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A huge surprise: Stuart

New Delhi: Stuart Binny could not have asked for a better New Year gift. As he returned to the dressing room for the tea break of the ongoing Delhi-Karnataka Ranji Trophy match on Tuesday, he was told of his selection in the Indian ODI team for the tour of New Zealand.

Batting on 48 then, on a difficult Kotla wicket, all the Karnataka all-rounder had in mind was the battle ahead under fading light.

“It came as a huge surprise to me when someone in the dressing room informed me about my selection,” said Binny at the end of the day. “Frankly, I didn’t see it coming… I really didn’t know how to react.”

If Stuart gets to play in New Zealand, he will be the third father-son combination to play in ODIs for India after Sunil and Rohan Gavaskar and Yograj and Yuvraj Singh.

The last day of the year turned out to be a lucky one for Binny. Apart from being selected for the Indian ODI squad, he also played a fine innings of 88 to guide Karnataka to a crucial first-innings lead. It was a classy innings studded with seven fours and half a dozen sixes in 94 deliveries.

Out of the six sixes, Binny slammed five off the two spinners – Varun Sood and Manan Sharma – all over the cover area. In a low-scoring match, where the home team were bundled out for 202 in their first innings, Binny’s knock stood out among all others.

Though congratulated by everyone on the field including Delhi skipper Gautam Gambhir, the Karnataka batsman said he had no time to celebrate. “I had to face Ashish Nehra after tea, who is still pretty quick. So, where was the time to celebrate!”

Asked how he felt being selected when his father is in the selection committee, Binny said: “It is not in my hand to control the off-field discussions. I have an opportunity to play for India and I have to play good cricket. Dad is the only coach I have and is everything for me. People did compare both of us since we both bowled and batted. But dad is great. ”