Behrendorff eyes World Cup berth through IPL

Left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff, who made his debut for Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, wants to share the new ball with Mitchell Starc at the big ticket event.

Mumbai Indians pacer Jason Behrendorff celebrates the wicket of Ambati Rayudu during the clash against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  PTI

 

Australian pacer Jason Behrendorff returned to the Indian Premier League fold with an impressive outing against the Chennai Super Kings.

Donning the Mumbai Indians colours, the 28-year-old scalped two crucial wickets of Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu and eventually helped his side get the better of CSK at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

With Australia’s final squad for the World Cup to be announced in the next couple of weeks, Behrendorff feels that a few good performances in the IPL would do him good. “Any performance here can really help me. My main strength is swinging the new ball up front and taking some wickets so it was good to be able to do that tonight and keep in the selectors’ mind that I am still bowling and still bowing well. So, hopefully that will keep me in the frame,” he said.

Before coming for the IPL, Behrendorff was part of Australia’s limited overs team, and played in a couple of ODIs against Pakistan, where he bagged a total of four wickets.

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And as he dreams of bagging a World Cup spot, he also aspires to share the new ball with Mitchell Starc. “It can happen. It is not foreign to have two left-handers in the team. Australia have not done it a lot in the past but I don’t see why we can’t do that. Mitch bowls exceptionally well at the death, can also bowl at the middle and up front. So, it might be a case if both of us are picked in the same team we can different roles. I might bowl up front and Mitch may look to bowl through the middle and at the end. It would be quote exciting,” he said.

The fast bowler bolstered the MI pace department. He is excited to be a part of the IPL bandwagon. “It’s really exciting. Unfortunately, I was not able to come last year. I was really excited to come. There is such a buzz about the IPL every time you watch it, every time you hear about it. People have really positive things to say. Cricket is exciting. As you saw tonight, a lot of sixes, a lot of wickets and some serious catching as well as well. It’s awesome to be part of this competition and hopefully we can have some more wins along the way,” he said.

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But is the IPL any different from the Big Bash League?

“It’s different, both are extremely good competitions. This (IPL) of course has a few more stars in the competition with four international players, as against two per team. That was my first taste of it and we can see that guys at the back end can go big which is fortunate for us to happen. It’s different conditions as well, quite warm and humid — something I’m not quite used to so making sure your hands are dry,” he said.

Behrendorff dismissed Raina, who was looking aggressive, thanks to a magnificent catch by Kieron Pollard. And the bowler admitted that it was part of the plan. “It was a serious catch, wasn’t it? Very fortunate to be fair. We set the plan for that knowing that he loves to hit over the off side. Our plan was there and personally I was a bit little bit wider than I would have liked but Polly took the great catch which was fantastic,” Behrendorff said, hoping to make his presence felt in the next few matches.