Ellyse Perry is feeling the pressure and is well aware she needs to lift her bowling output as she prepares to spearhead the Australian Test attack.
Depleted bowling stocks have demanded the star all-rounder take over new-ball duties in Australia’s multi-format, seven-match series against India.
Having only just returned to bowling after a long-term hamstring injury, Perry struggled in the three one-day internationals in Mackay, conceding 103 runs across the matches with some wild early spells, which included 26 wides from her 14 overs.
Despite her struggles, Perry is set to again open the bowling in the one-off day-night Test match starting at Metricon Stadium on Thursday.
Watch our record-breaking women live and ad-break free during play on Kayo when they take on India in the Women’s Test series. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >
With the spotlight on her after an underwhelming early return, the 30-year-old, who will be playing her ninth Test, knows she has to perform better when the ball gets thrown her way.
“You’ve got to perform and contribute otherwise you don’t deserve to have those opportunities,” Perry said on Wednesday.
“I’m very cognisant of that. There’s been some great performances across the group and it would be really lovely to contribute.”
Perry conceded she had been “very much off the mark” in Mackay.
“It’s a really good challenge for me to keep working on things and trying to find some good form that’s going to contribute to the team,” she said.
“At the same time there have been some wonderful performances in the bowling group; some young and fresh faces that have stepped up to the mark.
“That’s been brilliant and I’ve just got to try to keep up with them.
“There are pretty small margins technically sometimes with bowling and there are just a few little things that aren’t quite there, so I’ll keep chipping away at it and see how it goes.”
Many believe the Test arena best suits Perry, particularly with the bat.
In Australia‘s most recent Test, a July 2019 draw against England at Taunton, Perry top scored in both of her side’s innings with knocks of 116 and 78 not out. She also took 1-44 with the ball in England’s only innings of the match.
“I’m not sure it suits me best, but I just think it’s a really enjoyable format,” she said.
“There’s a lot of time, and it’s the traditional format of the game, too.
“For all of us, we really relish the challenge of putting four good days of cricket together in both the field and with the bat.
“We all love Test matches. They’re pretty rare in women’s cricket. The opportunity to wear whites and the baggy green – it’s really exciting.”
Perry was pleased with the Australians‘ overall effort in Mackay, where despite having their world-record winning streak in one-day internationals ended at 26 matches, they won two of the three games.
“We played some really great cricket in those first three games. It’s been a really good contest, which is just brilliant,” she said.
“The Indian team is incredibly skilful and it’s going to be a really great challenge for both sides out there.”