CricInfo: Let's start by talking about you early days in Bangalore. Your coach initially I think was Mr. Tarapore, and you were also a champion athlete in school.
Roger Binny: I studied in Montford school in Salem district where i first played the game. I was coached by Mr Ram Singh for about three years when he used to come for holiday and spend three weeks and coach us. This was the first time I was coached by someone in the middle. Then we had another coach from the NIS named Mr Narayan. In 1970 I shifted to Bangalore and joined St. James school. My name was recommended to Tarapore, who had coached the many players including Chandrashekar, Kirmani, Raghuram Bhatt and now Rahul Dravid. So he is the one who picked me up, strengthened my game and corrected the mistakes.
CI: You were not only into cricket, but also into athletics, right?
RB: Yeah, when I was studying in Salem, it was compulsory that we had to play all the games. So when I moved to Bangalore, during January, I used to play hockey as it was hockey season there. I went for hockey trials and represented the school team and played at the graduate level (under-19). Then when the cricket season started, I played cricket and was selected for state side and during football season, I played football as the goalkeeper of the side. And in the athletics championships, I was picked up for the school team and later represented the state side.
CI: Coming back to cricket, in 1977-78 when you played a Ranji Trophy match for Karnataka against Kerala at Chikmagalur, you and Sanjay Desai put on 451 runs for the first wicket. Both of you made double hundreds. What are your memories of that?
RB: I remember that game. We dismissed Kerala about an hour after lunch and when we went out to open the innings, the captain asked us to bat right through without losing our wickets. It was a good wicket and the outfield was fast. Both Desai and me managed to go past Kerala's total and by the end of the day we both got our hundreds. The next day we came back afresh and played some aggressive cricket. So by lunch time, we both made double centuries. After our declaration, Kerala in their second knock were bowled out by the same evening. This was one of the quickest matches that I have played in.
CI: You must certainly have strong memories of your Test debut against Pakistan in your hometown in 1979-80 in which you did reasonably well making 46 runs. Were you were expecting the Test call then?
RB: I got into the squad in the second Test match against Kim Hughes' Australian side. We played the Australians in the previous week and I got 50 against them and also picked up two wickets. That performance put me into the squad against Pakistan. But I really didn't expect to play in Bangalore because Sandeep Patil and Shivlal Yadav were also in the squad. So the three of us were actually fighting for one spot. But I think because Bangalore was my home ground, I got the nod to play ahead of Patil.
CI: You played in all the matches in that series. What are your memories of the Bombay Test, especially your first spell when you dismissed Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas and Javed Miandad in quick succession. It must have been a big moment?
RB: As a young cricketer, I had heard about Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas and Javed Miandad. I used to listen to radio commentaries and collect pictures of these cricketers. So when I bowled at them, I was excited and wanted to go after them.
CI: You didn't have a successful tour of Australia in 1980-81. But what do you remember about that tour, specifically Gavaskar's walk-out?
RB: I think on that particular tour, the wickets did not really help the fast bowlers. Except Dennis Lillee and Rodney Hogg, all the others struggled. There was nothing much in it for the bowlers. About Sunny's walkout, I think it surprised all of us as we were all sitting and watching the game when he decided to walk out.
[Ind-Aus 1980-81 series | Scorecard]
CI: After that tour, you were forgotten for a while until 1983. Having stayed out of the game for some time, you must have been happy with your comeback during the World Cup in such a strong way?
RB: In Test matches at home, there is no chance to play an extra seamer, therefore I was dropped. On the comeback trail, my best performance was in the 81-82 season where i scored over 700 runs. I also did well in the semifinals against Delhi. I followed it up with high scores and wickets in the following season. Based on my performance and with World Cup in the mind, I was picked to play in England.
CI: You must have been excited to be the highest wicket taker in the tournament and also being the man of the match against Australia?
RB: I enjoyed the championship there. We played totally different cricket there and there was never a dull moment in the tournament, except maybe the one game against Australia at the Trent Bridge which we lost.
CI: Coming back to the home series1983-84, You socre 83 not out and 58 in the consecutive tests against Pakistan But you got dropped in the next test. How did you feel it?
RB: I Played well against Pakistan. I remember I got 83 Not out when 6 wickets have fallen down in Bangalore. Later on I thought I could have gone for shorts to get an hundered since I was 17 short of hundred. But I couldn't support by the other end. In the 2nd test match in Jalender I scored 58 slowly just keeping One end safe. I was in good touch. In the 3rd test match, I was told that I was scoring slowly and some has told to score fast. I took it in a good sprit. As long as it is good for the team, I decided to sit down and watch my teammates play.
CI: In 1986, you had a very good tour of England both personally and in terms of the team. Do you remember your exploits there?
RB: On that wicket all you had to do was land it on the seam and things could
really happen. I've always been able to do that, get the ball to dart off