The Ashes 2013 – Matt Prior doubtful for Brisbane
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has admitted that he is ‘touch and go’ to be fit for the The Ashes First Test against Australia, which starts in Brisbane on Thursday.
The wicketkeeper has played 57 Tests in a row but is struggling to be fit for the game because of a torn calf muscle.
Prior, 32, underwent an intense fitness session at the Gabba on Monday as well as spending time in the nets and gave a thumbs up to cameras as he left.
He will be assessed over the next two days before a final decision is made.
Matt Prior’s Test career
|Tests: 72||Innings: 110|
|Runs: 3,813||Highest: 131 not out|
|Average: 42.36||Centuries: 7|
|Catches: 207||Stumpings: 13|
Prior suffered the injury while running during the tour game against Australia A in Hobart on 9 November. Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow, 24, who is yet to keep wicket at the highest level, is standing by to deputise.
I will know if I am going to make it 24 hours before the match starts.
Prior, who averaged just 19 against the Baggy Greens in England earlier this year, told the Daily Telegraph: “It will be touch and go whether I am fit in time for the start of the first Test on Thursday in Brisbane.
“There are still three days to go and I’m optimistic I will be okay, but it is a long series and as much as you want to play in the first Test, I do not want to come back too early, tear it again and be out for a long time. “I will know if I am going to make it 24 hours before the match starts. “I will have to be able to train at 100 per cent on Wednesday to realistically have any chance of playing.”
Prior averaged just over 50 when England won 3-1 the last time they were in Australia in 2010/11 and he can be backed at 18/1 to be his team’s top batsman in the upcoming series, with Kevin Pietersen 7/2 and Ian Bell 9/2.
Meanwhile, Kevin Pietersen has hit back at a provocative front page headline in the Brisbane Courier-Mail suggesting he remains a loner in the England dressing-room. The article, headlined “He’s so arrogant not even his own team likes him”, described the England batsman as “the walking ego of world cricket.”
Pietersen contacted the reporter Ben Dorries on Twitter with the following tongue in cheek comment: “Putting me on the front page does wonders for my ego! You’ve done me proud. Thank you.“
The first Test at the Gabba starts on 21 November.