Behrendorff sees IPL as stepping stone for WC selection

Mumbai: Mumbai Indians left-arm pace bowler Jason Behrendorff sees his debut IPL season as an opportunity to help him secure a place in the Australian squad in the upcoming World Cup in England.

The 28-year-old from New South Wales made an impressive start to the IPL on Wednesday by dismissing Chennai Super Kings opener Ambati Rayudu and one-down Suresh Raina for figures of 2 for 22. “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 bowling¬†well. So, hopefully, that will keep me in the frame,’ said Behrendorff at the post-match media conference after MI beat CSK by 37 runs.

He did not see any problem in him and senior left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc both gaining the nod for the World Cup from the Australian selection panel. The selection committee is expected to pick the team in two weeks’ time.

“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 upfront. So, it might be a case if both of us are picked in the same team we can different roles. “I might bowl upfront and Mitch may look to bowl through the middle and at the end. It would be quite exciting,” Behrendorff said.

He said the dismissal of Raina, through a spectacular one-handed diving catch by West Indian Kieron Pollard at deep point, was planned well. “It was a serious catch, wasn’t it? (I was) very fortunate, to be fair. We set the plan for that knowing that he loves to back away and 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.”

On his IPL debut, he said “It is a great experience, really exciting. It was a good fun, good crowd out there as well. So great experience and to contribute to the win was awesome. 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,” he said.

Asked to compare IPL with Australia’s Big Bash League, he said, “It is different, both are extremely good competitions. This (IPL) of course has a few more stars in the competition with four international rather than two per team. It is different conditions as well, quite warm and humid — something I am not quite used to, so making sure your hands are dry.”