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WA’s Behrendorff faces moment of truth

Star Perth Scorchers paceman Jason Behrendorff will be put through his paces on Friday in a last-ditch bid to get him ready for the upcoming Big Bash League campaign.

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Behrendorff has been grounded since suffering a recurrence of a back injury following the Sheffield Shield loss to Adelaide last month.

The 25-year-old missed the second half of last season with stress fractures in his back, and it remains to be seen whether his body can handle the rigours of Shield cricket this summer.

But Warriors coach Justin Langer is hopeful Behrendorff will be fit to play in the upcoming BBL, with the Scorchers to begin their title defence against the Adelaide Strikers at the WACA on December 21.

“He’s going to have a bowl on Friday, which is really positive,” Langer said.

“He bowled through a similar thing last year, and all through the BBL, and was one of the highlights of the Scorchers team.

“We’re going to wait and see.

“For him to bowl long spells – 20-over spells – probably puts his back under (too much) pressure.

“But only bowling four-over spells isn’t so much long-term pressure.”

Behrendorff starred with 15 wickets at an average of 16.73 during last summer’s title-winning campaign for the Scorchers.

His potential availability looms as a key to the Scorchers’ hopes of winning a third straight title.

Another potential trump card could be fellow left-arm paceman Joel Paris, who will enter the tournament full of confidence following his haul of 6-23 in this week’s Sheffield Shield win over Tasmania.

Paris missed the past two BBL campaigns because of a serious quad injury, but the 22-year-old says he’s fit and ready to fire for the Scorchers this time around.

The Scorchers attempted to sign Mitchell Johnson for the BBL campaign, but the retired Test batsman decided to skip the tournament.

English batsman Michael Carberry has been lured back to the Scorchers for a second straight season, while big-hitting England all-rounder David Willey is the other import.

The Scorchers will tune up for the tournament when they take on a Legends XI side in Perth on Friday.

Langer, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Brian Lara, Andrew Flintoff, and Glenn McGrath are among the big names who will play for the Legends XI.

“It’s an all-star cast. I’ll probably bat 11 I reckon,” Langer joked.

“My daughter asked me, ‘Who do you hope wins dad?’ Let’s hope it’s a tie.”

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