Towering Western Australia quick Jason Behrendorff is ready to press his case to join fast bowling's 'Big Four' after roaring back from injury to earn Australia A selection.
In a Sheffield Shield season that was shortened by injury, Behrendorff still managed to put together a record-breaking campaign for the Warriors, and earned selection in the cricket.com.au Shield Team of the Year.
And while the quartet of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson appear to have senior international berths locked up while fully fit and firing, Behrendorff is keen to join the host of bowlers knocking on that door.
In three Shield appearances in 2017, the 27-year-old captured 23 wickets including a remarkable 9-37 and 5-52 in his return against Victoria at the WACA Ground.
That 9-37 underlined why he's long been tipped for higher honours, and a four-wicket haul on a turning pitch against NSW in Sydney highlighted his ability to adapt to unfavourable conditions.
His progression towards national selection has been hampered by injury – a stress fracture in his left fibula in November sidelining him for three months.
A shock return for the Perth Scorchers in the final of the KFC Big Bash League was mooted and coach Justin Langer later admitted he nearly played. Nevertheless, a Shield comeback followed soon after with superb results.
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Behrendorff is keen to put the injury worries behind him and forge on, starting with the 'A' series where he has been picked for the first-class and limited-overs components.
"It's been a hard few years for me with some stress fracture injuries which have been frustrating and it's been a bit of a tough time but that's part and parcel of fast bowling," Behrendorff told Fairfax Media.
"The thing for me this time is I'm coming in off some good form but my body is in a really good state at the moment, so I feel like I'm going really well because the body is comfortable and technically sound.
"People say cricket is 10 per cent technical and 90 per cent mental, there's so much stuff you have to deal with in your own head with expectations and judgment within yourself.
"I've just tried to take the pressures out of the game and focus on my job, and now things are starting to click a bit more and go in the right direction. It's nice."
Australia A tour of South Africa
Australia A four-day squad: Usman Khawaja (c), Glenn Maxwell (vc), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Jackson Bird, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Sam Heazlett, Daniel Hughes, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth
12-15 July: Australia A v South Africa A, Tukkies
19-22 July: Australia A v South Africa A, Senwes Park
26 July: Australia A v India A, Tukkies
30 July: Australia A v South Africa A, Groenkloof
1 August: Australia A v India A, Tukkies
5 August: Australia A v South Africa A, Tukkies
8 August: Tri Series Final, Tukkies