All-rounder Stuart Binny made his Test debut during India’s tour of England in 2014. The series was a dramatic one with the first Test being a rather drab draw due to a disappointing pitch at Trent Bridge and the second was a historic win for India at Lord’s.
Binny started his Test career by being dismissed by Ben Stokes for 1 run and followed it up by picking no wickets during England’s innings. However, he played a big role in saving the Test for India when he came out to bat in the second innings and Binny said that Dhoni had asked him to hang in there when his number came up.
“A special day in my life to receive my Test cap #281 from Mahi bhai (Dhoni). That Test match again didn’t go the way we wanted to. We were under the pump on the last day. I had scored 1 in the first innings, so obviously [I had] a sleepless night before that second innings when I walked in to bat,” Binny told SportsKeeda.
“And Mahi bhai told me, ‘Listen, we need you to bat 4-5 hours to save the Test match’. And I looked at him like I can’t believe he said something like that to me, because I wasn’t even thinking clearly at that time. I was nervous, I was playing my first Test match and hadn’t got runs.”
Binny would go on to score 78 off 114 balls striking up a 65-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja for the seventh wicket and a 91-run stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the eighth wicket.
“I walked in, and I normally take a leg-stump guard, and I don’t know what I was thinking that I asked the umpire, ‘Can I have middle stump, please?’ Then I heard myself and (realised) I don’t take that guard. I was that nervous, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just walked around, and till I got the first 10 runs, my mind was so muddled, I wasn’t thinking clearly at all,” Binny said.
“Then the innings slowly built and gave me some confidence. I had batted close to two hours and I was batting on 36, [when] I knew that I definitely belonged at that stage. It was 8-9 years of domestic cricket at that spot — either saving matches or trying to put a game on. It’s experience, I think, that got me through that day. I would have loved to have a Test hundred on debut but it didn’t work out that day. I’ll take a 78 any day of my life.”
India finally declared at 391/9 after batting out 123 overs, thus calling an end to the match. They went on to record a historic win at Lord’s in the next game. But then they lost the third match by 266 runs and suffered innings defeats in the last two and thus, their efforts in the first two Tests came completely undone.