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Stuart Binny looking to make the most of his opportunities

"Opportunities in International cricket are going to come and I want to grab them", says Binny.

Stuart Binny
Binny has been in and out of India’s squad

Stuart Binny is trying to prove himself as a utility player for India and hopes the Caribbean tour will provide him the opportunity to do so. He expects to capitalize on the role assigned to him by Anil Kumble to bat at No. 7 or 8, depending on whether they play with the extra bowler or not and also to function as the third or fourth seamer taking pressure off the fast bowlers by keeping one end tight.

Binny has high hopes from Kumble and explained that the new coach is focused more on winning than with technicalities and his main focus now is to prepare the team for their upcoming tour of the West Indies. The 32-year-old recalled playing under Kumble in the Ranji and stated that the new coach knows what is required from Binny.

“His presence takes me back to my junior days. I was 21 when I played my first Ranji Trophy match with Anil bhai. He was a tough man, there was no joking with him. We had Thilak Naidu as our wicketkeeper at that time. Thilak was all about the jokes, but Anil bhai was about getting the job done. He is more relaxed now though, and we get more smiles from him.”

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There has also been a marked change in Binny’s fitness and he attributes his recent place in the team and in the IPL success to him being leaner and stronger which helped improve his play. Power training and a proper diet has increased his fitness levels and allowed him to be more efficient in his second and third spells and to become more effective in the field.

“I was not getting any younger. I was 27 when I decided to give it a shot. It was something I had to do if I wanted to play for India. Being leaner and stronger has helped my bowling. I looked after my diet — that was 65-70 per cent of the job done. It was eight months of eating well, sleeping well, training well, and following strict schedules.”

Binny also spoke about the balance maintained in the team by captain and coach. He explained how Virat’s winning mentality is reinforced by Kumble’s encouragement for them to play positive and ruthless cricket. He expressed his eagerness to grab the opportunities that come his way and expounded on Kohli’s role as Captain.

“Virat has told me exactly what he needs from me, and he expects me to go out and do it. He has shown so much faith in me, both during the IPL (the duo play together for Royal Challengers Bangalore), and even in Sri Lanka. I was flown in and he played me in the eleven straightaway — this shows he has a lot of faith. It is all about paying him back.”

Stuart Binny is already hopeful of India’s series win in the Caribbean and is enjoying training with the team under Anil Kumble at the preparatory camp in Bengaluru.

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