London: Wicketkeeper Matt Prior says he has proved the selectors right, both with the bat, as well as through his flawless work behind the stumps, as England sealed a 2-1 Ashes victory over Australia.
Dubbed ‘Dire Prior’ by England legend Bob Willis before the series, the 27-year-old turned in some excellent performances to help win back the little urn.
Prior said: “I don’t want people noticing me because that means they are still talking about me in the job.”
“It’s been a goal of mine to get to a place where the keeping position wasn`t discussed and I knew the only way to get to that was putting in good performances with the bat and gloves,” Prior said.
“The scrutiny that the England wicketkeeper is under is massive but it’s something I have to take on the chin and know that if I do drop a ball, no matter how difficult it might be, it is going to get looked at from every angle. And once I got over that realisation - I found that I could get on with my job,” Prior added.
Prior’s personal highlight this summer was the 115-run win at Lord’s.
His keeping saw just nine byes conceded in the Test, compared to a whopping 31 for Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
With the bat, a 42-ball 61 in the second innings set up the victory charge for Andrew Flintoff and Co as they skittled the Aussies.
And after seeing the wickets tumble at the home of cricket on day five, Prior added: “You play a county game at Lord’s and you think ‘wow, this is incredible’.”
“Then you play a Test match there and you think ‘this is what it’s all about’ — playing there with that Test match buzz — it’s a completely different atmosphere. And then you play an Ashes Test and you think ``this is unbelievable``.
“And then you win an Ashes Test match at Lord``s after turning up on the last day, with thousands of fans unable to get in. The noise in the Long Room when we walked out was just astounding,” he said.