Prior aiming higher
Matt Prior believes England can “create a bit of a legacy” after they officially became the world's number one Test team following their 4-0 npower series whitewash over India.
Having already made sure of top spot after victory at Edgbaston, Andrew Strauss’ side strengthened their position at number one and were presented with the Test mace following their innings-and-eight-run triumph at the Kia Oval this afternoon.
England are now unbeaten in Test series since January 2009 and, while Prior was overjoyed with his side’s achievements, he believes the team is not content to rest on their laurels.
He told ecb.co.uk: “It’s one thing getting to number one but you want to stay there for as long as possible.
“This team’s got everything we need to create a bit of a legacy and I think that will be our long distance goal. This team can go as far as it wants.
“We’re a young team and as long as we keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard and keep enjoying each other’s success, we can stay at the top for as long as we want.”
England were made to battle for victory as Sachin Tendulkar and Amit Mishra’s 144-run fourth-wicket partnership thwarted England’s bowlers for the first half of the day and brought India to within 29 runs of England’s first-innings score.
But when the latter was bowled by Graeme Swann, who went on to record figures of 6-106, the floodgates opened and India lost their last seven wickets for just 21 runs to be all out for 283.
Tendulkar fell nine short of recording his 100th international hundred when he was lbw to Tim Bresnan amidst the collapse and Prior believes England showed their mental strength when the veteran batsman and Mishra were piling on the runs.
“I think it’s testament to the character in this team and the way we go about our business now that we never give in,” said the wicketkeeper-batsman.
“It would have been very easy to think it wasn’t our day and just go through the motions 'til the end of the game but we never ever settle for that, we never ever settle for a draw. We kept putting our punches in and we finally got our results at the end.
“We’ve always talked about being ruthless, we want to be ruthless and the minute you get half a chance, you want to all pile in. It’s not just one or two people, it’s the whole team driving towards a victory."