Greatest all-rounder cricket’s ever seen?

Ellyse Perry leaves the field after finishing 213 not out. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Ellyse Perry leaves the field after finishing 213 not out. Picture. Phil Hillyard

ELLYSE Perry could be the greatest all-rounder Test cricket has ever seen.

Perry rewrote the record books against England on Saturday, amassing the highest ever score by an Australian woman in a Test match as she finished on 213 not out.

Perry's Ashes knock was also the third highest of any player in women's Test history, the highest unbeaten total and also the highest on Australian soil.


Ellyse Perry of Australia walks off after making 213 not out for Australia.
Ellyse Perry of Australia walks off after making 213 not out for Australia.

But, in reality, Saturday's runfest, which helped Australia to a mammoth 9-448 declared, was just another step in the evolution of the 27-year-old as a cricketer.

The unbeaten innings took her Test average to 61.71, the third-highest in the history of the women's game.

With the ball she ranks 12th, at an equally impressive average of 16.76.

It leaves her as one of only two players in the history of the men's or women's game to sit inside the top 15 in both categories - the other being 1970s English female star Enid Bakewell.

Perry's positive margin of 44.95 between her batting and bowling average is the biggest in the women's game, while only Don Bradman's is higher in the men's game thanks to his extraordinary batting prowess.

While Perry came into the Australia side predominantly as a bowler in her teens, she says she believed she had always been an all-rounder growing up.

"Initially got an opportunity in the bowling ranks and that was really great and I loved it but growing up but I've always batted and always loved batting," Perry said.

"I spent a lot of hours in the nets with my dad who has thrown over a million balls to me in his life."

Perry's growth with the bat has never been clearer than in the past four years.

Since the 2013 Ashes, she has scored more than 3000 runs at an average of 58.8 across all forms of the game.

Saturday's record-breaking innings came after Australian cricket legend Belinda Clark remarked this week she had never seen another player like Perry.

Right now, it's pretty hard to argue with her.

"Everyone brings their own unique piece to the game," Clark told AAP.

"I don't know of a previous Ellyse Perry in the women's game.

"Someone that bowls and bats genuinely as an all-rounder, that's rare. And it's rare in the men's game as well.

"She will probably go down as one of the great all-rounders.

"She will probably be remembered as a batting all-rounder at the end of her career."

*Conventional qualifiers for male averages are 20 Test innings and 2000 balls bowled, while female qualifiers are 10 and 1000 due to less matches being played.

Topics:  ellyse perry women's ashes

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