Behrendorff goes off in India

Kersi Meher-Homji Columnist

By , Kersi Meher-Homji is a Roar Expert


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    Australia’s current tour of India looked a nightmare for Australian supporters until Tuesday morning. After losing the ODIs 1-4, Australia was 0-1 in T20 when the second T20 international commenced in Guwahati.

    It all changed due to a stunning spell by Australia’s new left-arm fast-medium bowler, Jason Behrendorff.

    Playing only his second international he took four for 21 as India was dismissed for 118. Australia won by eight wickets and the new face was adjudged man of the match.

    This is how the 27-year-old ‘Jason Behrendorff who?’ pressed the destruction button, making the overconfident Indian batsmen fumble their footwork.

    Given the new ball, Jason trapped the aggressive Rohit Sharma for eight off his fourth ball. Two balls later he caught and bowled skipper Virat Kohli for a duck. But that was just a start.

    Off the second ball of his second over he had Manish Pande caught behind by Tim Paine for six. Thus he had captured three wickets for 12 runs in his first eight balls.

    But he was not finished yet. He had the attacking Shikar Dhawan caught brilliantly by captain David Warner for two to grab four for 12 in his 15 balls. Indian batsmen found his seam and swing as difficult to read as the commentators found his surname difficult to pronounce.

    Behrendorff’s match-winning spell came as a surprise to many, but not to those who follow Sheffield Shield. In February this year Jason Behrendorff had captured nine for 37 for Western Australia against Victoria in Perth. These were the fifth-best figures in Sheffield Shield history and the best since Western Australia’s Ian Brayshaw’s all ten for 44, also against Victoria in Perth in 1967-68.

    That February match was one to remember for Jason. He took five for 52 in the second innings to end with stunning match figures of 14 for 89. These are ninth-best Sheffield Shield match figures and the best since another Western Australia quickie Terry Alderman’s 14 for 87 – seven for 59 and seven for 28 – against New South Wales in Perth in 1981-82.

    For the best match figures in Sheffield Shield we have to go back 123 years when medium pacer George Giffin took 16 for 186 for South Australia against New South Wales at Adelaide in 1894-95.

    Will Jason repeat his success in the final T20 against India at Hyderabad on Friday?

    He has yet to play in an ODI or a Test match. Will he make his Test debut in the Ashes this summer? Perhaps it’s too early to predict after one success in a T20 international.

    But to me, ‘Behrendorff who?’ has become Behrendorff when?’.

    Kersi Meher-Homji
    Kersi Meher-Homji

    Kersi is an author of 13 cricket books including The Waugh Twins, Cricket's Great All-rounders,Six Appeal and Nervous Nineties. He writes regularly for Inside Cricket and other publications. He has recently finished his new book on Cricket's Conflicts and Controversies, with a foreword by Greg Chappell.