Cricket 2021: Ellyse Perry to guide Aussies through injury crisis against India

Marco MonteverdeNCA NewsWire
Perry has returned to fitness just in time to face India. Jono Searle/Getty Images
Camera IconPerry has returned to fitness just in time to face India. Jono Searle/Getty Images Credit: Supplied

Ellyse Perry has made a timely return to full fitness, with the star all-rounder set to lead Australia’s depleted bowling attacking in a seven-match, multi-format series against India starting in Mackay on Tuesday.

Already without key bowling duo Jess Jonassen and Megan Schutt, who will miss the series due to a leg injury and personal reasons respectively, Australia’s stocks have taken a further blow, with emerging speedster Tayla Vlaeminck to only take part in the series-ending three T20 matches and sit out the Test match and three one-day internationals.

“Tayla’s had some little niggles throughout her build-up down in Victoria and that’s something that we’ve been monitoring,” coach Matthew Mott said.

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However, in better news for Mott, 30-year-old Perry has overcome a lengthy battle with a hamstring injury that restricted her bowling input.

“Speaking to Ben Sawyer, our bowling coach … he’s really happy with where she’s at,” Mott said.

“At the crease, he can’t remember her being as strong as she has been.

“It’s exciting to see where she’s going to take her game.

“Without Schutt and Jonassen, she’s going to play a really pivotal role in leading our attack, with some young bowlers around her.”

Mott was confident Australia’s emerging bowlers would make the most of their opportunities in the absence of Schutt and Jonassen in the condensed series that takes place over 19 days.

“You never liked losing great players, and they have been two of the best performed bowls over the last five years, so with Schutt and Jonassen out of your attack, it does take on a different complexion, but (there are) opportunities for other players,” he said.

“It’s a very congested schedule as well, so we’re going to have to churn through some bowlers.

“We’ve got young bowlers that need to be managed really well, so it’s going to be a really interesting mix to see how we get it all together, but so far so good.”

The Australians took part in an internal trial in Brisbane on Thursday, with Mott pleased with the outcome.

“I think the spinners probably showed the way … but everyone’s in the mix, to be honest,” he said.

“The fact that we’re playing three formats means that we’re going to have to look at different variations in our attack. Everyone will get an opportunity at some stage.”

Mott said his players were desperate to return to the international arena after a frustrating past 18 Covid-affected months.

“Words won’t describe how excited they are,” he said.

“We love our rivalry against India as well, so we know we’re going to be tested greatly.

“The excitement is huge at the moment.”

Australia women’s cricket series v India: September 21 – First ODI, Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay; September 24 – Second ODI, Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay; September 26 – Third ODI, Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay; September 30 to October 3 – Test match, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast; October 7 – First T20, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast; October 9 – Second T20, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast; October 10 – Third T20, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast.

Originally published as Cricket 2021: Ellyse Perry to guide Aussies through injury crisis against India

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