'I want three to four wickets every game'

From the latter half of the last season, Stuart Binny has been lending some meaning to his all-rounder’s tag.

Coming off a back operation a couple of years ago, Binny had cut down on his bowling but having regained his fitness levels, the 28-year-old has been playing an ideal support cast to R Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun. And in their absence, he has even donned the spearhead’s role, like against Odisha last year when he claimed a 10-wicket match haul.

Against Baroda on Saturday, Binny completed a five-wicket haul (5/65) even as Vinay and Mithun toiled without much success. “Mithun has been unlucky throughout the match,” acknowledged the right-handed player. “Sometimes it happens that they (Mithun and Vinay) are attacking and the batsmen tend to relax a bit when I come into bowl. I got that left-hander in the first over. I look at myself as a supporting bowler and we all work in partnerships. At times I might attack and then they support,” a modest Binny remarked.

Binny, watched by his father and National selector Roger, termed the pitch good for batting. “There was a bit of assistance in the morning though nothing much happened off the wicket. Whatever I did, it was in the air. It has been a good beginning and I am thinking of getting 25 wickets this season. Last time I got 20 but in one match (against Odisha) I got 10 and that means I got only 10 in the rest of the season. This time around I want to get three to four wickets every game and support Mithun and Vinay. Of course I might get games like this when I get a five-for.”

Binny thought his preparation for the Ranji Trophy has been ideal. “I have bowled quite a bit ahead of this season. I bowled a lot in the Duleep Trophy and Irani Cup and did well. So when I came into this match, I had already bowled a lot of overs. I had that bowling form.”

Binny admitted catching has been a bit of an issue for Karnataka. They dropped Waghmode and Irfan early in their innings and both went on to score centuries. “It’s a concern for us. We have worked hard on our fielding. Even in the training sessions back home we used to have 90-minute slots for fielding and we worked on all areas. Yes, last season we dropped quite a few and as for yesterday you don’t expect Manish (Pandey) to drop. In fact when the edge went to him I had already started celebrating but I hope it’s a one-off,” he remarked.

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