Prior grateful for skipper's faith in him

England

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior was included in the side against Sri Lanka at Lord's to much protestation, given he had been dropped during the Ashes and only recently recovered from injury, but he repaid the faith.

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior was included in the side against Sri Lanka at Lord's to much protestation, given he had been dropped during the Ashes and only recently recovered from injury, but he repaid the faith.

Prior score a valuable 86 in partnership with Joe Root as England made 575 for nine declared, and he expressed his gratitude to skipper Alastair Cook for sticking with him ahead of the more media-popular Jos Buttler.

Prior said of his skipper's trust in him: "When people put faith in you, you do feel a certain pressure to back them up. I certainly wanted to do that.

"But there was a reason why they did put faith in me. I hope I showed why I'm in position now. But it's (just) one innings. I would have liked to have got more."

Prior nearly didn't get a chance to make that score, after getting an LBW shout on his second ball, not yet off the mark. The umpire said no, and Sri Lanka reviewed it, and it was slightly outside the line so umpire's call stood.

Prior said of that bit of luck going his way: "It was a whole range of emotions. You're just watching the screen, and it's like 'that looks dead'. I'm thinking 'right, that's nought off two balls – see you later, Matt'.

"Then, when the umpire's call came up, I almost looked at Rooty and said: 'Right, it's changed. I'm back. Here we go.' I decided to attack again, and hit that one over the top. That was me off and running, and I felt comfortable from then on in.

"Ultimately you need a bit of luck as well, I don't feel I had much over the last year and that second-ball decision going my way was maybe the thing that turns it around again."

Prior's time away from the game, first from being dropped and then through injury gave him room to focus on things that needed changing, notably his technique in his first innings, where he pressed forward more and had a higher backlift.

He said: "It's amazing, when you have a bit of time away, you can get quite good clarity on things. When you are close, or in the bowl, it's quite hard to come out of the fog.

"But having had that bit of time, there have been certain things that I've changed."

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