The allrounder suffered back spasms last Tuesday and “ran out of time to prove her fitness” for Wednesday’s knockout game against West Indies
“We’ll go in without her tomorrow and we’ll keep assessing her if we are to progress in the tournament,” Lanning said on match eve. “So, unfortunate for her and the team, obviously, a big blow but we feel like we’ve got some good depth to be able to cover it and we’re going to have to do that tomorrow.”
Lanning said Australia were optimistic about Perry recovering in time for the final in Christchurch on April 3, should they advance, but stressed that the squad was focused on putting their best foot forward in the semi-final with the personnel available at their disposal.
“Look, she hasn’t done a lot [of training] over the past week, to be fair. She batted a little bit in the nets yesterday and felt okay, but she certainly just wasn’t in a position, unfortunately, to be able to perform at the level needed tomorrow,” Lanning said. “So, that was why we’ve made the call on that today.
“But, to be honest, we haven’t looked too far ahead. We will keep assessing her as we go if we are to progress but the team and the squad is very focused on tomorrow and making sure that we’re putting out our best game because everything else is is irrelevant, to be honest.
“I’m sure there’s work going on in the background to try and get her up to play if we were to get through but from a playing-group perspective and coaching staff, we’re just really focused on on tomorrow and the players that are going to be able to go out there and perform.”
During the South Africa match in the ongoing World Cup, she appeared to be hurt when tumbling over a boundary rope in a fielding attempt. She was forced from the field and didn’t bat as Australia romped to a sixth consecutive win in the tournament.
“I thought Annabel played extremely well last game under pressure as well,” Lanning said. “It wasn’t just an easy time to come out and bat for her and for someone so young to be able to do that gives the group a lot of confidence. We’ve spoken a lot about the depth that we’ve got within our squad and I guess now we’re going to be tested with it.
“So I guess that’s what it comes down to: new players stepping up in different situations and not relying on one or two players. So that gives me a lot of confidence. It gives the team a lot of confidence that someone like Annabelle could come into the team and make an impact straightaway, so hopefully she can do it again tomorrow.”
Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha