Australia women head coach Matthew Mott has revealed how allrounder Ellyse Perry s motivational words helped the team regroup from a unpromising start in the T20 World Cup. Perry s message, ‘We just need to make sure we ve got soul in this group,’ Moss explained, went a long way in Australia overcoming a dodgy start and go on to lift the T20 World Cup for a record fifth time in front of a packed MCG comprising a crowd of over 86000.

“Traditionally what happens in cricket, and this is only in my experiences, but because you share so much information about bowling and batting is more of an individual pursuit, we rarely have actual batting meetings, they’re normally part of the full meeting,” Mott said. “But we actually called a batting meeting, we just opened it up and said ‘how do you think we’re going, what do we need to do to actually be the best we can be, and be true to ourselves’ and the honesty around that was incredible.

“Players admitted ‘I’m nervous, I haven’t been playing like I normally play, I should be doing this, I should be doing that’. Ellyse Perry was at that meeting because she goes in both meetings as an allrounder. She says ‘to be honest, we just need to make sure we’ve got soul in this group, and we look out for each other, be a little bit more overt with our body language and maybe the odd fist-bump and something like that when someone has hit a good boundary’. I think if you look back to us in the first two games compared to the last few, you definitely saw a greater appreciation of a partnership, and I reckon that was pivotal.”

Moss explained how Australia were slightly bogged down by the pressure of expectations. After a defeat to India in the tournament opener and coming to the brink of elimination against Sri Lanka, whom they eventually beat by five wickets by three balls remaining, Perry got the team together and spurred them on for a better, dominating performance. A rejuvenated Australia went on to beat Bangladesh, New Zealand and South Africa before beating India in the final.

Perry, however, would miss the last two matches due to a hamstring injury, but by then, had ensured Australia s reboot which saw the likes of Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney and the rest struck form.

by “We talked about it a lot before the tournament,” Mott said. “The beauty of this team was we actually realised that we didn’t react well in the first game and we were nervous, I was nervous, so I can imagine what the players were like. There was so much expectation and build-up, and we knew there was a lot at stake. For us to turn out at the MCG was potentially a game-changing moment for not just cricket but women’s sport. So there was absolutely a burden there.

“How we internalised that and actually helped each other out sort of happened after Perth and that partnership between Rach [Haynes] and Meg [Lanning]. I think you always look back and say what a great final, but we had no right to be there unless that partnership happened, and that just changed our whole philosophy for the tournament. It was almost like a light-bulb moment of ‘if we keep playing scared and timid we’re going to get these results’. So I was really pleased with the batting group in particular that they galvanised and formed a unit and said ‘we’re going to commit to this. If it doesn’t come off, it doesn’t come off, but we’re going to make sure we go down swinging at least’.”