sport

Clarke: England miss Prior

Australia captain Michael Clarke believes England made a major selection error in dropping Matt Prior.

Clarke is hoping to lead Australia to a 5-0 whitewash over England in the fifth Test in Sydney, which starts on Thursday night UK time.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Prior was dropped for the fourth Test in Melbourne, with Jonny Bairstow replacing him behind the stumps.

And Clarke believes England missed the Sussex gloveman's hard-nosed approach and experience in the Boxing Day match, one they eventually lost by eight wickets with more than a day to spare.

"In my opinion, the one player I think England missed last game was Matt Prior - and more so for his leadership and experience," said Clarke.

"I think he's a similar personality to Brad Haddin.

"One of the best things that has happened to our team is having Brad back because of his experience, because of his leadership, because of his toughness.

"That's certainly not having a crack at Jonny Bairstow - he's a wonderful talent and has a huge future for England - but I think when you're not performing as well as you would like as a team that senior player, that tough-nosed senior player helps the group a lot.

"It's probably not my place to say that - but if I was in England's shoes, I would certainly be getting Matty Prior back into my team ASAP."

Watch the fifth Test between England and Australia on Sky Sports 2 on Thursday evening, with coverage from 10.30pm.