'I knew it was time to stand up'

'I knew it was time to stand up'

First, he was called in to the changing room to answer a congratulatory phone call from back home, then the match referee called him in again to present him with the man of the match award for his twin five-wicket hauls and his first ten-for in a first-class game.

The 27-year-old has generally been the support medium-pacer in an attack generally led by R Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun, but with both away on national duty, with S Arvind being injured in the first innings and SL Akshay in the second, and the track suiting Binny’s style of bowling, he eased into the load of principal wicket-taker with consummate ease.
“With Vinay absent and Arvind struggling with his injury, I knew it was time to stand up,” said Binny. “Also, the fact that I had been specifically picked to bowl more gave me the thrust.”

This has been a season of self-discovery for Binny. “At 27, I had started wondering where I was headed,” Binny conceded. “I was yet to establish myself, so my self-belief had taken a hit. But at the beginning of this season, I was told that I would get a full season. That made me feel like I belonged.

“I had a chat with Sir (coach K Jeshwant) before the season and confessed to him my fear that a couple of failures would again lead to my being dropped. He told me not to worry and just play my game. He was also with the team when I had my first full season (2003) and so that added to my feeling of belonging,” he said.

Being someone who can contribute with both bat and ball has added to his sense of belonging. “I felt I missed out on a flat track in Mumbai when everyone else was making a lot of runs,” Binny noted. “But I came back and took three wickets with the ball, and that made me feel that I too was contributing to the team’s cause.”

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