Ellyse Perry no longer a certain starter in all formats for Australia
As the ultimate team player, superstar all-rounder Ellyse Perry demanded Australian selectors made more “strategic” decisions about picking teams in different formats as depth grew and it could cost her a spot in the T20 team for the Ashes.
Perry, 31, was set to join her national teammates in Adelaide later than expected after a COVID exposure, missing two warm-up games on Tuesday and coach Matthew Mott conceded there would be a “lot of debate” about the make-up of the team for Thursday’s opening T20 against England.
Mott’s comments come after selection chairman Shawn Flegler couldn’t guarantee Perry, who has played 126 T20s for Australia as a mainstay of the team since her 2008 debut as a teenager, a spot in the team.
That situation hasn’t changed despite the forced absence of star opener Beth Mooney who fractured her jaw at training on Monday.
But Mott said the dilemma around Perry, who he labelled the “greatest player that has ever played the game in women’s cricket”, was a positive for the game and one the champion player welcomed.
“People need to understand that now we have this depth in Australian women’s cricket we are able to make some more specific decisions,” Mott said on Tuesday.
“Ellyse is definitely still in the mix. She is in my opinion probably the greatest player that has ever played the game in women’s cricket. To even have these conversations is just showing how far the depth in our squad has come.
“We’ve made a real commitment as a selection group to make those tough decisions. We look at it as a real positive, not a negative. Certainly Ellyse is the same. She is someone who has called for it in our group, for us to be really specific on our teams.
“There will be some really interesting conversations over the next 24 hours.”
Perry remains a lock for the Test match against England and captain Meg Lanning last week reiterated how important she is to the one-day side for both the Ashes and the upcoming World Cup.
But Mott said the demands for the T20 game specifically meant players like Perry, who has a career strike rate in the shortest form of the game of just 107, could be surpassed by others who can score more quickly.
“What we have found the last couple of years in our T20 team is that the balls faced in the middle order is critical,” he said.
“It’s not necessarily about picking the best batters at times in those five, six and seven spot, it’s the players with the ability to score runs off 10 balls. Someone who can score 15 runs off 10 balls is an incredibly valuable asset.
“As you’ve seen in the men’s game it’s very difficult to be a dominant player across the three formats.
“We are on the road for three months so if we can be a bit strategic with our selections and pick players for certain roles that’s something the selection group has now got the depth in our playing group to be able to do.”
Originally published as Ellyse Perry no longer a certain starter in all formats for Australia
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