We were panicky in first innings: Prior

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior on Saturday expressed disappointment over England’s modest effort in their first innings, but maintained that his team was still in the game after reaching 111 for no loss in their second innings.

“We all know that our first innings was a bit of a shocker. To lose wickets quickly is always disappointing. There’s no point crying over spilt milk. You have to move on,” said Prior, who top-scored in England’s first innings with 48.

“But, most importantly, we went out there (in the second innings) and are none down. That’s a fantastic turnaround. We’re behind the game, but fighting hard and still in the game. The way Compo (Compton) and Cookie (Cook) went about their business this afternoon was fantastic. We’ll take a huge amount from that,” he said.

Prior admitted that the English batsmen might have been a bit panicky in the first innings. “Everyone I know for a fact was keen to get into this Test match. The batters were keen to go out there and prove a point. We knew the wicket was going to turn a bit. Maybe we got a little bit too ahead of ourselves, and a little bit panicky. In the second innings we seem to be a lot calmer.”

Prior also defended Ian Bell, who got out in the first ball he faced playing a listless lofted shot off Pragyan Ojha.

“Belly’s one of the finest batters of hitting the ball over the top. Only Belly will know the plan he had and what he wanted to do and it didn’t come off. If it had gone for a one-bounce four everyone would’ve said, ‘what a fantastic shot, he’s off and running. “Those are the fine lines when you play sport.”

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