Prior: Cook will answer critics


Published: Tuesday 9th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Matt Prior has backed England captain Alastair Cook to once again prove his doubters wrong in the forthcoming World Cup.

The England skipper’s place at the top of the order in the 50-over game has been subject to much scrutiny, with Kevin Pietersen among his fiercest critics.

Yet Prior believes Cook – back for the fifth one-day international with Sri Lanka on Wednesday following a one-match ban due to England’s slow over rate – has shown he should never be written off.

Prior, who on Tuesday launched the ONE Pro Cycling team, told Press Association Sport: “There’s no doubt Alastair Cook’s under pressure and he’ll know that more than anybody else.

“But he’s a quality performer – he’s proved that time and time again – and he’s the man in possession at the moment.

“He’ll know that nobody just has the right to turn up and play for England. You have to perform to earn your place and deserve your place.

“I remember in 2010 in the summer, everybody was writing Cookie off in the Test team, saying he shouldn’t be opening the batting in The Ashes and everything else.

“He got into that tour and ended up scoring 750 runs and being one of the main reasons we won that series.

“He’s a guy you can never write off and I’m sure he’ll come through.”

England travel to the World Cup, which begins against hosts Australia in Melbourne on February 14, unfancied.

Prior, who is recovering from Achilles tendon surgery, says to expect the unexpected, though.

“There’s no doubt they’re an underdog, but the one thing I do know about the England cricket team is that they do love being an underdog,” the wicketkeeper-batsman added.

“Some of the best performances I’ve been involved in with England is when we’ve been written off. Australian wickets will suit the guys as well.

“They’ll thrive on that situation and we’ll see. Stranger things have happened. It’s a World Cup. Anything can happen.”

Published: Tuesday 9th December 2014 by The News Editor

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