Team dials ‘all rounder’, selectors deliver ‘Binny’

first_img31 year old Stuart Binny will in all probability take a flight to Sri Lanka on Monday as the 16th member of the Indian squad. A one liner press release from BCCI communicated the news. “All rounder Stuart Binny will join the Indian cricket team before the second match of the three match test series in Sri Lanka.”‘All rounder’ was the operative word as sources in the team told India Today, Binny had been drafted after a request from the team management for an all rounder option to join the squad. The selector’s answer was Stuart Binny who is 3 tests old in his India career. His batting record reads 118 runs in 6 innings in England , he played last year, which includes a 78 on debut, batting at no.8 in a drawn Nottingham test. He has bowled all of 32 overs played and is still searching for his first test wicket.Is the call for an all rounder, reflection of a realization that after the 63 run defeat in the Galle test that only five batsmen will not work? If so , Virat certainly did not want to say it in the post test briefing. “If I have said we will play with five bowlers, I am not going to say we were a batsman short. We batted badly,” Virat had said analyzing the Galle defeat.Going into the Galle test, the team had also spoken about the batting abilities of R Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha and how the top five batsmen will take more responsibility. Considering that Harbhajan Singh’s place in the eleven could be in doubt after his lack luster showing and they may have wanted to add more depth to the lower middle order, one still wonders how much better Stuart Binny as a an all rounder is to Bhuveneshwar Kumar, already in the squad.advertisementBhuveneshwar has been seen working in the adjoining batting nets at Galle with batting coach Sanjay Bangar, using every available opportunity even while the first test was in progress. Bhuveneshwar who averages 26 with 393 runs in 12 tests, delivered standout all round show in the same England tour where Binny also played. He is waiting to add to his 29 test wickets which he has picked at a bowling average of 35. Admittedly none of the two are Kapil Dev in the making yet, but what necessitated Binny’s inclusion in the middle of the series remains unanswered.Meanwhile, Stuart Binny was rushing back to his home town Bangalore and hoping his travel formalities will be complete in a day to allow him to join the Indian team soon. “Hopefully Monday evening,” he told India Today after his selection.Stuart made his India debut late, aged 29 under a selection committee also comprising of his father and former test all rounder Roger Binny. References to favoritism are often made and Roger Binny again tried to address the issue when contacted by India Today after Stuart’s selection. “I wasn’t even consulted,” he said. He was perhaps indicating that he has been adopting the policy of recusing himself out of selection matters when it comes to debate over son Stuart or that it was left to the two tour selectors Saba Karim and Vikram Rathore to decide.But with an additional member drafted to a 15 member squad which already comprises of 4 seamers and 3 spinners could not have been without the consent of the captain and the coach. On the injury front, Murali Vijay continues to be “improving and monitored” while there is no official word on Shikhar Dhawan’s hand injury he suffered at slips in the first test. Even if covering for injury concerns was one of the reasons for an additional player, it cannot be overlooked that a like for like replacement in Pujara remains available.It may now be left to the gutsy all round abilities of Stuart Binny to deliver and provide some cricketing logic to his SOS call.last_img read more

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