England refuse Dutch sneak preview in hope of avoiding upset

Dutch coach suggests Strauss' team might be running scared ahead of World Cup match tomorrow

England are taking no chances as they prepare for tomorrow's opening World Cup match against the Netherlands in Nagpur – right down to refusing to play ball with the Dutch when it comes to virtual cricket.

Andrew Strauss's team need no reminding that the men in orange caused major embarrassment by beating them in a World Twenty20 game at Lord's in 2009 and they are determined there will be no repeat in the 50-over format – so determined that, according to the Dutch, cheeky requests to borrow video footage of Jimmy Anderson and Co have been rejected.

"The funny thing is there is a new practice facility called 'ProBatter' with a hole in the screen where the ball pops out from footage [of various bowlers so batsmen in the nets feel like they are facing the real thing]," said Netherlands team manager Ed van Nierop. "The boys really like that the England team management refused to give us the footage of the England bowlers, so they must be a little afraid of us!"

What England must be, of course, is respectful. And they are, insists Matt Prior. "Netherlands are a team you absolutely cannot be complacent against," said the keeper-batsman. "We've seen what happened in the past and we don't want that to happen again."

A few weeks ago, Prior was expected to watch the World Cup from home. Then, having been recalled to the one-day squad at the last minute instead of Steve Davies, he seemed certain to open the batting. Now, with Kevin Pietersen promoted to the top of the order, Prior is being cast as England's "finisher" – the middle-order batsman with the responsibility for seeing the team to a big total or guiding them to a target.

"The middle overs in this World Cup are going to be very important, playing the spin and with the seam bowlers using a lot of cutters and slower balls – trying to manipulate the ball around," said Prior. "It is going to be hard, but playing on the subcontinent is something I feel confident about, so I'm looking forward to it.

"The minute anyone says the word 'finisher', you panic a little bit and think: 'That's a lot of responsibility.' But I love being a part of a team, and you want to be a cog in the wheel and one of those that wins games and helps set up games.

"Being a 'finisher' gives you the responsibility, and I enjoy that. I don't think Eoin Morgan's boots can be filled – he's a phenomenal player – but I'll certainly try my best."

If Prior could pick his own position it might not be six. But he knows he cannot – so will continue to give it his best shot, wherever he is deployed. "I've always thought opening suited my game better," he said. "But the way the last couple of games have gone I've found a tempo I'm very comfortable with.

"I don't think, opening, I managed to get that tempo ever – which was hugely frustrating, because I know that if I get that tempo right I can be very, very successful. Right now, this role is suiting me – and I feel very comfortable in it."

Prior averages only 25 in ODIs, compared to almost 43 in Tests. "People throw stats around and say your one-day stats aren't that good," he said "They aren't. But I'm working very hard to improve them."

David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments