With questions about the future of bowling from Ellyse Perry, the Australian off-road superstar has delivered the answers.
Ellyse Perry has revealed her desire to “evolve” as she heads into a 15th international summer and goes from being barely used with the ball to being the most important cog in Australia’s bowling attack against India.
The Australians take the field at Mackay next week for the first time since a series against New Zealand in March, when they set a new world record for consecutive international victories in one day.
But in that series, Perry, who was playing with a serious hamstring injury that required surgery in 2020 and a long layoff, had significantly reduced bowling requirements.
Amid suggestions that the now 30-year-old could lower her bowling level to handle it for the rest of her career and get more out of her hitting, Perry threw just seven overs in six games against the Kiwis. In three games, he didn’t throw anything at all.
But she’s ready to play a big role with the ball again when the multi-format series kicks off next week, with regular spearhead Megan Schutt missing and fiery Tayla Vlaeminck only taking part in the series-ending three T20 games.
Perry was well aware of the public perception of her reduced bowling production the last time she and the team played, but insisted she had no intention of giving up the ball.
“There was a lot of talk about the limited impact I had with the ball and it’s been a huge challenge to keep evolving and trying to improve that,” Perry said.
“Throughout my career, I really enjoyed the challenge trying to improve and evolve my game because the game has evolved a lot.
“I feel really lucky and in a way proud to have been involved with the team for so long.
“You always have to evolve. But, yes, perhaps more than in recent years.
“It was really tough, some great opportunities that I hope to improve.”
Perry, who has taken 298 international wickets in 246 tests, ODI and T20, has used nearly six months off the field to prepare his body for the resumption of a heavy load of bowling.
The team’s medical staff could also determine how much he throws in seven games against India, with an Ashes series at home early next year and then a one-day World Cup.
Coach Matthew Mott has a great group of bowlers at his disposal, even without Schutt and Vlaeminck at the moment.
But Perry doesn’t get carried away by her own numbers, and Australia’s leading female ticket taker in all formats is committed to playing her role in the fast bowling bill.
“I completely understand why people look at (the numbers),” Perry said.
“But they are one thing and then the other side is to play a role and contribute to the squad and the team and how we want to play.
“As our team personnel evolve or change that, I think their role as an individual changes slightly as well.
“It’s like mixing that and balancing that within a group… I would love to continue contributing and being a part of bowling training.
“We have a pretty big squad, there will certainly be a few different opportunities for the players to manage that.”