A change to the points system has Australian allrounder Ellyse Perry believing the one-day and Twenty20 world champions are better-placed than ever to break their Women’s Ashes mini-drought.
England have won on both occasions since the Women’s Ashes went to a points-based system across all three formats of the game – despite the Southern Stars winning four games to three last year.
The crucial factor 18 months ago was Australia lost the six-point Test match, which doubled as the opening match. They were unable to bounce back despite winning 2-1 in both the T20 and ODI series.
However a tweaking of the format means the Test match is now worth four points, while each T20 and ODI fixture is worth two – changes Perry believes could give Australia, who have a team hardened with limited overs experience, the upper hand.
“I think starting off with the one-dayers gives us a really good opportunity to start well and hopefully be on the front foot,” Perry told AAP ahead of the opening ODI fixture in Taunton on Tuesday.
“The biggest key in this series is consistency, because you’ve got to adapt so quickly to the different formats of the game.
“It makes them all extremely important and relevant. The Test match is worth four points, but if you play three ODIs then combined they’re worth six and it’s the same with the T20s.
“Every tour match is important and we haven’t really placed emphasis on one format or the other.”
Perry enjoyed a breakout series with bat and ball against England 18 months ago when she was the series-leading runscorer with 286 at 95.33, while her traditional strength of pace bowling delivered 12 wickets at 25 runs apiece.
A repeat performance would surely put Australia in the box seat to reclaim the women’s Ashes trophy, and Perry believes an ideal preparation has given the tourists their best shot at glory since the 2011 Test victory she was also a part of.
“Certainly given where our group’s come from the last couple of years to where we are now and the success we’ve had in the past couple of World Cups, we have every chance to win it,” she said.
“We couldn’t have done any more to be in a better position to win the series.”
Perry starred in Australia’s 15-run tour match victory over the England Cricket Board Academy on Sunday, clubbing an unbeaten 93 before legspinner Kristen Beams (3-51) acquainted herself with the local conditions.
“I think (Beams) is going to be a real asset for us,” Perry said of the 30-year-old Ashes debutant.
“She’s a very experienced cricketer and a really smart one. It’s really evident in the way she bowls. She works out batters really quickly and has a great tactical nous.”