Spokesman Prior gears up for the big Ashes battle

ENGLAND'S Tour de France champions Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome helped wicketkeeper Matt Prior put the wheels in motion ahead of his side's bid to win a fourth successive Ashes series.

Prior  says he is in the shape of his life after taking up cycling and spending some time riding alongside Wiggins and Froome.

Now Prior, who has scored 646 runs at an average of 32.30, and taken 52 catches and one stumping in 15 Ashes Tests, is ready for the heat of battle, starting at the Gabba on November 21.

He won't be backing down either - he's confident that England can become the first side since 1890 to win four successive Ashes series.

"Four in a row would be a massive achievement. It's a huge carrot," he said.

"In 2009 we were having a meeting at Lord's and said it was 75 years since we beat Australia here - we have to change that. We did it.

"We won in India for the first time in 28 years, and won the Ashes in Australia for the first time in 25 years.

"Those stats really get us going. The team enjoys those challenges and making that bit of history.

"This four in a row would be the biggest thing in my career and I imagine also for the other boys.

"Those days when the guys used to think 'Oh my goodness, we are going to Australia again, we are going to get beaten up', are gone."

England's tour starts with a three-day game against a Western Australia XI at the WACA in Perth on Thursday.

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