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Prior's call-up the lone surprise

England's new wicketkeeper Matt Prior has admitted "I have to raise my game" after realising his dream with a call-up to the England Test squad.

Prior will make his debut in the first Test at Lord's on Thursday after being given the nod by his former Sussex coach Peter Moores to pick up where Ashes glovemen Geraint Jones and Chris Read and World Cup first-choice Paul Nixon left off.

And while Johannesburg-born Prior, 25, recognises the magnitude of the opportunity before him he admits he will have to apply himself after making just 240 runs in 12 one-day internationals for his country.

"It is the best feeling in the world," he told the Evening Argus.

"It's the perfect scenario. I will be playing at Lord's, the home of cricket, and Mooresy is going to be in the dressing-room with me.

"I will have to raise my game, I know that, but it's a fantastic opportunity. I worked really hard in the winter and feel I have improved as a cricketer.

"Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game."

An elevation for Prior seemed unlikely under former coach Duncan Fletcher, who played Prior largely as a specialist batsman and handed him the gloves only once in his dozen ODI appearances.

As such, his debt to Moores, who helped him make a name for himself at Hove, is apparent.

"It's a dream come true. I know everyone says that but this has been a dream of mine since I was very young.

"When I was told I was in the squad I thought about the first time I met Pete when I did my first wicketkeeping session in the old Gilligan Stand at Hove.

"I will definitely want to perform for him. One of his strengths as a coach is that he pushes you to your limit. He will do that for everyone in the squad."

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