In truth, the 32 year old had had a poor few months, suffering from a complete lack of form since his series saving hundred against New Zealand at Auckland. It appeared that Australia in particular had worked out how to bowl at him and after being dropped from the England side before the 4th Ashes test at Melbourne, many pundits were writing Prior's cricketing epitaph. Apparently he was too old, time to move onto younger men.
Blooding young players is all well and good but there is no point blooding them if they aren't ready. There is also no point putting them in the team if there are still world class players waiting in the wings. Prior is an excellent example of a world-class player who can still offer England a lot over the next few years.
All players lose form and that was certainly the case for Prior. Whatever he tried just didn't seem to work. However his poor form over 8 months should be put into context by 5 years of excellent form. Since regaining his place back in the England side in 2008, Prior hardly had a bad match with gloves or bat. It seemed like he was never out of form, until last summer.
Losses in form happen to every sportsman so it was bound to happen to Prior eventually. That doesn't mean he isn't a world class player anymore. It just means he needs to regain his form and by the looks of it he has done just that by scoring the first hundred of the county season in Sussex's match against Middlesex. Batting at 4, Prior came in with a positive intent, taking the bowlers on and giving his side momentum. Just like he usually does for England.
Buttler will one-day be good enough to break into England's Test side however, Prior is currently the better option both as a wicket-keeper and a batsman.