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Cricket team for World Cup will be a balanced one with a potential to win, says Roger Binny


The pressure to win has been there ever since India lifted the 1983 World Cup, but fitness, both mental and physical, holds the key, says Roger Binny.

The pressure to win has been there ever since India lifted the 1983 World Cup, but fitness, both mental and physical, holds the key, says Roger Binny.
| Photo Credit: File Photo

The process of selecting the cricket team for the 2023 World Cup is on, and it will be a very well balanced side with a potential to win the cup, says BCCI president Roger Binny.

Mr. Binny, a former cricketer who was a part of the team that had lifted the 1983 Prudential World Cup, was interacting with select media persons here on August 29 (Tuesday).

“We have in place a team for the ensuing Asia Cup. We have a few good batsmen in the form of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill as our mainstay, and good fast bowlers, all-rounders and good spinners. Even our tail-enders can chip in with the bat, if required. But the only area of concern is injuries. Two of our main middle-order batsmen, Shreyas Iyer and K.L. Rahul, are recuperating after suffering injuries, and we hope that they will stay fit and play some good knocks,” Mr. Binny said.

The pressure to win had always been there ever since India lifted the 1983 World Cup. After the epic win, India had won a cup again in 2011, and we were semi-finalists for four times, he recalled. “This has aggravated the pressure on the side, and it, at times, has its toll on the team,” Mr. Binny observed.

Mr. Binny, the six-foot strapping fast bowler who still looks fit to bowl a spell, said that “fitness, both mental and physical, holds the key.”

A natural athlete, Mr. Binny had also represented his home State, Karnataka, in the javelin throw, hockey and football. “Give me a seaming track, I can still bowl a spell,” Mr. Binny said with a smile.

“No side can be taken lightly. Every side, be it Pakistan, England, Australia or New Zealand, has the potential, and there will always be a few surprises.”Roger Binny BCCI president

Referring to the ensuing World Cup that would be played in India from October 5, he said, “No side can be taken lightly. Every side, be it Pakistan, England, Australia or New Zealand, has the potential, and there will always be a few surprises.”

Talking about the changing phase of cricket after the 1983 win, Mr. Binny said that cricket then was in patches.

In a year we had a few Ranji Trophy games and a few Duleep Trophy matches. Moreover, the moment we started playing for Ranji, our main goal had been to hunt for a job, as cricket then was not self-sustaining. “But now, cricket has become more competitive, players have more exposure, there are bigger platforms like the IPL, and even the Ranji gives more exposure. Players now can sustain just by playing cricket and need not look for an alternative earning platform. This enables them to focus on the game and improve,” Mr. Binny said.

Bench strength

Speaking about the current bench strength, Mr. Binny said, “Unlike the yesteryear players, today we have a very big bench strength. We have the strength to have three different teams for three different formats.”

“The BCCI is focussing on this, and that is why we are experimenting with our strength by sending our younger players for tours to West Indies and Ireland. Apart from improving our bench strength and giving the youngsters good match experience, we want to avoid the burnout syndrome for our senior and top players,” he added.

When asked why the Indian team had problems on bouncy and seaming tracks, Mr. Binny said, “Sending the team for a practice session on a bouncy and seaming track just before a tour will not do the required good. We need to develop bouncy and seaming tracks for domestic cricket across the country. The young cricketers have to be groomed early playing on these tracks, and we are working on it.”

On when did the team believed that it could do something in the 1983 World Cup, Mr. Binny said, “We felt that we could do something immediately after defeating the world champions, the West Indies, in the very first match. Later, it was reinforced after Kapil Dev’s heroic 175 against Zimbabwe. Even in the final match, though our score was just 183, we did not lose hope, and had a feeling that we would achieve it.”



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