Stuart Binny, on Tuesday, joined Roger Binny to be the first Indian father-son duo to play a World Cup. The seam bowling all-rounder usurped fast bowling options like Varun Aaron and Mohit Sharma to get a nod for the showpiece event, starting on February 14. (Also read: Yuvraj ignored, Jadeja included in India's World Cup squad)
Only three other such pairs have achieved this feat - Don (East Africa in 1975) and Derek Pringle (England), Lance and Chris Cairns (New Zealand) and Chris and Stuart Broad (England).
The road ahead for Binny, however, is not very easy. The 30-year-old seam bowling all-rounder will have to play out of his skin in the limited opportunities that will come his way to stand on par with his 1983 World Cup-winning father who finished the tournament as the leading wickettaker (18 wickets).
If the pressure of expectations were not enough to burden Stuart with, the fact that Roger is part of the national selection panel has always put a question mark on Stuart. Fans have often been harsh in their assessment of the situation, making accusations of nepotism within the Indian cricket setup that led to Binny's inclusion.
NDTV cricket expert Sunil Gavaskar was livid while refuting such claims. "Stuart Binny will be handy with bat and ball in Australia and New Zeland. It's (his selection) not because he is Roger Binny's son," Gavaskar told NDTV, just hours after the India team was announced.
The former India opener explained that Stuart was picked purely on merit and that Roger, who he says is one of the nicest human beings and a World Cup champion, is always asked to step out of the selection meeting when Stuart's name would come up for discussion. Roger has always upheld the dignity of the position he has held and the onus will now be on Stuart to protect it further.
Since his ODI debut in January 2014, Stuart has played just six games. Yet, the Rajasthan Royals all-rounder made a telling impression with bowling figures of 6/5 against Bangladesh, the best-ever in the 50-over format of the game. Another lasting memory will be his brave effort of 78 on Day 5 of the drawn Nottingham Test which was a testimony to the fact that he could be considered as a serious fast bowling all-rounder, first since the highly-successful Kapil Dev.
Stuart will bank on his ability to get the ball to seam away from the batsmen that could be handy in New Zealand. India however, play just two group-stage fixtures there, both against minnows (Ireland and Zimbabwe). If the Australian conditions during the ongoing Test series is anything to go by, flat and no hint of swing or seam movement, then Stuart may not feature in most of the fixtures. Whether they opt to play him as an additional pace option who can throw his bat around in the lower order, will be keen to watch.
Roger, for his part, has said that he is proud of his son. Stuart too, should be glad for being picked to be part of the bunch of players that will try and defend their World Cup crown.