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Perry sees ‘silver edge’ of bowling alley as new challenges await

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Ellyse Perry believes her recent bowling downtime could bring long-term benefits as she looks to regain her role as a full-fledged all-rounder on the Australian side.

Perry bowled for the first time since March, when she was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the back, in last weekend’s WNCL clash against South Australia in Adelaide, where she went 1 for 7 in three overs of a successful comeback.

“In many ways I think having that back injury was a bit of a silver lining,” she said at an event to announce NRMA insurance as Cricket Australia’s new title sponsor. “I’ve had a chance to tweak a few technical things a bit and think that’s given me an action that’s now a bit more sound and also takes a bit of stress off my body.”

Perry has not played for Australia since the ODI World Cup final against England in Christchurch, after losing her place in the T20I side. But there were signs in the Hundred, where she played for Birmingham Phoenix, that her batting found an extra gear – with a strike rate of 136.73 – and the upcoming WBBL with Sydney Sixers looms as essential if Perry takes up the challenge from youngster players in the T20 format.

“Think every season you want to try and improve and evolve,” she said. “Especially from a personal point of view, that’s been a big challenge lately to work on my clout and take a few different things to the next level.”

There will be at least one opening on the Australian T20 side when they next come together for the India tour in December – which is part of their build-up to the defense of the T20 World Cup in February – following the retirement of Rachael Haynes and there could be another if Meg Lanning doesn’t return, which would also require Australia to have a new captain.

“I don’t know if it’s a new era, but a bit of an opportunity to keep evolving,” Perry said. “Now that Shelley comes on board as a full-time head coach there are some changes now, but I think it’s something we’ve been planning in many ways for a while.

“We are incredibly lucky to have great depth within the squad and more broadly in domestic cricket so I think there will be some new opportunities for players. We also have a lot of younger players coming through and pushing for places, so that’s always exciting.

“We’d like to stick to the core of what we’ve done over the years because it’s been successful, but certainly within the group in any sport you have to keep evolving.”