A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Beating India at home is going to be one of our biggest challenges, admits Matt Prior

Prior was initially infuriated at what Pietersen had done

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has admitted that beating India at home in the upcoming Test series will be one of the toughest challenges the national team will face in the entire year.

Prior knows that England will be at a serious disadvantage since they will be playing in front of India’s home crowd, while also realising that the national team have not won a series in the country since 1984.

After having lost the number one Test team ranking to South Africa over the summer, Prior branded England’s tour of India as “the final frontier”.

Many cricket pundits believe that England now have a stronger chance of beating India since Kevin Pietersen has returned to the lineup.

Prior’s heated dispute with Pietersen during the derogatory text messages scandal may have been one of the main reasons why Pietersen actually apologised to former Test captain Andrew Strauss, who was the victim in the messages he sent to the South African players.

After apologising to Strauss, Pietersen was quick to do the same with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the rest of his England team-mates.

Pietersen recently signed a four-month central contract and was reinstated into the national team after completing his reintegration process, which involved him meeting with senior members of the team, of which Prior was one.

“I’ve seen Kev, we had a good chat or meeting, whatever you want to call it, obviously I don’t want to go into too much detail about what went on in the meeting but the important thing about it is KP playing for England will make England a better team. He is a phenomenal player, we all know that. The really important thing is that we are all pulling and moving in the same direction, and whether it be KP, or myself – if one person steps out of line in the other direction, it’s tough. Our team ethic and team ethos has been the most important thing in our success over the last couple of years and we want to make sure we look after that and make sure we can get it back to where it was,” Prior said.

Prior also explained that he found it extremely tough to speak to Pietersen after details of his derogatory messages emerged.

“To be honest, all the time it was KP having an issue with the ECB, IPL, etc, but the minute he said he had an issue with the dressing room, it suddenly became the players’ problem, I felt the only thing to do was to say ‘Right, what are your issues?’ Kev will probably admit he did a few things wrong but if one of our senior players is saying he’s struggling in the dressing room then it would be wrong of us not to look at it and say, ‘Okay what are we doing that’s making him feel that way?’ So it works a bit both ways,” Prior added.

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