Stuart Binny and MS Dhoni.(Getty/AP)
Stuart Binny and MS Dhoni.(Getty/AP)

‘Couldn’t believe Mahi bhai said something like that to me’: Stuart Binny reveals what MS Dhoni told him on Test debut

Out cheaply for 1 in the first innings, Binny faced a mountain when he walked out to bat in India’s second essay. India were 184 for 6 at lunch and were in need to bat out the whole day.
Hindustan Times, Delhi | By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JUL 27, 2020 12:00 PM IST

All-rounder Stuart Binny has revealed what MS Dhoni told him on his Test debut for India. After making his India debut in January of 2014, Binny received his Test cap from Dhoni during the first Test of India’s tour of England and the all-rounder scored a match-saving 78 in the first Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

Out cheaply for 1 in the first innings, Binny faced a mountain when he walked out to bat in India’s second essay. India were 184 for 6 at lunch and were in need to bat out the whole day. Binny came to the fore and scored a gritty half-century, while putting on 91 runs with Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the eighth wicket. India batted in their second innings for 501 minutes before declaring for 391/9.

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“A special day in my life to receive my Test cap #281 from Mahi bhai [Dhoni]. That Test match again didn’t go the way we wanted to. We were under the pump on the last day. I had scored 1 in the first innings, so obviously [I had] a sleepless night before that second innings when I walked in to bat,” Binny told SportsKeeda.

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“And Mahi bhai told me, ‘Listen, we need you to bat 4-5 hours to save the Test match’. And I looked at him like I can’t believe he said something like that to me, because I wasn’t even thinking clearly at that time. I was nervous, I was playing my first Test match and hadn’t got runs.”

Binny admits to have been a nervous wreck when he came out to bat. India had gotten off to a start with Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara scoring half-centuries. But with Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and MS Dhoni combining to add 72 runs, from 140/1, India had taken a bit of blow to be 184/6 – losing five wickets for 46 runs. That is when Binny and Ravindra Jadeja led India’s fightback with a stand of 65 runs for the seventh wicket.

“I walked in, and I normally take a leg-stump guard, and I don’t know what I was thinking that I asked the umpire, ‘Can I have middle stump, please?’ Then I heard myself and [realised] I don’t take that guard. I was that nervous, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just walked around, and till I got the first 10 runs, my mind was so muddled, I wasn’t thinking clearly at all,” Binny said.

“Then the innings slowly built and gave me some confidence. I had batted close to two hours and I was batting on 36, [when] I knew that I definitely belonged at that stage. It was 8-9 years of domestic cricket at that spot – either saving matches or trying to put a game on. It’s experience, I think, that got me through that day. I would have loved to have a Test hundred on debut but it didn’t work out that day. I’ll take a 78 any day of my life.”

Unfortunately for Binny, that was his only significant contribution in the series as after the second Test at Lord’s where he scored nine and a duck, he was dropped from the next two matches. He returned for the final Test at The Oval but scored 5 and an unbeaten 25 as England came from behind to beat India 3-1 in the series.

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