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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Behrendorff eyes Aus Test debut after inspiring T20 win over India

Behrendorff eyes Aus Test debut after inspiring T20 win over India

Last updated on: October 11, 2017 13:32 IST

Jason Behrendorff

IMAGE: Australia’s rookie left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff reacts during the second Twenty20 International against India in Guwahati on Tuesday. Photograph: BCCI

Ecstatic after his match-winning performance in only his second international game, Australia’s rookie left-arm speedster Jason Behrendorff says his ultimate aim is to play Test cricket for a long time.

The 27-year-old pacer scythed through India's top order in the second Twenty20 International in Guwahati on Tuesday, claiming four wickets for 21 runs in an inspired spell of fast bowling, to set up an eight-wicket victory and enable Australia square the three-match series at 1-1.

"Test cricket is the ultimate prize and wearing the baggy green cap is something I am sure all cricketers aspire to and I certainly do. I will be pursuing and doing everything I can to play Test cricket," Behrendorff said after winning Man of the Match award.

Having bowled just an over on his debut in Ranchi, the lanky pacer made the most of overcast conditions to rip through the Indian top four -- Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey -- in 15 deliveries.

ason Behrendorff, centre, celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma.

IMAGE: Jason Behrendorff, centre, celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

The feeling of winning a game for Australia is yet to sink in.

"An unbelievable feeling, to be honest! Ranchi was almost nearly not getting on at all; to get one over was great to get out there, but to bowl four overs tonight… to take four wickets, but mainly to get a win, to get the boys back up and about after a pretty tough time in the one-dayers, it's very special," said Behrendorff.

"I was really happy with that. A few ones that I got hit to the boundary probably were not obviously where I needed to be bowling.

"But, obviously, to get the ball up there, swing the ball, hit guys on the pads and nick blokes off those are the things we talk about in our meetings… to get the balls in those areas, especially up front… so I was very happy with that."

It will be interesting to see if Australia fields two left-armers, in Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc, in the upcoming Ashes.

"We are left-armers; we both swing it a bit. Mitch (Starc) bowls a bit quicker than I do, but I know Mitch reasonably well. I've spent a bit of time playing with him occasionally but mainly against him. He is someone that I feel I can talk to and get some advice off as well."

Having been hit for two boundaries in the first over, Behrendorff set it up nicely for Rohit Sharma. The full length delivery swung back to trap him leg before.

"For me, that's what I generally try to do -- swing it back, that's my plan up front especially to the right handers," he said.

Jason Behrendorff

IMAGE: Jason Behrendorff, centre, celebrates after dismissing Virat Kohli in the second T20 International in Guwahati. Photograph: BCCI

Being aggressive may be fast bowlers' forte but Behrendorff wants his ball to do the talking.

"You don't have to be mean and nasty all the time. Generally, I try and let my skills and the ball do the work and let that do the talking for me instead of getting into a verbal battle or anything like that.

"Some guys enjoy that and that's what gets them going and fired up, but it's not really my style."

Having struggled with injuries, Behrendorff has acquired education in sports science.

"It's nice to have a bit of knowledge about what's going on, so I can chat to the doctors and the physios and understand exactly what's going on, what I need to do."

Behrendorff knows a thing or two about intense rehabiliation programmes.

"The main thing is doing your rehab and getting back... and now enjoying playing international cricket for the first time. It's something I have worked so hard for and I am loving every minute of it."

Back home, it was an emotional time for his family.

"It was a very special moment, probably telling my wife first off was amazing. She was away at the time so we had to do it over the phone. She was very excited.

"The next best one was my dad. He's never speechless, he's an outgoing sort of guy but he was speechless on the phone for about 10 seconds."

The latest Aussie pacer may also be sought after in the lucrative Indian Premier League T20.

"It might do. That's down the track; I've got a fair bit of cricket to play yet, so first and foremost focused on winning the next game in Hyderabad and then got a summer of cricket to play, but that would be very nice."

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