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“It’d be Lovely to be Fit for the New Zealand Series”: Ellyse Perry

Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry is in no hurry to return in order to be fully fit following a serious hamstring injury during the ICC T20 World Cup earlier this year. She has nine weeks left in her recovery from surgery to be fit again in time for their next home series against New Zealand in late September. But she said that she won’t take part in that series if she’s not confident on her fitness. Her absence might open the door for any young allrounder to get an opportunity in the national side.

“From a timeframe point of view, it’d be lovely to be fit for the New Zealand series and available for selection,” she said. “I think at this stage it’s tracking that way, but there’s a little bit to go. It’s a nice goal to have. Coming back from injury, there’s a really clear distinction in my mind between being fit to play and fit to perform.”

“As much as I would have liked not to get injured, I see it as a bit of an opportunity too. Having this period of time to work on some things – the hamstring being a big factor, getting that better again – but hopefully, it’s an opportunity in the timeframe we’ve got to also improve other things. I don’t really mind … if or if I don’t play in those games. It’s more about when I do play again, I want to be in a position to contribute and perform, and to not just be on the field again,” added Perry.

Notably, Ellyse Perry featured in every single match for her country in more than three years, playing all 71 of games in all formats for Australia. Her injury while playing against New Zealand ruled her out of the tournament where Australia played without her for the first tie in the semi-final and final.

On the other hand, selector Shawn Flegler and captain Meg Lanning have already said that they won’t try to rush Perry back in the track, especially when the 50-over World Cup is knocking at the door. It is scheduled to take place in New Zealand early next year.

Ellyse Perry celebrates after dismissing Anushka Sanjeewani of Sri Lanka during Australia vs Sri Lanka ODI at Allan Border Field. Image: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

However, allrounders Tahlia McGrath and Annabel Sutherland have recently included in the national contracts for the first time, and Flegler has already reckoned that McGrath could fill the shoes of Perry if needed.

“If Pez doesn’t get back in time to play some games for Australia, then Tahlia is certainly an option to either bat in the middle order and also she can bowl through the middle overs as well,” Flegler said in April. “We see her as a genuine allrounder and we think that with Ellyse having a long-term injury that Tahlia comes into that mix as a bowling allrounder.”

Currently, the entire world has been fighting against the global pandemic novel coronavirus. All the sporting events around the world have either been cancelled or postponed. Hence, the see against New Zealand is going to be the first one to both sides. They will play three T20Is at North Sydney Oval from September 27 to October 1 before three One Day Internationals which will take place in Townsville, Cairns and Gold Coast between October 5 to 10.

Meanwhile, to return in the setup and take on White Ferns would be a great thing for Ellyse Perry who made her ODI debut at 16 against them in Darwin. However, the all-rounder is hoping for another fierce battle for the Rose Bowl trophy, where Australia currently have the upper hand after their 3-0 win early last year at home.

“I have the most fond memories of that match and that series,” Perry recalled her debut in 2007. “Certainly, going up to Darwin in July was a little bit different, roughly this time of year a long, long time ago. I don’t think it’s changed one bit, in terms of our rivalry with New Zealand. It’s always incredibly tough, we never really play a particularly easy series and they always end up going down to the last game of the series.”

“Fortunately, I’ve been on the winning end of a lot of those, but they never seem easy. It almost feels like you’ve escaped from jail right at the end all the time. It’ll be nice to play them again soon,” Ellyse Perry concluded.

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