Even in a second-string Indian side that is touring Bangladesh at the moment, Stuart Binny was overlooked for a starting spot in the first ODI on Sunday. Parvez Rasool was preferred instead.
On Tuesday, Binny replaced the off-spinner because the wicket at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur had some live grass on it. For someone who had played just two matches for India before this, the task was imposing. In India’s innings, Binny batted close to half an hour for three runs. However, with the ball, and defending 105, he was emphatic.
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The 30-year old’s selection for the tours of Bangladesh and England was frowned upon. And with his father, former India medium pacer Roger Binny, now a national selector, the word nepotism was whispered. A performance that saw him register India’s best ever ODI figures (six for four in 4.4 overs) will silence the critics.
“He has proved everybody wrong. Let me make it clear that every time his name comes up during selection meetings, I walk out. It’s the other six people who decide. Apart from the selectors, the coach and captain too are part of the process. They found him good enough, but it was important for Stuart to prove his mettle and he did that today,” said Roger, speaking to The Indian Express.
Binny surpassed the long-standing record of Anil Kumble’s (six for 12); did father expect such a performance?
“He will always come in handy in seamer-friendly conditions. He’s basically a batting all-rounder who moves the ball around. This is why he’s picked for the tour of England. You usually don’t get spicy pitches in the sub-continent but today the ball did quiet a bit. The key was to bowl in the channel and he did that,” said Roger.
Like father, like son? “You can say that. I hardly played in India. But every time we toured England or Australia, I became a key member. I was pretty successful in those conditions. Stuart also needs conditions to support his bowling. Yes, we are pretty similar — seam and swing — but maybe I was a little faster.”
Did Roger have any advice to his son before he left for Bangladesh? “No, he has reached a stage when coaching is no longer required. I just told him not to lose faith.”
A successful IPL for Rajasthan Royals last season brought Stuart into the Team India reckoning and eventually he was picked. Last year, he got married as well. “Marriage has made him more disciplined and focused to the job. Of course, it has played a part,” Binny Senior concluded.