Behrendorff ready to seize his opportunity | cricket.com.au

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Behrendorff ready to seize his opportunity

Western Australian left-arm quick set to finally earn an Australia cap in T20 series against Indians

As one luckless Australian fast bowler copped his latest devastating injury blow, another is just days away from making his long-awaited international debut.

Years after the likes of Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee and Allan Border tipped Jason Behrendorff as an international player in waiting, the left-armer is set to finally earn his first Australian cap in the three-match T20 series against India, starting this weekend (Sunday 12.30am AEDT).

James Pattinson's injury setback means Australia's fast bowling pecking order has been reshuffled ahead of the Magellan Ashes and the 27-year-old Behrendorff will no doubt be considered for a Test debut should further injury strike the key trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins this summer.

Behrendorff insists his main focus is on the next 10 days in India, but he knows as well as anyone that fast-bowling injuries can happen at any time.

And injury to one player means an opportunity for another.

"It was very unfortunate for James and he's been working really hard to get back," Behrendorff said in Ranchi on Thursday.

"It's one of those frustrating things as a fast bowler, you're never quite sure when something's around the corner like that.

"But I'm 100 per cent focused on these games here and making my debut.

"It's something I've worked so hard for so hopefully I'll be able to play at least one of these three matches over the next week or so."

Despite serious back and leg injuries that have curtailed his past three home seasons, Behrendorff has compiled a first-class bowling record that suggests he's more than ready for a step up to the next level.

Career numbers of 123 wickets at 23 include 46 scalps at just 18 from his past two seasons, featuring a record-breaking 9-37 in a 14-wicket haul against champions Victoria in February.

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He's a wicket-taking, hostile, left-arm swing bowler and while an injury to Starc this summer would be a massive blow to Australia's Ashes hopes, the Canberra-raised quick would be a useful like-for-like replacement.

And a rare nine-month run of good health this year has afforded Behrendorff the luxury of a full pre-season and the potential of even better performances to come.

"I've had an uninterrupted pre-season for a change which is the first time in a long time," he says.

"I feel like my seasons have always started quite slow so it's something different this year, which is great.

"It showed last year when I had my build-up coming back from my leg injury, I was able to have a lot of match practice beforehand so I felt ready to go when I came back.

"Most of my cricket has been in four-day cricket so it's something I've worked really hard at and I'm feeling more confident with how I’m going about it.

"It's a format I really enjoy and I'm looking forward to starting the four-day summer when I get home as well."


Australia's Qantas Tour of India

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.

India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Axar Patel.

T20 Fixtures

October 7: JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi

October 10: Barsapara Stadium, Guwahati

October 13: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad