Australia's Behrendorff seeking World Cup berth through IPL
Australian pacer Jason Behrendorff is keen to make the cut in Australia's 15-man squad for the ICC World Cup 2019. The pacer is set to face stiff competition for a place in the side. He has been in good form though and that's a promising sign. The Aussie international made his debut in the Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians on Wednesday. Here's more.
Behrendorff was handed the new ball by MI skipper Rohit Sharma against Chennai at the Wankhede. He responded in style after taking two wickets. The left-arm pacer removed Ambati Rayudu (0) and Suresh Raina (16) to end with figures of 2/22. He will be looking to build on this show and improve his chances of getting selected for the Cricket World Cup.
Behrendorff wants to be in the mix with a strong IPL campaign. "Any performance here can really help me. My main strength is swinging the new ball upfront and taking some wickets, so it was good to be able to do that and keep in the selectors' mind that I am bowing well. So, hopefully that will keep me in the frame," said Behrendorff.
It remains to be seen what the Australian selectors think in terms of choosing the pace bowlers. Pat Cummins is an assured candidate. Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile are all in the mix. Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc is recovering well from an injury. Will Australia go for two left-arm pacers? Behrendorff feels this won't be a problem and he outlined the plan.
"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. I might bowl upfront and Mitch may look to bowl through the middle and at the end. It would be quite exciting," Behrendorff said.
Behrendorff has featured in six ODIs for Australia. He has picked up seven wickets. Recently, the pacer notched his best ODI figures (3/63 against Pakistan). He made his debut earlier this year against India. Behrendorff could be a strong candidate to make the cut.