Ashes double is our aim, says England’s Prior

WICKETKEEPER Matt Prior believes England possess all the qualities required to win back-to-back Ashes series against old adversaries Australia later this year.

Prior, who played a crucial part in England’s two previous triumphs at home and Down Under, is expected to don the gloves again when Australia arrive for the five-Test series starting in July and for the return meeting, which begins in Brisbane in November.

And the 30-year-old is confident his team can outscore their big rivals in all departments to retain the prized urn.

“If we prepare and perform as we want to, there is no reason why we shouldn’t dominate Australia in these two Ashes series,” said Prior.

“You look at our dressing room and the skills we have in our team; batsmen, bowlers, the spin department, it’s all there.

“But Ashes series are strange. There is no such thing as a weak Australian Test side and we will have to be on our game to do it.”

Australian cricket is currently going through a period of transition following the retirement of legendary batsmen Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting late last year.

The pair’s decision to hang up their baggy green caps leaves Australia’s current squad, which is touring India, boasting only five players who have played in an overseas Ashes Test before.

By contrast England are likely to select squads packed with experience of playing in multiple Ashes series and Prior feels his more senior team-mates can keep Australia on the back foot.

“There are ways of creating an intensity out on the pitch, like the way we hustle around,” he said.

“Then you have our fielders stopping singles that potentially could have been a four.

“When you come out to bat there’s nothing better than crunching a few cover drives to get you off and running. But if you suddenly have cover point diving and stopping it, it does get to you.”