'Resilience, hard work won us Trent Bridge Test'
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has said that his side could have lost the second Test against India at Trent Bridge on the first day itself but an epic effort, built on resilience and hard work, saw them through to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series.
He said when England were 124 for eight in their first innings in the second session of the opening day at Trent Bridge, he thought they would lose the match like in 2007.
"That was a bad Test match for England and we attracted headlines for the wrong reasons -- a crushing defeat and high jinks with jelly beans. This time it was very different and was probably the best win I have been involved in with England," he said recalling that match in July 2007 which India, under Rahul Dravid, won by seven wickets.
"When we were 128 for eight in first innings, and it felt like we could have potentially lost the game on first day, my thoughts went straight back to 2007. The toss was also vital and we were behind from early on. I remember thinking to myself this time around, 'OK, we are four years on but we are in the same position. Have we improved since then? Have we moved forward?'
Image: England players walk back to the pavillion after winning at Trent Bridge
Photographs: Getty Images
'We showed resilience at Trent Bridge'
"Three days later answers were provided and I had a very different set of emotions. Winning the Test was a massively proud moment, not only for myself, but the whole team. It was an epic effort built on hard work," said Prior who scored 73 from just 60 balls to help England post a massive 544 in their second innings to put India on the backfoot.
Prior attributed England's turnaround in the second Test as the result of "resilience" and hard work put in place during the preparation phase.
"We showed resilience at Trent Bridge against India and that is a reward for hard work we put in to our preparation. Success breeds confidence, but you need something else to kick-start that. You can't just rely on winning," Prior wrote in his column for Daily Telegraph.
"Our resilience comes from the amount of hard work we put in as a team. The precision that goes into our training for every Test leaves the guys feeling very confident before the match has even started. We know, as a team, we have done everything we possibly can to prepare and the rest is down to a bit of luck and having your day. That comes from hard work in nets," Prior said.
Image: Matt Prior
'Dhoni is a class act'
"Thanks to the way we prepare, no one goes to the wicket feeling under pressure. They just go out and play their normal game. That shows the confidence the dressing room has to bounce back from a bad start and that is exactly what happened at Trent Bridge," he said.
Prior expressed happiness that he was able to challenge Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in terms of wicketkeeping performance.
"Before the series starts I always look at the 'keeper I am up against. You always want to beat your opposite number. It is 11 of you versus 11 of them and if you all beat your individual opponents, you will win the series.
"Obviously MS Dhoni is a class act and it is a nice challenge to put yourself up against him. I am very happy with how it is going but the important thing is keeping the consistency going. That is the challenge for all of us now."
Image: MS Dhoni during a practice session