Prior to captain England in warm-up match against Western Australia

Image courtesy of: The Telegraph

“It is very exciting to lead the guys out, everyone is raring to go and it should be good fun”

England vice-captain Matt Prior will lead the national team during their three-day warm-up match against Western Australia in Perth tomorrow.

Prior was promoted to the rank of captain after regular skipper Alastair Cook suffered a back niggle, which he has still not fully recovered from.

Cook will miss the three-day game, along with pace bowler Stuart Broad, off-spinner Graeme Swann and flamboyant batsman Kevin Pietersen.

Despite many of the national team’s regular faces sitting on the sidelines, Prior will still have an army of pace bowlers to command, which include James Anderson, Boyd Rankin, Steven Finn, Chris Tremlett and Ben Stokes.

“It is very exciting to lead the guys out, everyone is raring to go and it should be good fun,” Prior said. “We want to play well and put the best team out but we know what we need in terms of preparation.

“Cooky has a stiff back so this is purely a precaution and rushing him into something is not the best idea.

“KP has been flying around and probably needs a couple of days more rest and recuperation and get into the right time zone.

“It looks like a good wicket and a great chance for guys to get in and score some big runs.”

Meanwhile, Western Australia coach Geoff Marsh has expressed his shock at not seeing more of England’s regular players participating in the warm-up match.

Marsh added that England “played their top six batsmen in each of their warm up games” during their successful Ashes tour in 2010-11.

“England played their top six batsmen in each of their warm up games last time around and look how well they played in Brisbane,” Marsh said. “It surprises me they are not doing the same, looking back it has always been the thing in my mind about how well they prepared and then played in that first Test match.

“England are a great side probably the best in the world. They are so well organised, they’ve got a terrific coach and a well balanced side.  They played tough hard cricket for longer than Australia did and that is why they won, I rate them really highly. We’ll be better than we were in England and I think it will be a competitive series.”

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