Women’s World Cup 2022 – Perry

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The allrounder also heaped praise on Jhulan Goswami, calling her a “really, really tricky” proposition with the new ball

Ellyse Perry has said Australia would be wary of the form Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur are expected to carry into what she believes would be a “great clash” on Saturday. Both Mandhana and Harmanpreet struck centuries in India’s last game, but before taking on Australia, India will face England first on Wednesday.
“We are constantly aware of the power in the Indian batting line-up,” Perry said after Australia’s seven-wicket win over West Indies in Wellington. “Smriti and Harman are two of the most dangerous batters certainly. Both played Big Bash over the summer in Australia and were very, very good there. I think they both scored hundreds in that tournament; if not, they got very close. I know Smriti did.”

Both Perry and Australia have been on a roll at this World Cup. Perry picked up her second successive Player-of-the-Match award while Australia registered their fourth win in as many games at this World Cup. But as they gear up for their next outing, against India, who rode on Harmanpreet’s 171 not out to beat them in the 2017 World Cup semi-final, Perry said her side is aware of the competition they might face.

“We have played a lot against one another lately, so it gives us a really great chance to prepare,” Perry said. “It’s a very strong batting line-up and I’ve only mentioned two names [Mandhana and Harmanpreet] there. It’s going to be a great challenge for us. I think it has come really at the right time. And I think both teams are in a really good spot. So it should be a great clash.”

Australia had narrowly beaten India 2-1 in the three-match ODI leg of the multi-format series at home last year. India ran them close in the second ODI, which ended in a frantic final-ball heartbreak for the visitors, before ending Australia’s world-record streak of 26 successive wins in the format. In both matches, Jhulan Goswami, who became the highest wicket-taker in women’s ODI World Cups last week, played a dominant hand.

“Not just myself but our entire team has a tremendous level of respect for Jhulan for what she’s done for the game, not just for the Indian team, but the whole of women’s cricket globally”

Perry, whom Goswami described in a recent Cricket Monthly interview as the best pace-bowling allrounder she has ever seen, heaped praise on the India seamer and called her a “really, really tricky” proposition with the new ball.

“Not just myself but our entire team has a tremendous level of respect for Jhulan for what she’s done for the game, not just for the Indian team, but the whole of women’s cricket globally – it’s just unbelievable,” Perry said. “I certainly admire her longevity as well and just how successful she has been over such a long period of time. She’s such a talisman for the Indian team.

“She’s an absolute bedrock with that new ball and really, really tricky to get away. So, when you sort of have the wonderful opportunity to play against a player like that for such a long period of time, it’s hard not to just have a lot of admiration for them. It’s always nice to see Jhulan – she’s so kind and bubbly off the field and always willing to say ‘G’day’ and have a chat.”

While the relative familiarity between the two teams is likely to bring several match-ups into play, a somewhat unknown element faces both teams: the venue, Eden Park in Auckland.

“The dimensions of Auckland are quite unique,” Perry said. “I think it’s also a drop-in wicket, so it might be quite different to the conditions that we’ve faced here [in Wellington]. But I suppose we’ve sort of moved around a little bit already in this tournament and we’ve been pretty good at adapting pretty quickly.

“We obviously have played India a lot recently and know kind of what we’re going to come up against with them. So there’ll be a few other things once we get there that we’ll talk about. But in general, we’re sort of going okay with that and conditions won’t play too much of a role.”

Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha

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