Prior a major doubt for first Test

England

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior's presence in England's squad for the first Test, which will be announced next week, is becoming increasingly unlikely.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior's presence in England's squad for the first Test, which will be announced next week, is becoming increasingly unlikely.

An Achilles injury has hampered the bulk of Prior's season, leaving the talented Jonny Bairstow or Jos Buttler likely to fill the position for the series opener at Lord's in London.

"It is a big concern. I've been speaking to him every week and he's been doing everything he can. He's incredibly frustrated because Achilles injuries are hard to heal," said captain Alastair Cook.

"He's a big part of our plans, but we can't rush a guy back, that wouldn't be fair on him or to the England team. There's time, about two weeks to the first Test match and we'll be in constant communication throughout. He knows he is a big part of things and we want him to be there, but if he's not there it will give someone else an opportunity."

County coach Jason Gillespie recently implored England to select Bairstow.
The 24-year-old, since returning from a finger injury, has gathered a promising stretch of form with the bat for Yorskhire in the County Championship – and proved solid as a Division One wicketkeeper.

"Look, the way I see it, it's pretty black and white. Jonny is the current Test 'keeper – simple. Explain to me what anyone else has done to allow them to not pick him? That's where I stand," said Yorskhire head coach Gillespie.

"All things being equal, Jonny should be afforded that opportunity. Jonny could be a very dynamic player coming in at number seven for England – that could be a role for him."

Latest