Jason Behrendorff knows Australia’s needs must come first
Jason Behrendorff played his first-ever World Cup game on Saturday and took his first-ever World Cup wicket.
- Jason Behrendorff made his World Cup debut against Sri Lanka and took his first wicket at the tournament
- Australia have won four of their five games at the World Cup and sit top of the group
But the 29-year-old Australian seamer knows this summer he will often have to sacrifice personal glory for the greater good.
The left-hander finished with figures of 1/59 from nine overs in Australia’s 87-run win over Sri Lanka at the Oval that puts the defending champions top of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup standings as we approach the halfway point.
But the glory more often than not in Australia’s bowling attack goes to Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins who are the two top wicket takers in the competition.
And with Kane Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile preferred in previous group games, Behrendorff is happy to take whatever role he gets.
“It is always tough waiting because you want to be playing cricket,” said Behrendorff – who only made his ODI debut for his country at the start of this year.
“I guess his (Starc’s) role is more of an attacking one so mine is more defensive one at times, to really try and strangle the batters a bit which I felt I was able to do throughout the middle overs which was really good.
“Selection is something that is ultimately up to the selectors but if I can keep my economy rate pretty good and take some wickets along the way that will go a long way to playing more games which is definitely what I want.”
Often a new-ball bowler in T20 cricket for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash and Mumbai Indians in the IPL, again for his country in the 50-over format Behrendorff has to take a backseat.
Cummins and Starc get the new balls from each end, leaving the left-armer to pick up the slack in the middle overs.
“Mitch and Paddy have both opened up in all the other games and done a really good job so to not break that was thethinking," he added.
“That’s the blueprint that we have gone with and that’s OK, whatever my role is for the team, that is what I will take on.”
Starc and Cummins struggled in the first powerplay against Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera.
And with only four specialist bowlers in their side at the moment – Marcus Stoinis’ side strain remains a worry – Glenn Maxwell, Richardson and Behrendorff played a big role in halting the slide.
And it was Behrendorff who got rid of Lahiru Thirimanne in the middle overs to help turn the tide.
“It is always tough, because if they do get off to a good start and you are handed the ball a few overs in you know they are going and you have to be on your game straight away,” he added.
“But that is nothing new, it is about backing yourself and with two new balls as well it is always going to fly if they go hard.
“It is about trying to minimise the damage at times and try and get away with is as best you can.
"We have full confidence in Maxy to bowl ten and bowl well as you saw today. He did a really good job reigning the Sri Lankans back in after they got off to a really good start.
“That is something we know we are going to have to deal with the with the all-rounder situation at the minute. And I thought everyone did a good job in the end.”