England won’t engage in war of words with Aussies: Prior

Sydney: England will refuse to engage in a war of words before the Ashes while Australia continue the verbal sniping.

Though Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has been stoking all manner of fires in an attempt to unsettle his rivals, England has adopted a grin and bear approach to the taunts, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior revealed his side would not be firing back, while teammate Kevin Pietersen put the theory to practice.

Ponting said there were question marks over Pietersen’s form and place in the side, but the latter replied: “Ponting is a great player and one of the greats of the game. When he feels it’s his time, then he calls it time.”

Prior said ignoring the talk would be a difficult but a critical task.

“It’s become a tradition with people coming out with big statements and predictions,” he told The Sun.

“He (Ponting) must have his reasons, but we have our reasons for not responding. All I would say is that the team is as good a unit as I’ve played with. We’ve had a fantastic team-building experience and we’re in a great place. Everyone is really looking forward to it,” the SMH quoted Prior, as saying.

Pietersen declared he was full of confidence for the Ashes tour after a short stint in South Africa’s domestic scene.

“I felt brilliant in South Africa. I’m full of confidence going to Australia,” Pietersen said.