner - the role vacated by axed Surrey wicketkeeper Steven Davies.

But Prior will bat at number six during the World Cup after the England management decided Kevin Pietersen was a better bet to open in subcontinent conditions.

Responsibility

The 28-year-old is, instead, tasked with filling in for Eoin Morgan, who is absent from the tournament due to a broken finger.

"The minute anyone says the word 'finisher', you panic a little bit and think: 'That's a lot of responsibility'," said Prior.

"But I love being a part of a team, and you want to be a cog in the wheel and one of those that wins games and helps set up games.

"Being a 'finisher' gives you the responsibility, and I enjoy that.

"I hope I can embrace that, knowing it's going to be an important part of this World Cup.

"I don't think Eoin Morgan's boots can be filled - he's a phenomenal player - but I'll certainly try my best."

Prior has no complaints about being shunted around the order.

"It's a very positive move for me," he said. "The middle overs in this World Cup are going to be very important - playing the spin and the seam bowlers with a lot of cutters and slower balls, trying to manipulate the ball around.

"It's going to be hard. But playing on the subcontinent is something I feel confident about, so I'm looking forward to it."

Upset

England's first assignment is Tuesday's Group B opener against the Netherlands in Nagpur - where Prior will face ex-Sussex team-mate Bas Zuiderent, in a team which memorably beat the hosts in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 at Lord's.

"The one thing I do know is that they're very keen to cause an upset," he said.

"I met up with Bas last night. They're very excited about being here and causing an upset and taking one of the big teams down.

"They're a team you absolutely cannot be complacent against.

"We've seen what happened in the past and we don't want that to happen again."

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