England landed in Australia on Thursday and play their first game of their eagerly-anticipated tour later this week against Western Australia.
Two months after they rounded off a 3-0 series win against Australia with a draw at the Oval, Andy Flower’s men are still full to the brim with enthusiasm and optimism ahead of the return encounter, where they can become the first side since 1890 to win four successive Ashes series. Prior believes Australia will do everything they can to stop England from doing so, but if there is any trepidation from within the camp, then it certainly is not showing.
“Four in a row would be a massive achievement. It’s a huge carrot,” said Prior.
“In 2009 we were having a meeting at Lord’s and said it was 75 years since we beat Australia here – we have to change that. We did it.
“We won in India for the first time in 28 years, and won the Ashes in Australia for the first time in 25 years.
“Those stats really get us going and the team enjoys those challenges and making that bit of history.
“This four in a row would be the biggest thing in my career and I imagine also for the other boys.”
The squad met up for a secret boot camp in the Midlands last week, which enhanced team spirit and trust – both of which will be vital ahead of a gruelling tour which will, for some, span five months. And after denying Australia a single Test win during the summer, it is also clear that England have impressive recent control over their once mighty opponents.
“The plan is to go over there, win and win well,” added Prior.
“The experience of beating them in 2010-11 is hugely important. I look back at the memories of travelling to Australia and they are all great memories - winning games, playing well. All of those very positive thoughts come into your mind before you’ve even got on the plane and that’s vital.”