Defeat in Dubai was a real slap in the face, says Prior

ENGLAND wicketkeeper Matt Prior admits his side came into last week’s first Test against Pakistan undercooked but insists his side are equipped to banish the memories of that 10-wicket defeat and square the series in Abu Dhabi this week.

Prior, the only English batsman to pass 50 in either innings of last week’s match in Dubai, confessed the pride of Andrew Strauss’s side had been stung by such a comprehensive defeat but was adamant that 18 months’ hard work would not be erased as a result of one poor performance.

He said: “You can spend as much time in the gym and as much time in the nets as you want, But until you’re out in the middle, you don’t get that ring-ready feeling.

“We’re used to walking off the pitch having inflicted the sort of defeat Pakistan inflicted upon us, so it was a very bitter pill to swallow – it has given us a good slap in the face.”

The second Test begins on Wednesday and Prior revealed the team will look to find a way to combat spinner Saeed Ajmal, who took 10 wickets in the series opener.

Prior added: “The obvious thing we need to think about is how we play spin and how we play Saeed Ajmal.”