Matt Prior - Wicketkeeper posture
Matt Prior’s rise to become England’s number one wicketkeeper was not smooth or typical.
He has had to fight hard, constantly under pressure from fellow first class keepers, the media and, at times, the selectors.
In 2007 he could not have made a more immediate impact on Test cricket. He was the first wicketkeeper to score a century on his debut. Nobody doubted his ability with the bat, and since that first Test he has notched a further hundred, as well as 11 half centuries. In the early days though, he was often labelled “a batter who could keep”, in a backhanded compliment sort of a manner.
That all changed during the summer of 2009. During the famous Ashes win his glove work was without blemish. During the first couple of Tests his performance behind the stumps went unnoticed, which like a good referee or umpire, was a good sign. Then in the next couple of Tests pundits started to heap praise on Prior for his new found excellence.
So what changed? Prior clearly enjoyed working with the new England keeping coach, Bruce French. “Keep it simple” was the key mantra.
Head, hands, feet was nothing new, but the emphasis on posture and core stability was. Prior spent hours developing a posture allowing him to move quicker.