Prior not concerned with Aussie turmoil as England focus
FULLY-focused England will ignore Australia's meltdown in India and make sure they are not distracted in preparation for the second Test against New Zealand.
Alastair Cook's tourists are inevitably well aware of events on the subcontinent where four players – opener Shane Watson, batsman Usman Khawaja and pace bowlers James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson – have been disciplined for ignoring team orders.
The four failed to come up with three reasons for Australia's poor showing in India to date – they trail the four-match Test series 2-0 – a request from coach Mickey Arthur.
England's players can hardly avoid taking a keen interest in Australia's troubles at the start of their year of back-to-back Ashes series – which all start when the two teams square off at Trent Bridge on July 10.
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Matt Prior, however, insists he and his team-mates will give the subject minimal thought as they concentrate instead on their own second match of three – beginning in Wellington tomorrow, with the series score 0-0 after a draw in Dunedin.
Asked what he personally thinks of events in Mohali, he said: "Not a great deal.
"We focus completely on what we've got to do here.
"We've got a big game coming up, and it is one of those things that'll make us start the Test match badly – focusing on something else that isn't relevant to what we want to do or want to concentrate on."
England are wary of another sticky start after being bowled out for just 167 in their first innings at the University Oval.
"We'll just prepare as well as the England team can prepare, and leave the rest to worry about their own stuff," Prior added.
Watson is already on his way home, with his Test future in doubt but also the birth of his first child imminent in Australia.
His misdemeanour, along with Australia's three other outcasts, is said by captain Michael Clarke to be no isolated incident but a final straw which required a strong response from management.
Coaching techniques with international teams, and others, often involve demands for feedback about technique and tactics.
Prior refused to divulge whether England coach Andy Flower uses similar methods, but is happy with the exchanges of information which are often the staple of team meetings.
"It's easier now, because Swanny (the injured Notts ace Graeme Swann) isn't here – so everyone else can get a word in, which is great," he said.
"Each team will have their own ways and means. The coaching and management staff will have their own ways of doing stuff.
"We have ours. I'm not prepared to go into too much detail about that. But it works for us, so we'll continue doing that."
England had their share of disruption, of course, last summer during Kevin Pietersen's ugly stand-off with his employers – a saga which Prior himself helped to resolve with a reassuring phone call to the mercurial batsman.
The wicketkeeper was at pains today, though, to emphasise that vexed saga is very much in the past.
"The Kevin Pietersen perspective is long gone," he said. "We have moved forward from that. We're in a very good place, and looking forward to this Test match."