Stuart Binny © IANS
Stuart Binny’s selection for the ICC World Cup 2015 was questioned by many © IANS

By Taus Rizvi

Last week, when the selectors named the squad for the tri-series against Australia and England as well the ICC World Cup 2015, one name fostered debate. It’s not easy being Stuart Terrence Roger Binny.  For starters, the Karnataka all-rounder is the son of former India World Cup winner Roger Binny. Secondly, Binny Sr is part of the selection committee that picked his son. What’s more, there were reports that Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not happy with Binny’s selection. Apparently, the skipper wanted a demanded a specialist batsman or a specialist bowler instead of an all-rounder. However, the selectors snubbed Dhoni. Apparently, Binny Sr stepped out of the meeting room when his son’s name came up for discussion. All said and done, Binny must be under some pressure.

The 30-year-old, who has featured in three Tests and six ODIs, has done nothing extraordinary on the international circuit. Last year, he scored a match-saving 78 in the first Test against England in Nottingham besides registering a six-wicket haul in an ODI against Bangladesh in Dhaka. Picked as an all-rounder, Binny’s record isn’t superb by any stretch of imagination. But can he make his presence felt in Australia and New Zealand. Will he prove to be that saviour of an all-rounder India have been looking for?

Former India medium-pacer Madan Lal was part of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning squad. Why, he was among the most successful bowlers in that tournament. Here’s what he has to say about his former teammate’s son. “Stuart has been picked as an all-rounder, but he is more of a batsman than bowler. His success will depend on how well he uses the bounce on offer in Australia. Will he be able to hit the deck hard?” Lal wonders.

“His utility will depend on how the captain uses him — as a middle-order batsman or a bowler who could chip in with a few overs. It remains to be seen if Stuart gets to bowl long spells or his quota of 10 overs,” he adds. Much as he is happy for Binny, Lal points out that the lad will be under pressure. “Roger was a good all-rounder in his time. People will expect a lot from Stuart this time. After all, his father is a World Cup winner. The challenge for Stuart will be to prove himself more than anybody else,” the 63-year-old explains.

Former India spinner Sunil Joshi has watched Binny from close quarters in the Karnataka set-up. And expectedly, he has immense faith in his former teammate. “He could be an asset to the team. Batting is his strength. Also, the conditions in Australia and New Zealand will suit his bowling. As a medium-pacer, he should be able to deliver in those conditions,” Joshi says.

The 43-year-old left-arm spinner, who now coaches Jammu and Kashmir, also slammed critics for questioning Binny’s selection. “That he is a utility player is known. He has proved it in domestic cricket. It is the right time for him deliver on the big stage. It’s all about how Dhoni utilises him. Stuart doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. A player will start believing in himself once the fans, experts and mediapersons start backing him.”

(Taus Rizvi is a Principal Correspondent with DNA. A club-level cricketer, he believes cricket helps in knowing a person’s character. Taus can be followed on @rizvitaus on Twitter. The above news has been republished with permission from DNA, where it first appeared)