18 May 2007

So Prior can bat ...

So now we know that England’s latest wicket-keeper can bat!

Matt Prior’s innings of 126 not out against the West Indies (in 128 balls) must have been worth seeing – and congratulations to him! [Did that come out all right between clenched teeth?!]

Writing on the BBC website, Oliver Brett is ecstatic:

“Prior's innings was a superbly confident display and vindicated his debatable selection for the side. Many had felt he was elevated above other candidates having been a disciple of new coach Peter Moores when Moores had been at Sussex.”

As one of the many, could I just try and flag down that bandwagon, before it gets up too much momentum? Permit me couple of observations.

Firstly, the West Indies are not Australia.

Coming in at 363-5 at Lord’s against the current West Indian attack is rather different to facing the Aussies in Melbourne or Sydney after one of the customary batting collapses exhibited during last Winter’s Ashes series.

Secondly, an England wicket-keeper doesn’t vindicate his selection by batting.

Mr Brett has chiselled Prior’s name on the team sheet before he has even kept wicket in a Test match!

Remember Geraint Jones – Duncan Fletcher’s favourite? Well, the question mark against him as England wicket-keeper was rarely his batting – at least not until towards the end of his extended run in the team.

We knew he could bat. He just couldn’t keep wicket! At least, not to the standard required of an England wicket-keeper.

So what about Peter Moores' favourite? We know Matt Prior can bat – but is he an England wicket-keeper?



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