Misbah-ul-Haq’s home side will resume day two at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on 42-0, trailing their visitors by 150 runs with 10 wickets in hand, after reducing Andrew Strauss’ men to 192ao yesterday.
Prior is nonetheless confident the tourists can still claw their way back into the overall reckoning at this early stage — a battling trait they’ve seemingly proven on many occasions in the past.
“The great thing is that this team has been in tough positions before and we’ve fought our way back,” said the Sussex wicketkeeper, 29, who topscored in England’s forlorn first innings with a valiant knock of 70no.
“It’s a commanding position, but we’ve won — and saved — Test matches from here. It’s nothing new and it’s not a big fright and shock.
“Tuesday didn’t go as well as we wanted, but it’s not all over and we cannot just give it up now. “We’ve got a huge day on Wednesday. It’s not lost on us that it hasn’t gone well, but we’re very confident we can pull something out of this game.
“It’s not been a great day, we’ve not performed as we wanted to and I think the batters will hold their hands up and say: ‘Right, we didn’t quite get it right.’
“But, when you look around that room, we’ve got class batters and a class batting outfit. One bad day at the office doesn’t suddenly turn that all around.
“It’s not panic stations. We’ve still come in at the end of the day very upbeat. We know we’ve got the bowlers that can bring us back into this game.
“Obviously, we’re going to have to play well from here on in, but we’re very confident we can do that.” Prior’s nearest challengers on the scorecard were Graeme Swann (34) and Eoin Morgan (24) as England’s top order all failed to progress beyond starts.
His rare success, among a spate of low-scoring failures, seemingly was obtained by adopting a more cautious approach too, instead of being too cavalier.
“I went in at a position where I almost was forced to play a certain way – very straight and pretty watchful – and that’s maybe the way we have to look at it,” he added.
“It’s all well and good trying to get on top of the bowlers we’ve played recently, where the ball has come on and you can score at a rate. “This is just a reminder that subcontinental cricket is slightly more attritional and you have to play the long game.”
When we choose to look away for good, we are as complicit as those at the helm of this atrocity
Over 100 people in Lebanon have been reported killed during the hostilities started on October 7