ENGLAND wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior insists the chance to make Ashes history can inspire them to mount an unlikely fightback against Australia in the third Test in Perth tomorrow.
Two baffling displays of batting ineptitude have left the tourists on the brink of surrendering the urn with two games to spare, though form is not the only worry.
History, too, is against them, since they have won just once at the WACA and have never before come from 2-0 down to triumph in an Ashes series. Yet Prior, whose own series has featured two ducks, says the slate is clean.
“People have written us off,” he said. “We’re at Perth, we haven’t won here for however many years. But quite frankly that excites me. Records are there to be broken. There is a huge amount of hunger in this dressing room to turn this around.
“It started the moment we walked off the pitch at Adelaide [the second Test]. We know we’ve got to turn things round and do it quickly here in Perth. We have to start this Test series again with a clean slate and come here firing on all cylinders, and get a result.”
Team director Andy Flower has warned he is ready to ring the changes, though it is likely to be England’s bowling attack, rather than the their kamikaze batting line-up, that is reshuffled. Seamer Tim Bresnan has been touted for a recall, with second choice spinner Monty Panesar thought to be the bowler most at risk.
England in Perth
■ Have won just once in 12 Test visits, losing eight times
■ Their sole Test victory came in December 1978, when England claimed a six-match series 5-1
Australia in Perth
■ Have a better win/loss ratio at the WACA (2.30) than on average (1.75), with 23 victories and 10 losses from 40 Tests
■ Have lost three of their last six Tests there, twice to South Africa (Dec 2008 and Nov 2012) and once to India (Jan 2008)