Batter than the rest

DAVID LONG – Sunday News | Sunday, 07 December 2008

THE statistics tell it all. The Black Caps must dismiss Shivnarine Chanderpaul early to have any chance of winning the two tests against the West Indies.

The Windies have played four test series over the past two years and Chanderpaul’s batting stats are jaw dropping.

Against England in 2007 he averaged 146, against South Africa earlier this year he averaged 123, then in Sri Lanka his average was 43, but against the best team in the world, Australia in May and June, he averaged 147.

In comparison, the Black Caps averaged a meagre 201.5 total runs in the recent two-test series in Australia.

No wonder Chanderpaul is ranked as the No 1 test batsman in the world by the ICC, an achievement Chanderpaul feels proud to hold.

“It’s an honour to be No 1 knowing all these big names are playing too,” Chanderpaul told Sunday News.

“For me to be there has got to be a privilege, you obviously have to be performing and some of the other guys out there have been doing that.”

Chanderpaul put his change from being a quality test player to the best in the world, down to the hard graft he’s put in at net sessions.

“There’s been a lot of hard work,” he said.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work in the nets with my batting, working on mistakes and I’ve tried to get better in every department.

“You have to work on everything.

“It came from all the hours of batting. I practice batting for hours and hours and when you get to the middle you look to do the same thing.

“One session is two hours, so I’ll bat in the nets for two hours and that means when I’m out there in the middle I’m accustomed to that.”

The 34-year-old Guyanan along with fellow countryman Ramnaresh Sarwan and Jamaican Chris Gayle will form the backbone of the Windies’ batting lineup.

There is little experience in the Windies squad aside from the trio but Chanderpaul believes this month-long tour could be the making for the next generation of great West Indies players.

“We have some very good young players here. They’re very talented and now given this opportunity they’re going to show who they are and what they can do,” he said.

“This is a perfect opportunity for them to perform and I think they will do very well out here.

“It’s always a team game, you can never depend on one or two guys to just do everything. There’s 11 of us when we step out on the park and we all have to compete.

“I know what our young fellas can do.”

While the focus in the Caribbean has been on the shorter forms of the game over recent years, Chanderpaul says the emphasis has shifted to improve as a test side and move up from their world ranking of seven.

“We’ve been doing pretty well in the shorter forms of the game but we’re trying to change that and play a little longer and a little harder in test matches. Hopefully we can do that to win a test match or two out here.”

Source: SundayNews

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