After shedding kilos, Binny adds weight to scorecards
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Fifties from Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane brought Rajasthan Royals to the cusp of victory while chasing 178 versus Pune Warriors on Sunday night. But the finishing touches to a well-crafted chase was given by all-rounder Stuart Binny, who delivered in the crunch with an unbeaten 32 off 13 balls.
While the T20 format allows the attacking all-rounder to play his natural game, Binny, 28, has found a second wind only after adopting a patient approach to batting, improving his fitness regimen and tweaking his bowling run-up on the advice of his father — World Cup winner and current national selector Roger Binny.
Sunil Gavaskar's comment on air that it was tougher to lift baby Stuart than the 28-year-old version isn't too far away from the truth, Stuart said in a lighter vein. "I lost eight kilograms before the 2011-12 Ranji Trophy season and have been able to maintain my fitness since then. This has helped me bowl, bat and field better." This was his build-up to the season that saw him score 742 runs and take 25 wickets.
It was during the cooling period under the BCCI's amnesty scheme for ICL players that the Karnataka cricketer found time to reflect on his modest first-class career that had lasted about 20 games. One that didn't contain either a century or a 10-wicket match haul — essential for being considered a top all-rounder.
"Before coming back into the BCCI fold, I thought about my future as a cricketer. I decided to start from scratch," Binny said about the early months of 2010. "Looking back, it took me about five seasons to find my feet in Ranji Trophy cricket. It required a little maturity on my part, with minor changes to technique and also hard work," Binny added.
Putting in the yards