WPL 2024: Do keep in mind that if you are available, an opportunity of bowling will come, says Ellyse Perry

March 13, 2024
Before Tuesday’s game against Mumbai Indians at 2024 WPL, Ellyse Perry had been wicket-less with the ball in the six overs she bowled for the Royal Challengers Bangalore

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Before Tuesday’s game against Mumbai Indians at 2024 WPL, Ellyse Perry had been wicket-less with the ball in the six overs she bowled for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). In her first over, Ellyse gave away two runs, but after that, the script changed for an astonishing tale.

In the ninth over, Ellyse got a nip-backer to crash into Sajana Sajeevan’s off-stump and had Harmanpreet Kaur playing on to her stumps on consecutive deliveries. If that wasn’t enough, Ellyse then trapped Amelia Kerr lbw and unleashed the nip-backer again to castle Amanjot Kaur in the 11th over.

In her final over, Ellyse used the cross-seamer to send Pooja Vastrakar’s off-stump on a ride and brought out the nip-backer again to trap Nat Sciver-Brunt lbw to pick 6-15, the best-ever figures in the WPL and in her T20 career.

Before the WPL, Ellyse didn’t have a bowl in the white-ball games against India, before bowling four overs each in the ODI and T20I games against South Africa. Though her game began by taking an excellent running catch at deep square leg to dismiss Hayley Matthews, it was the bowling (she made 40 not out), where she made a huge impact to pave the way for RCB entering WPL knockouts for the first time.

Ellyse put down her superlative bowling performance at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Tuesday to being aware of making an impact with the ball whenever needed. “I have played for a long period of time now, so I have got a bit of a handle on how I need to prepare. There is always opportunity before a match to bowl overs out in the middle while warming up.”

“I do that keeping in mind that you are available if the opportunity presents itself to bowl in a game. I have been playing solidly for the last 18 months now, I don’t feel like I am short on cricket or overs. Whenever there is a chance to contribute to the team, it’s being ready for that,” she said in a virtual interaction organised by RCB.

Ellyse’s spell also means that she could be firmly in the frame for her bowling prowess to be utilised better by Australia, who will tour Bangladesh for three T20Is and as many ODIs in Mirpur, as part of preparation for Women’s T20 World Cup happening in the country later in the year.

“I don’t think there is a case for anything. I have played a lot of cricket over a number of years. We have been pretty fortunate in the Australian team that we have a lot of options. Here we have got a lot of bowling options with RCB.”

“From my perspective, what I love doing as a player and something that keeps me motivated is to keep working on things and try to get better. I spent a lot of time last couple of years working on that.”

“I feel like there’s been bits and pieces that have helped me feel confident that at times I can contribute when needed. At the same time it’s not a big deal either way. I just enjoy being part of a team where we are all working towards the same goal,” she added.

After playing a crucial hand in RCB getting into the knockouts, Ellyse revealed about how she celebrated her scintillating all-round performance in her hotel room. “Last night I had a chocolate brownie with the girls and some ice cream. I then went to my room, put my red light glasses and read a few chapters of a book and fell asleep.”

“It’s easy to get really carried away when things go well. But I feel like a lot of time you don’t have that much control over things panning well or not. You certainly work hard to put yourself in pretty good positions but there’s so many other factors that go into any game, and the outcome.”

“Especially as I have got older, I don’t really want to react either way – whether it’s a good night or a bad night. The sun comes up the next day. Fortunately, in this competition, there is always another opportunity to play games quickly. Whether it goes well or not, we are so lucky to be in the middle with these ridiculously big crowd who are so fanatical about it.”

“It’s a far-cry from what it was like when I first started playing some years ago. There wasn’t really anyone coming to our games, and certainly no interest in the sport like there is no. When it does go well it doesn’t feel like you have got too much control over it, other than the hard work you have put into it. It’s easy to kind of just enjoy it for the moment when it lasts and life goes on quickly after that.”

Unless something goes awry for Delhi Capitals in their last league match against Gujarat Giants on Wednesday, RCB will be all but certain to face MI in the Eliminator on Friday. Ellyse thinks entering the knockouts was a huge priority for RCB, who began WPL 2023 with five losses and missed the bus for the playoffs.

“We have started to play some good cricket at the right time so in any big matches, it’s about turning up and doing absolutely everything you can to win the important moments. Having played eight games together, there’s a good feel among ourselves and what our roles are. It’s the total team contribution in big moments that are going to be important for us.”

Ellyse also thinks the reason for RCB’s change in fortunes in WPL this year has been down to calmness and camaraderie amongst the group which has Luke Williams as head coach from this year and Smriti Mandhana as captain.

“There’s a really strong sense of calmness and people are enjoying themselves. Luke Williams has brought a lot to the group from that perspective. He has been clear from the start along with the other coaches, just to give us all the confidence and clarity that our best cricket will be competitive enough in this competition. The team, as a whole, has had more time together. Last year we took a time to find our feet.”

“Smriti has led the group exceptionally well. Her personality is quite introverted. She is big on developing relationships with each player and really making sure that she knows we are supporting her, but also she’s been able to develop that relationship with us. That takes time but there is so much upside to that. The fact that we can take the field knowing each other and supporting each other has been great.”

In that match, Ellyse had an unbroken 76-run stand with wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh, who was not out on 36 off 28 balls. 2024 WPL has been a season where Richa had shined with both bat and gloves. Ellyse signed off by being effusive in her praise for Richa’s performances in the competition.

“How good is she? I just love playing with Richa. She always has got a smile on her face, contributes so much to the team. She is always laughing and so supportive of her teammates. She has been phenomenal behind the stumps.”

“She has affected so many moments with catches and stumping and run-outs and with the bat has brought a whole new level to her game. The areas that she accesses with her power makes her so hard to bowl to.”

“Last night too she shifted the momentum in a tricky chase. Scary that she is so young because she has a bright future ahead of her. It’s going to be tough coming up against her when she will be playing for India.”


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