London, Sep 27 (ANI): Wicketkeeper Matt Prior has backed England's batsmen to take the Champions Trophy by storm after Andrew Strauss' players shocked the cricketing world by beating much fancied Sri Lanka.
After their nervous displays recently against Australia, Eoin Morgan, Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah cast off their shackles to guide England to a thumping six-wicket win.
Skipper Strauss was delighted his players listened to his plea to bat without fear after a string of bad one-day performances against the Aussies at home.
"Our batters have come in for a bit of stick in the last few weeks, and rightly so, but the way we played Sri Lanka's spinners in particular was fantastic. It's important that you don't put too much pressure on yourself in one-day cricket," News of the World quoted Prior, as saying.
"If you get a little bit behind the eight-ball or a little bit low on confidence, pressure builds very, very quickly because you have to keep up with the rate. But it's important to have that freedom and not put pressure on yourself to go out and play big shots," he said.
"You've got to back your ability and your skills. Then it's just a question of going out to the middle and expressing yourself," prior added.
Lankan spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis were made to look plain on a Wanderers' wicket labelled poor by captain Kumar Sangakkara.
Newcomer Morgan made his second 50 in four games to ease England home with five overs to spare.
Prior said: "Eoin has been brilliant. Everyone knows from watching him play for Middlesex what a class player he is and the shots he plays.
England take on hosts South Africa today at Centurion Park knowing victory will guarantee them a semi-final spot. (ANI)