Ellyse Perry on track for World Cup final as specialist batter

Australia's selectors are set to make a final call on Saturday afternoon

Ellyse Perry was forced to miss Australia's previous World Cup final in 2020  •  ICC via Getty Images

Ellyse Perry was forced to miss Australia's previous World Cup final in 2020  •  ICC via Getty Images

Ellyse Perry is on track to avoid a second World Cup final heartbreak and take her place in Sunday's showpiece as a specialist batter against England.
Perry has missed Australia's last two matches in New Zealand with a back issue and underwent two crunch training sessions in Christchurch ahead of the final.
Captain Meg Lanning reported Perry has come through the fitness test well, and the only barrier now is how she recovers from the runout.
"We feel like we'll have a full squad to pick from," Lanning said. "Ellyse got through a pretty hard and high intensity session yesterday and she's trained again today and is feeling pretty good.
"It'll just depend on how she pulls up sort of this afternoon ... at this stage, it's looking pretty good."
Perry was unable to play in Australia's T20 World Cup semi-final or final on home soil two years ago after a hamstring injury during the group stage.
She hasn't bowled in a match or in the nets since pulling up from her three-over spell against South Africa 12 days ago. But with a batting average of near 50 in the one-day format, Lanning said she wouldn't hesitate in picking the 31-year-old solely as a batter.
"She can definitely play as a specialist bat and that's probably the most likely scenario," she said. "She hasn't bowled for a couple of weeks now and it would be difficult for her to come out and bowl in a final if she hadn't done that."
The selectors will make a final decision on Saturday afternoon rather than leave it to the morning of the final so that players can prepare.
Perry's likely selection could mean Annabel Sutherland misses the final. Sutherland has played six times this tournament, taking three wickets at 38.66 and batting twice for 48 runs without being dismissed. The most likely selection means Lanning will have six bowlers at her disposal rather than her preferred seven.
"Six is certainly enough," Lanning insisted. "Seven is a bit of a luxury just in case you need to go to different options.
"Throughout the tournament there's been times when someone hasn't bowled at all. We've got six very good bowlers who we take into this game and full confidence that they'll be able to do the job."