Ellyse Perry is up for the challenge of proving she still belongs in Australia’s best Twenty20 team ahead of a packed short-form schedule.
Once one of Australia’s T20 stars, Perry has had battles with injuries and form in recent years, and while still in the short-form XI, she was dropped from the Ashes opener in January.
A lengthy recovery from a previous serious hamstring injury, the difficulties of COVID-19 restrictions and more recently a back stress fracture have hindered the 31-year-old.
Australia’s coming schedule is packed with T20 cricket.
They will play T20 tri-series against Ireland and Pakistan in Derry in July, before their Commonwealth Games campaign.
Australia then tour India for five T20s in December, before three home T20 matches against Pakistan in January ahead of the short-form World Cup in South Africa in February.
“The depth coming through in the women’s side of the game is tremendous and that’s a wonderful thing for the whole squad, the whole group,” Perry told reporters.
“It presents challenges for everyone to make sure that they’re continuing to evolve as a player. That’s very much the case for me.
“But yeah, I’d love to still be a part of that.
“Certainly it’s working to make sure that I’m in that position.
“Looking at our schedule coming up, with another T20 World Cup next year in South Africa, you always want to be involved in the big tournaments so I think we’re all looking at that.”
Perry may well have to prove herself without one of her weapons: her bowling.
The allrounder is in the Australian team as a batter only at this stage, after the lower back injury that restricted her earlier this year at the World Cup was diagnosed as a stress fracture.
“It’s going well,” she said of her back. “It’s sort of just a progressive one where I’ll keep getting it scanned in the lead-up to playing again, but so far it’s been going really smoothly and touch wood that continues.
“That’s very much the plan … to get back bowling and to full fitness.
“It’s sort of just when that happens over the summer is the biggest question mark at the moment.”
Perry believed on the whole, selection pressure was important for an all-conquering Australian team to keep their ruthless edge.
“We want to keep pushing the boat out and then not get caught,” she said.
“Because it’s certainly nice having success and I think once you’ve tasted it you don’t want to go the other way.”