Gary Sobers. Jacques Kallis. Ian Botham. Imran Khan. Kapil Dev.
Great all rounders.
Always involved in the game. Invaluable assets for their skippers. Capable of turning matches by their batting or bowling and sometimes by their fielding (think of Kapil’s catch in the ’83 World Cup final). Players who merit a place in the team by virtue of either suit, batting or bowling, and were invariably excellent fielders.
Is Stuart Binny one of them?
Is he a bowler who can bat or a batsman who can bowl?
Per his own team director, he is the half man : half-batsman, half-bowler. A bits and pieces player. And he is competent at being that in limited overs games. But him not being good enough with either the bat or the ball by itself is a recipe for disaster for India’s test team.
Mind you, he really tries hard and he did decently in the 2nd test – you must give him that. But he is not the answer to India’s lack of a genuine test allrounder. Not a long term answer anyway. Remember England’s 90s experiments with Mark Ealham, who played 8 test matches? Poor Binny reminds me of him.
How is it that a country of a billion and more cannot produce another decent all rounder? Irfan Pathan briefly threatened to become one before the ‘evil’ Greg Chappell meddled with him. Bhuvi showed promise with the bat in England but not much more has come of it. Ashwin looks good while at the crease but hasn’t got runs consistently enough to be called an all-rounder.
For the moment though, it appears that we shall continue to play test matches with five and half batsman and four and half bowlers.
And so we shall remain : neither here nor there.