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Big Bash League: Perth Scorchers paceman Jason Behrendorff confident body can handle tough schedule

Jason Behrendorff is confident his body is up to back-to-back Big Bash League clashes in the midst of the Perth Scorchers’ four-game, seven-day stretch.

The Scorchers take on Hobart at Marvel Stadium on Friday and Melbourne Stars at the MCG the following day before their final home-and-away match against Brisbane in Adelaide on Tuesday.

Behrendorff ticked off his first BBL appearance in 673 days to start the tournament after undergoing radical back surgery in a bid to prolong his career.

The left-arm seamer has played 10 of a possible 11 matches in BBL10, missing the other because of a cross-country dash for the birth of his second child.

The 30-year-old, who has taken nine wickets at 24.7 and an economy rate of 7.16 runs per over this summer, isn’t daunted by the gruelling schedule ahead of a potential finals return.

Jason Behrendorff is building nicely in BBL10.
Camera IconJason Behrendorff is building nicely in BBL10. Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

If one of the three-man pace attack did need a rest, Behrendorff backed reserve bowlers Joel Paris and Matt Kelly to get the job done.

“Personally I feel like I’m going really well at the moment which is nice,” Behrendorff said.

“I’m absolutely loving being back playing some cricket again so hopefully that all continues straight forward and the way I would like it to and I will be able to play all of those games.

“But on the contrary, if I do need to miss one here or there or if someone does, we’re fully confident that the guys sitting on the bench are ready to go and we’ve got some serious class bowlers waiting to come in if they need to.”

The Scorchers’ next assignment just got a whole lot tougher with Australian captain Tim Paine and Test teammate Matthew Wade named for the Hurricanes.

Wade has formed one of the most dominant opening partnerships in the BBL in recent seasons alongside fellow left-hander D’Arcy Short.

Paine hasn’t played in the competition for nearly three years but will provide a versatile batting option.

Mitch Marsh is a decent chance to return from a side strain but needs to get through training this afternoon first.

“He’s been batting the last couple of days in the nets which has been really positive,” Behrendorff said.

“I think he did some gym work and some running as well so he’s starting to tick all of those boxes.

“As Mitch would tell you, he’s always ready to play but he’ll hopefully be close.

“We’ve got training again this afternoon so hopefully he’ll have another strong showing and we might see him tomorrow.”

Behrendorff expects fast-bowling teammate Jhye Richardson to be selected in one of Australia’s overseas tours next month.

Selectors will have to pick two squads to play concurrently in different countries, with the South African three-Test tour overlapping with a five-match Twenty20 series in New Zealand.

Richardson has dominated since returning from off-season shoulder surgery, taking a competition-high 21 scalps at an average of 11.5.

The 24-year-old has also bowled more dot balls (116) than anyone else, with his economy rate of 6.28 lower than any other bowler among the top-eight wicket-takers.

“He’s bowling beautifully, isn’t he?” Behrendorff said.

“He’s the leading wicket-taker in the competition by a few wickets now and looks like he’s bowling with some really good pace again and his variations are on point.

“There’s definitely a selection case for both formats but whichever one he gets picked in if that’s the case, which I’m sure he will get picked in one of those squads, I know he’ll do a great job.”

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