Prior: England staying focused
Matt Prior insists England are determined to keep their foot on the pedal as they prepare to take on Victoria.
The tourists produced an outstanding performance in the second Ashes Test at Adelaide, routing Australia by an innings and 71 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
But ahead of this week’s three-day fixture at the MCG - the venue for the Boxing Day Test - Prior has warned against complacency.
“You’ve got to be careful that you don’t do too much back-patting too early,” said the wicketkeeper-batsman.
“We’ve played well and the tour has gone well so far but that’s all in the past now.
“We’re 1-0 up, that’s fantastic, but we’ve got to make sure we go 2-0 up.
“First and foremost we’ve got a big game coming up against Victoria and that’s as far ahead as we will look.
“I think you can fall into a trap if you start looking too far ahead. Certainly in the 2009 Ashes, the one game where we probably looked too far ahead was at Headingley and we suddenly found ourselves 120 all out.
“We’ve learned from that and we’ve got to make sure we keep our feet on the ground.
“We’re looking at this game against Victoria as our next challenge. It’s a challenge we have to get up for and we have to maintain the standards we expect and the standards that we’ve shown on this tour so far.”
Much of the focus will be on the three seam bowlers aiming to replace the injured Stuart Broad for next week’s third Test in Perth.
Chris Tremlett, Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan will all be hoping to stake their claim with an impressive performance against Victoria.
And Prior believes whoever gets the nod will be capable of starring at the WACA.
“They all bring slightly different things to the party, but what they do have is fantastic skills and very good basics and whoever plays will do a great job,” he said.
Prior will play as a specialist batsman this week, with Steven Davies getting a chance behind the stumps.
The Sussex man has seen his time at the crease limited in the opening two Tests due to the impressive displays of England’s top order, but he is certainly not complaining.
“All the time I’m not batting we’re scoring a lot of runs and giving ourselves a chance of winning Test matches. So from that point of view I’m absolutely delighted with how things have been going,” he said.
“The guys at the top of the order have been absolutely fantastic, so long may that continue.”