Behrendorff eyes return to Lord’s for World Cup final in a fortnight after seeing off New Zealand
Paceman Jason Behrendorff paid tribute to his side’s team spirit after Australia’s comprehensive 86-run victory over New Zealand at Lord’s.
- Jason Behrendorff finished with figures of 2/31 as Australia won by 86 runs
- Australia now have 14 points from their eight games and face South Africa in their final game
Left-armer Behrendorff picked up the wickets of openers Henry Nicholls and Martin Guptill as the Black Caps’ pursuit of 244 never got off the ground.
The 29-year-old’s figures of 2/31 followed up his match-winning haul of 5/44 on the same ground last week as Australia stunned the hosts England.
And Behrendorff admits that the opportunity to return to Lord’s in a fortnight for the final would be “huge” for him and his side, who were beaten 5-0 in a bilateral series in England only a year ago.
He admitted: “We’ve turned it round quite well with the performances we’ve had over the last six months.
“Winning the home series against India was a good start then to beat India in India was unreal. Then we beat Pakistan 5-0 and you can’t ask for much more than that.
“The consistency has been good. One of the key things is that we’re playing cricket for each which is something that might have been lacking in the past.
“It’s hard when the team chops and changes but we’ve had some continuity within the group for a while now.
“You see that with a lot of the good teams over a long period – their line-up doesn’t change that much and they gel really well.”
Behrendorff, who has played only nine ODIs, came back into the side following Australia’s defeat to India at The Oval and his performances have been outstanding.
He is just revelling in the whole experience of playing in an ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and modestly does not believe that has “nailed” a spot in the team. “I’m just happy to be contributing,” he said.
He added: “It’s unreal. I’m pretty happy to be opening the bowling and to do it with Starcy [Mitchell Starc] is special. It’s great to have two left-armers doing it up front.
“We’ve been fortunate to start off pretty well in the last couple of games. Everyone has been quite versatile and people are required to play different roles as the tournament progresses.
“I feel like we’re reading the conditions pretty well at the moment and planning accordingly. We tied them down and created a lot of pressure.”
Lord’s, its famous slope, can be a tough venue for inexperienced players to perform but Behrendorff has taken to it instantly.
He said: “I can’t do much more than that! I started to enjoy bowling form the Pavilion End a bit more today and the breeze from that end helped me.”