TIME spent playing in enemy territory has presented an unforeseen bonus for one of Australia's new-ball weapons.
Playing Twenty20 for the Lightning in England's Kia Super League meant Ellyse Perry was able to pick the brain of the franchise's assistant coach and former Test quick Matthew Hoggard.
"It was a real thrill to work with him, just a different insight on the game," Perry said of working alongside a man with 248 Test wickets.
"He's a really vibrant and eccentric character and I learned a lot."
The work Perry did in the East Midlands over winter bore fruit in Sunday's opening Women's Ashes match with the 26-year old extracting some extra pace and swing while claiming two wickets.
"It's been nice to have some small improvements. It's by no means a polished product but I think those few things I picked up over in England have really helped," she said.
When probed for what those small things were, the all-rounder said it was just a couple of little things that only someone of Hoggard's experience could pick up on.
"It was just some small technical things in my run-up and then at the crease," she said.
"He's obviously had a lot of success as a player, so it was a real thrill to work with him and I'm really thankful for his input."
Perry said the two regularly traded barbs over who was the superior team while working together.
"There was a bit of ribbing in among it," she said.
"Sometimes he was reluctant to be forthcoming with information but he was wonderful. He's a great character."
On top of finding improvement with the ball, Perry also has taken on the added responsibility of moving up to No.3 in the batting order in place of injured captain Meg Lanning.
Averaging a fraction over 90 with the bat from her past 16 ODIs, Perry said batting at the other end with class No.3s like Karen Rolton and Lanning had given her an insight into how she should be going about her new role.
"At three it just means potentially you've got a bit more time at the crease," she said.
"It's really important once we lose that first wicket to just re-establish a partnership pretty quickly and keep the momentum going."
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