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England won't get into sledging war

cricket Updated: Nov 02, 2010 13:27 IST

AFP
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Wicketkeeper Matt Prior said England wouldn't be drawn into a sledging battle on the field with the Australians during the upcoming Ashes series.

Speaking after training in stifling heat here on Tuesday, Prior said sledging, or "mental disintegration" as former Australian captain Steve Waugh famously dubbed the practice of verbally taunting opponents, was not part of England's tactics for the series.

The 28-year-old recognised that English players would need to deal with some Aussie sledging when at the batting crease, but said the team as a whole wouldn't be looking to adopt the same tactic, preferring a more conventional approach to building pressure on the home side.

"When we are in the field, I don't think sledging is something we are going to go into any Test match looking to do," he said.

"It is not something we concentrate on and it is not something we will focus on at all.

"We will focus on putting the ball in the right areas and building an intensity through our skills, through fielding well, through taking our catches, through creating a natural energy by buzzing around.

"I don't think we need to say too much and get into a war of words with anyone." Prior, on a high after backing Melbourne Cup winner Americain, said he was looking forward to his first tour of Australia, where he expects to enjoy wicketkeeping.

"I'm a bit nervous saying this, but Australia for a 'keeper is quite a nice place to come," he said.

"The carry on the wickets... you stand a fair distance back, and the main thing that is different to England is the wobble that you may get.

"The Duke ball seems to wobble a bit more, especially in the conditions at Lord's and Headingley and can make you look silly at times.

"The challenges are getting used to the heat again and making sure you are fit enough to give the energy you want to give as a wicketkeeper and the engine room of the fielding side."

Prior said Graeme Swann was fine after hurting his right thumb in the nets on Monday.

Swann was hit on his bowling hand by a delivery from Tim Bresnan, but Prior said the spinner had bounced back quickly.

"You can't keep him down for too long," Prior said.

"He is absolutely fine and seems on top form, he's back on fire in the change room again."