Superstar all-rounder Ellyse Perry may not have featured in the semis and final of the recently-concluded ICC Women’s T20 World Cup but she did play an important role in Australia’s triumph, the team’s head coach Matthew Mott said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.
Australia won a record fifth title in front of an almost-packed Melbourne Cricket Ground by defeating India in a lopsided contest, but the hosts’ campaign hadn’t gotten off to a good start as they went down against the same opposition in the tournament opener.
Facing the pressure of being knocked-out in the group stage in from of their home crowd, the Aussies bounced back in style and went on to defeat Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, South Africa and India to bag the trophy yet again.
Perry was part of the Australian XI in the group stage but had to sit out of the semis and final because of a hamstring injury. Despite this, the all-rounder was highly influential in rallying her teammates forward.
Talking about what transpired in the Australian campaign after the defeat in the opener against India, Mott said: “Traditionally what happens in cricket, and this is only in my experiences, but because you share so much information about bowling and batting is more of an individual pursuit, we rarely have actual batting meetings, they’re normally part of the full meeting.
“But we actually called a batting meeting, we just opened it up and said ‘how do you think we’re going, what do we need to do to actually be the best we can be, and be true to ourselves’ and the honesty around that was incredible.”
Mott said that the players revealed the problems they were facing and Perry’s presence helped the team move in the right direction.
“Ellyse Perry was at that meeting because she goes in both meetings as an all-rounder,” Mott said. “She says ‘to be honest, we just need to make sure we’ve got soul in this group, and we look out for each other, be a little bit more overt with our body language and maybe the odd fist-bump and something like that when someone has hit a good boundary’. I think if you look back to us in the first two games compared to the last few, you definitely saw a greater appreciation of a partnership, and I reckon that was pivotal.”
Australia went on to win the final and have now been champions in five out of seven editions of the tournament.