It was at the tea-break during Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy game against hosts Delhi on Tuesday that the team manager informed a padded-up Stuart Binny that “he is now part of the Indian Team”.
Ironically, the next few minutes were some of the most testing moments for this 29-year-old all-rounder as he negotiated opponent bowlers.
“It is because of my performances in the last two seasons that I’m now a part of the Indian team,” said a beaming Binny after the day’s play.
“I could hardly believe it when I got the news from my manager. I was not really expecting it so soon. But I’m happy that I have somehow managed to get this far and now I’m focussed on doing well in New Zealand.”
Binny knows that Team India call-up has taken a long time in his case because he was part of the same victorious Under-19 World Cup squad in 2000 which had the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif. The two made their international debuts long back and now are rather more or less a spent force. But this 13-year long wait has helped Binny mature as a cricketer.
“I missed a couple of domestic seasons. But at the same time, I got to spend a good time with coach Steve Rixon which turned out to be useful. I learnt a lot from his tips and I matured as a player and became more responsible after that,” said the son of Indian selector Roger Binny, who was part of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning team.
“Those two years gave me a chance to reflect upon my game. I knew the comeback wouldn’t be easy but I worked hard,” said Binny, who replaces his old U-19 teammate Yuvraj Singh, in the ODI squad.
For Binny, the 2011-12 season was a breakthrough as he scored more than 700 runs and picked up 25 wickets. The junior Binny knows that his performance will be under scrutiny because of his father.
“Well, I can’t help it. But when I get out there in the field, I only concentrate on my performance and nothing else. As far as my father is concerned, he is my first and only coach till date,” said Binny.
“Whatever I have learnt till date is from him as I picked up the game at his academy. People find our actions similar as he was the one who taught me how to swing the ball. It’s only his (Roger) inspiration and guidance that I have managed to reach this far.”