Australia's Guwahati win hero Jason Behrendorff laughs off comparisons to WWE's John Cena

Ashish Peter 11/10/2017
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Behrendorff said John Cena is a bit bigger than he is.

Australia’s latest entrance in their ever bludgeoning pace battery is one Jason Behrendorff.

The 27-year-old showed why he is one to keep an eye on after wreaking havoc in only his second international appearance for his country.

The left-arm pacer ripped through the famed Indian top-order in the second T20I between the two sides at Guwahati on Tuesday to help the visitors level the three-match series at 1-1 courtesy of an eight-wicket victory.

Behrendorff announced himself on the international stage in style after his sensational and match-winning spell of 4-21 off his four overs.

He picked up the premium wickets of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey and Shikhar Dhawan in a fearsome display of fast and accurate bowling to extinguish India’s hopes early into the match.

Behrendorff in the process became the first bowler to dismiss India skipper Kohli for a duck in a T20I match when he caught the dashing right-handed batsman off his own bowling in the first over of the match.

After having dealt with the Indian batting so deftly in the match, the pacer was in even better form at the post match press conference where he was told of his comparison to WWE wrestler John Cena.

“He’s a fair bit bigger than I am,” the Aussie shot back immediately as he struggled to contain his laughter.

The New South Wales born man currently plays his domestic cricket for Western Australia while turning up for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League (BBL). He was over the moon after his efforts on Tuesday bore him four top class wickets after being smashes for two boundaries in his first three deliveries by Sharma.

“I was really happy with that,” the pacer said about his comeback.

“Few ones that I got hit to the boundary probably weren’t where I needed to be bowling. But then to get the ball up there, swinging the ball, hit guys on the pads and nick blokes off: those are the things we talk about in our meetings. To get the balls in those areas especially up front.”

While he might intimidate most batsmen by his sheer accuracy and swing, Behrendorff though revealed a much gentler side to his persona in the post match presser.

“You don’t have to be mean and nasty all the time,” he said. “Generally I’d try and let my skills and the ball do the work and let that do the talking for me instead of getting into a verbal battle or anything like that. Some guys enjoy that and that’s what fires them up and gets them going. But that’s not really my style.”

The Aussie is definitely making the ball do all the talking for him in his maiden international series so far and all eyes will be on him at Hyderabad on Friday when the two sides meet for the deciding T20I.

Whether Behrendorff can repeat his Guwahati performance remains to be seen, but for now Australia have another gem of a pacer on their hands.

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Rock thrown at Australia team bus after visitors rout India in T20I

Ashish Peter 10/10/2017
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The Australian team bus was attacked with rocks by unruly miscreants.

Australia beat India comprehensively in the second T20I of the three-match series but it seems that not everyone has taken too kindly to the visitor’s victory.

David Warner’s men thrashed India by eight-wickets at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati to level the series at 1-1.

However, Aussie opening batsman Aaron Finch took to Twitter to recount a harrowing ordeal his side had to face while returning to their hotel in the team bus.

It seems some unruly supporters could not digest India’s defeat and shattered one of the team bus’ window with a large rock.

The Australian posted an image of the damaged window with a huge hole created by the thrown projectile.

He accompanied it with a caption saying, “Pretty scary having a rock thrown through the team bus window on the way back to the hotel!!”

Tuesday’s match was the first ever international staged at the newly constructed Barsapara cricket ground and it recorded an attendance of 38,132.

Previously, matches held in Guwahati were played at the Nehru stadium while the Barsapara ground was only inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on match day.

A crowd of around a 1000 had gathered at the Guwahati airport on Sunday to welcome both the teams to the city.

However, that jubilant and celebratory mood has now been dampened by the incident surrounding the Australian team bus.

Virat Kohli’s India had been bundled out for 118 after being put into bat by Warner before the visitors comfortably chased down the score with almost five overs to spare.

The two sides will meet again for the deciding match of the T20I series at Hyderabad on Friday to culminate Australia’s tour of India.

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Adam Zampa dismantles India's middle-order resistance and other talking points from Australia's T20 victory over India

Ashish Peter 10/10/2017
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Zampa's two scalps dented India's middle-order fightback.

On a day when the Barsapara Cricket Ground in Guwahati made its international debut, Australia took on India in the second of the three-match T20I series.

The visitors were subject to a nine-wicket defeat in the first T20I at Ranchi after Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav stifled the Aussie batting line-up.

Looking to make amends for that defeat, stand-in Australia skipper David Warner won the toss and duly elected to field first on account of the dew factor set to kick in later in the game.

On a pitch abundant in moisture, Virat Kohli and his men found the going tough and were bundled out for 118 runs on the final delivery of their innings.

In the end, Australia picked up only their second victory of the tour in comprehensive fashion with an eight-wicket victory to square the series at 1-1.

And on a day when the tourists bounced right back into the series, we look at the key talking points of the match.

BEHRENDORFF THE LATEST AUSSIE PACE ACE

Jason Behrendorff did not look out of place in his maiden bow in international cricket.

The 27-year-old was allowed to bowl only one over in the rain-curtailed chase for India but did admirably well, conceding only five runs off it.

The left-arm pacer got a bigger canvas to showcase his talents in Guwahati and obliged in the very first over of the match.

After being carted for two boundaries by Rohit Sharma, Behrendorff struck back immediately with the fourth delivery of the over to catch the India vice-captain plumb on the pads.

He went one step further to put the hosts in all sorts of troubles when two deliveries later he had skipper Kohli caught and bowled for his first duck ever in 48 T20I innings.

The Aussie pacer wasn’t finished as of yet and he returned in his next over to remove Manish Pandey with a beauty of an out-swinger to complete the decimation of India’s top order.

The cherry on the cake was his scalp of Shikhar Dhawan after an excellent running catch from Warner to give the pacer impressive returns of 4-21 off his four overs.

ZAMPA PLUGS INDIA’S MIDDLE-ORDER RESISTANCE

After Behrendorff’s outstanding spell at the top had put Australia in command, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav were threatening to spark a rearguard action to pull India back into the game.

Australia’s leg-spinner Adam Zampa was having none of that though. He might have been rendered largely ineffective by the Indians in the ODI series but on a Guwahati pitch aiding turn he found excellent rhythm.

Dhoni advanced down the track to the spinner but Zampa’s length delivery turned sharply leaving the Indian wicket-keeper with no chance to get bat on ball as Tim Paine completed a straightforward stumping.

On the other end, Jadhav was looking extremely good amidst India’s batting shambles but Zampa put the brakes on his effort before it could blossom into something deadly.

The 25-year-old spinner outsmarted the Indian batsman with a trademark googly which shattered Jadhav’s stumps after he tried to launch Zampa over his head.

Zampa finished with excellent figures of 2-19 off his four overs.

HEAD AND HENRIQUES STAND TALL

Australia’s reply of the sub-par total set by India got off to the worst possible start after Warner and Finch were dismissed early into the innings.

At 13-2, the match was evenly poised with the hosts sensing a way back into the game against Australia’s fragile middle-order.

Moises Henriques and Travis Head were tasked with the repair job and they executed it brilliantly despite being beaten by the ball on multiple occasions as India’s seamers found movement aplenty.

That storm was weathered and the two batsmen launched into India’s wrist-spinners who were rendered ineffective due to the high volume of dew in outfield.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were both taken for some punishment as Australia romped home without the loss of another wicket with almost five overs to spare.

Henriques notched up second half-century in T20I cricket while Head remained unbeaten on 48 to underline Australia’s dominance.

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