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Perry outlines WBBL challenges

Star allrounder on how she juggles bowling, batting and leading in the field

Sydney Sixers skipper Ellyse Perry might be the most complete all-round cricketer in the world but there are still aspects of her game that she hasn’t quite nailed. 

Perry was named the International Cricket Council’s Women’s Cricketer of the Year last month after her stunning Ashes series and has carried that form over to be the leading run-scorer of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League.

Opening the batting for the Sixers, the 27-year-old has amassed 370 runs at 61.66 with three half-centuries and a top score of 91no against Melbourne Stars.

But Perry’s strike rate of 111 is the third-lowest in the competition by batters who have scored at least 200 runs.

Patient Perry scores half-century

One reason for Perry’s sedate strike rate could be the power-packed top-order of the Sixers.

Surrounding Perry are versatile stroke-makers Ashleigh Gardner and opening partner Alyssa Healy, whom boast strike rates of 155.81 and 134.48, respectively. 

Which means Perry can play the anchor role and be the backbone of the innings while the hard-hitters tee off from the other end.

Nevertheless, it’s an area that is a work in progress for Perry and one she is determined master.

"It’s been nice to be consistent," Perry said. "I think I need to have a little bit more impact at different times in terms of strike rate. 

"It’s been nice to be up the top and bat around people like Alyssa (Healy) and Ashleigh (Gardner) and also Erin Burns, who I think has been absolutely wonderful for us this season. 

"It’s certainly easier for me when you’ve got the likes of Midge (Healy) and Ash and Erin there who do such a crucial job in terms of the dynamic way that they play to bat around them. 

"That’s worked well for us and it’s just about identifying times when I need to push on and take over that. 

"For some parts I’ve done that well and other times it’s still a really great challenge for me to keep doing that better."

Perry stars for Sixers wtih unbeaten 91

One other area Perry is still mastering is captaincy – an art that perhaps cannot be fully mastered – and in particular the juggling act of leading and knowing when to bowl herself.

"I think I’ve probably missed out on opportunities at different points in the comp," Perry said. 

"We’re so fortunate in the sense that we’ve got a lot of girls who can come in and do the job with the ball for us an I rely on them a lot and for good reason, they’ve done a great job. 

"But I’ve got to be aware of when it’s right to bowl myself as well."

Overall, Perry is ‘loving’ leading the Sixers, who tackle arch-rivals Sydney Thunder tomorrow at the SCG in a top-of-the-table blockbuster. 

"Every experience I’ve had has been really enjoyable," Perry said when asked about her time as Sixers captain. 

"You learn something new every year and pick up a little bit more about the way you want to lead the team and the kind of environment and culture you want to foster around the group. 

"We’ve got such a really great group of girls who enjoy playing their cricket with one another and really want to achieve things on the field as well." 

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