You would expect the bowler with the best ODI figures ever for India to be a permanent fixture in the team. But Stuart Binny’s appearances have been sporadic — in 18 months he has played just nine matches — and he remains a fringe player.
Yet to bowl a full quota of 10 overs, his best run has spanned just eight overs — twice against a deadbeat Sri Lanka side last November and once against England in a tri-series so irrelevant it disappeared from public memory the moment India failed to qualify for the final.
On June 17 last year, at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Binny’s spell was so parsimonious it made Anil Kumble’s previous Indian record haul achieved in 1993 look expensive.
It remains to be seen if Binny can again reprise that role in front of his father and national selector Roger, who will join the squad on Wednesday.
If his performance comes anywhere close to that jaw-dropping (6/4) spell against Bangladesh, it could fetch him a permanent ODI berth.
That looks unlikely though. Binny’s exploits in Bangladesh last year were largely due to a below-strength team sent by India. This time India have come with a full squad.
But Suresh Raina, who led Binny here last year, feels he could get a game. “Yes, he hasn’t got too many games, but still he has done really well in first-class cricket and IPL. Hopefully, he will play,” he said.
Considered a batting all-rounder, Binny has shown improvement with the ball in the last few months.
His 4/24, in just 13 overs, had helped South Zone dismiss East for 84 in the Duleep trophy semi-final.
In Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy-winning campaign though, Binny had little role to play. A few chances came his way in IPL playing for Rajasthan Royals but he couldn’t grab the chance.
At Tuesday’s nets, Binny was first sent to bat. Only in the later stages did he bowl when Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli batted.
Binny was quick and didn’t err much in line, a display he is expected to repeat if given a chance to play.