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How England can conquer the world

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England take on South Africa this week in a battle of the world’s top two Test nations, but how can Andrew Strauss’s side remain at the top of the order? We asked Matt Prior...

1. use the conditions

“South Africa’s Dale Steyn is ranked the world’s best bowler and he’ll be a constant threat, especially with all the rain we’ve had making the ball swing. But we have a definite advantage as we are used to the conditions. As well as batting and bowling, it takes time for overseas ’keepers to get used to them.”

2. improve Fielding

“We pride ourselves hugely on wanting to be the best fielding team in the world. The only way you do that is taking every catch that comes your way. We weren’t happy with the way we fielded [in recent games] – we know that we were a bit sloppy. If a half chance comes along and someone takes it, that can change a game.”

3. Adapt to the opposition

“You put a plan into place for each opponent, but obviously the plan moves. We’ve played South Africa before so we have a recollection of how certain people have played, but they’ve improved in certain areas as well, so what may have been a weakness for a player a year and a half ago, may now be a strength.”

4. utilise increased Fitness

“I imagine at the end of the three Tests, we’re going to be pretty exhausted. Physically, you have to be in the best condition possible, because you don’t want to be holding back or have to pace yourself – you want to go at 100 per cent for the whole Test series, and that’s why we do the work that we do off the pitch.”

Investec is the title sponsor of Test Match cricket in England; investec.co.uk/cricket

(Image: All Star)

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