Sport

Geoff Lawson backs Perth Scorchers quick Jason Behrendorff to return to 'top of the tree'

Former Australian quick Geoff Lawson says Jason Behrendorff is "getting better and better" as a fast bowler and would have been "pretty handy" in India, where the World Twenty20 will be held next month.

Behrendorff said he had no doubts his body would hold up to the rigours of modern cricket and felt the stress fractures in his lower back could be in part caused by his success in recent years.

Fast mover: Former Canberra junior Jason Behrendorf in action.
Fast mover: Former Canberra junior Jason Behrendorf in action.  Photo: Graham Tidy

The Canberra product is at the start of a four-month recovery program that has been broken up into four-week blocks.

He won't return to running until the eight-to-12-week block and will hopefully start bowling again after 16 weeks.

Lawson, who played 46 Tests for Australia, also had stress fractures in his early days and said those problems tended to clear up your late 20s.

He said Behrendorff would have been in the mix for the Australian World Twenty20 squad if he was fit.

The 25-year-old has been one of the leading bowlers at domestic level in all three forms of the game over the past few years and has helped spearhead Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers to titles in the Sheffield Shield, the one-day domestic competition and the Big Bash League.

Lawson said Behrendorff was "doing the business in all forms of the game" and predicted he would spend a "fair time at the top of the tree".

"He's a guy who's improved every year and he just seems to be getting better and better, and that's a wonderful thing," Lawson said.

"He's not one of those guys that has a good year and then a not-so-good year and chops and changes. He's just getting better every year and that's what you want  from a player.

"I personally reckon he would've been pretty handy in those Indian conditions - a little bit of swing early and he bowls a good slower ball and his height's also a big factor.

"He's just a very clever bowler. He certainly would've been a big chance of being in that team. I think Jason's going to have a fair time at the top of the tree, so his opportunities will come in future years."

Behrendorff changed his action slightly going into this summer after also suffering a stress fracture a year ago. He felt match pressure may have caused him to relapse into his old bowling action from time to time.

With the left-arm quick also establishing himself at state level in all three formats, he said that extra bowling may also have had an impact.

He joked he was now officially a member of the "fast bowlers club" after someone told him, "If you haven't had a stress fracture you're probably not trying hard enough".

"I think the increased workload I've had over the past two years probably caught up with me a little and that's something my body will be better for in the long run now," Behrendorff said.

"That's something going forward, in terms of the technique, make sure it's very, very sound and making sure I'm very diligent with everything that I'm doing.

"I've got no worries that my body will be able to come back and do what I need it to do next season."

While he'd set his sights on representing Australia at the T20 showpiece this year, he backed the squad selected this week - especially since it has four of his Scorchers teammates in it, including fellow quicks Nathan Coulter-Nile and Andrew Tye.

"That was something I was looking to be a part of if I was up and going," Behrendorff said.

"It's a little bit disappointing not to be picked in that squad and not to be available to be picked. The squad still looks very strong and it's good to see four guys from the Scorchers as well."