Before his ODI debut against India in Sydney on Saturday (January 12), Australia pacer Jason Behrendorff had joked that he would pick up a wicket in his very first over and this is exactly what he did by dismissing left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan.
Chasing 289 to win, India got off to a terrible start as they lost three wickets for just 4 runs. Behrendorff trapped Dhawan (0) plumb in front in the last ball of the very first over to live up to his words, while Jhye Richardson removed Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu for 3 and 0 respectively.
"I was a little nervous in the first over. It shows you care and it was good fun. But I cannot ask much more than how that first over went about. I joked with a couple of guys that I would love to have a wicket in my first ODI over, and then it happened. That was one way to settle the nerves," Behrendorff quoted as saying by PTI on Sunday.
His new-ball partner Richardson played a key role in Australia’s 34-run victory in the ODI series opener. He claimed 4 wickets for just 26 runs in his 10 overs as the home team successfully defended the total of 288.
"Richardson and I have worked on our partnership. My main strength is to swing the ball up front. He bowls pretty quick as well. Our plan was to take wickets up front and fortunately we did that. Peter Siddle saw through the middle overs and I thought all the bowlers bowled really well. We had simple plans and executed them for the most part," Behrendorff said.
"It was unreal last night for obvious reasons. I was making my debut and to get a win against a star studded Indian team was awesome. I am extremely happy. It has been a tough road for last three years for me, but I am really focussed on white ball cricket. I just want continuity and look forward to be playing again," he added.
The hosts restricted India to 254/9 despite Rohit Sharma’s majestic 133 and his put on a 141-run partnership for the fourth wicket along with MS Dhoni (51).
"That was a huge partnership. We weren't really nervous, but we were definitely under the pump. It got to a stage that if we didn't get a breakthrough, the game would have turned pretty quickly. But for myself to get MS and not too long after, Rohit was out too, so it was important to get that breakthrough. And it showed because once we got those two out, the game was nearly done," Behrendorff said.
He also expects Kohli and company to come hard in the second ODI at Adelaide on Tuesday.
"We took a lot of confidence from that win knowing that a relatively new Australian team in the ODI set up was able to knock off India really well. It feels great especially with everything coming up (players returning from bans).
"But there is enough time for them to come back. It's a new day and a new game on Tuesday, so we are all starting afresh. We are 1-0 up but if you look at their side, it is a class outfit. So we expect them to come back firing and give us a good fight on Tuesday. They will be hurting a lot but they will also come back strong,” Behrendorff remarked.
Australia are expected to field an unchanged XI for the second ODI, with the only debate over Glenn Maxwell’s batting position
"Tough one for Maxwell at the moment looking at the batting order, but we will see how it goes. At the moment we have a pretty good balance in the side, so we are not looking to change too many things.
"I am not sure what his right position is, but seven is a pretty crucial role in that backend and we will have him in the last few overs. We know that he can hit to any part of the ground, so if he gets a few more overs, it will justify this batting order," Jason Behrendorff concluded.
(With PTI inputs)