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'To be in the top ten in the world is surprising' - Binny

Stuart Binny has said, after India easily defended 105 against Bangladesh, that the team didn't feel it was out of the match after the poor show with the bat

Stuart Binny: 'if we were going to struggle to bat on that wicket, I think it was going to be difficult for them as well'  •  AFP

Stuart Binny: 'if we were going to struggle to bat on that wicket, I think it was going to be difficult for them as well'  •  AFP

India were bundled out for 105, but with a helpful pitch and a dismal showing by the Bangladesh batsmen, defended it comfortably. Stuart Binny was the architect of India's revival, one engineered through discipline, belief and by sticking to the basics. He finished with 6 for 4, the best figures by an India player in ODIs.
"My strength is to bowl wicket-to-wicket and swing the ball," Binny said. "The conditions were ideal to bowl so I don't think I surprised myself, but to be in the top ten in the world is surprising."
There was heavy cloud cover for the entire duration of the match. The onus was on the bowlers to exploit the conditions, but they were hardly taxed by the batsmen. India's was the lowest total any side had defended after being all out in ODIs.
"We never thought we were out of the game. When we went into the break we were disappointed with the way we batted," Binny said. "But it's important that we had a good chat during the break and went out and bowled in good areas because the wicket was doing something and if we were going to struggle to bat on that wicket, I think it was going to be difficult for them as well. We just knew if we got a few wickets up front and if they were three down in the first seven-eight overs, we could go through and push and get a victory.
"Credit must be given to their bowlers. We [the India bowlers] fed off their line and lengths. They bowled stump to stump."
Help from conditions don't necessarily translate to results though. Binny gave credit to the bowling coach, Joe Dawes, who had drilled the bowlers to concentrate on their accuracy.
"It's important from where you start the ball when you're swinging it," Binny said. "The ball was swinging but in the first over I bowled a bit wide and it went outside off stump. I think what we did yesterday was try and bowl on middle stump and when we get conditions like this, it's important not to [try too many things]."
He said he didn't have to deviate much from the plan he uses in the Ranji Trophy, India's domestic first-class tournament. "We generally bowl on wickets that help us a bit [at home for Karnataka]. One-day cricket is a bit different with the white ball, it tends to swing initially, but on this ground it was a bit heavy so we just maintained the ball and bowled good areas. I remember Robin [Uthappa, his Karnataka team-mate] telling me to bowl the lengths [which we use] in four-day cricket back home."
The game had a two and a half hours' break because of the rain and it was apparent that the tougher discipline would be scoring runs. There was an argument for the batsmen to adopt a Test-match approach: dig in and last the revised 41 overs but neither side seemed to display that resolve. Binny said the difficulty posed by the moving ball was better combated by a bit of aggression.
"From a batsman's perspective, it was a wicket where you needed to be a bit positive. The ball was seaming a bit. It was under the covers during the rain delay and there was sweating. It was a bit damp. The spikes were getting stuck, so we knew it was going to do a bit. But again to score runs on a wicket like this, you have to play shots and take a chance somewhere. Even Umesh [Yadav's] 12-14 runs were crucial. Bowlers are going to be on top on wickets like this, but it's also important that the batsman can get as many runs as possible."

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo