London, Aug 14 (IANS): England wicketkeeper Matt Prior says that being the World No.1 Test team was a long-cherished dream and was achieved Saturday by taking small steps and not really looking too far ahead.
England toppled India from the top spot with a crushing innings and 242 run victory in the third Test in Edgbaston that also gave them an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four match series.
"The English love to get behind a team who are doing well and the fact that we are now the best team in the world has really gripped the nation, from the fantastic support we have had at Edgbaston this week to people who don't really follow cricket," Prior wrote in The Daily Telegraph.
"Being the No.1 ranked Test nation is something that we set our sights on some time ago and we have got there by taking small steps and not really looking too far ahead. We know that getting to the top is one thing, but that staying there will be a different challenge altogether. We have the potential to be a great team and we have worked very hard and shown a lot of discipline over the last couple of years to get to this position," he said.
Prior said that there are players in this side whose statistics are starting to bear comparison with some of the all-time great England players.
"But we are a young side who could be together for another four or five years, so there is potential for further improvement. We have got into this position by performing well in some tough recent series. To go to Australia and retain the Ashes 3-1 with three wins by an innings was a phenomenal achievement. To be playing and beating India, who we have replaced as the best team in the world, shows what a good side we are," he said.
Prior said it cannot be over-estimated how much this team have put in together.
"There has been a lot of shared hardship, we push each other hard every day and that has built an amazing team spirit," he said.
The wicketkeeper-batsman also praised coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss for the team's success.
"The two Andrews - Flower and Strauss - also push each other and they challenge us every day to train harder, to put ourselves under pressure and to improve with bat, ball or in the field. It is hard work but there is also a lot of enjoyment from playing in a team who are doing so well and succeeding together. For me, it is like playing club cricket on a Saturday afternoon with your mates. The difference is we have the privilege of playing together at places like Lord's and Edgbaston," he said.