December 18, 2008
Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who replaced Garry Sobers as third on West Indies’ list of top run-getters in Tests following his half-century in Dunedin, has said he just wants to focus on the present and seal the series for West Indies in the second Test starting in Napier on Friday.
“I never look too far ahead. I just try to keep it simple and stay as calm as possible. I keep putting in the hard work day in, day out,” Chanderpaul said. “I’m work on my balance a lot. Once it’s working I just stick with it. I also try to work on my strengths and try to make them better.” Chanderpaul, 34, needs another 464 runs to displace Viv Richards from second place before he tackles Brian Lara’s 11,912 runs.
“We played pretty well in the first Test and we will be looking to do the same in the second match here in Napier. From the experience we had here the last time the pitch played pretty well. I had a look at it and there is a bit of grass. It should be a good pitch but whether it is good or not we have to go out there and play well.”
Chanderpaul led West Indies on their previous tour of New Zealand and he averaged just 14.80 in the three-Test series that the visitors lost 2-0. He was removed from captaincy following the tour and his batting improved remarkably. “It has been a help,” Chanderpaul said. “I have a lot more time to relax and focus on my game.”
He said New Zealand had a good line-up and the key for West Indies would be to try and eliminate mistakes. “Once we do that we should be in a good position.”
Chanderpaul said it was an honour to have his name alongside Sobers. “He set the milestone with 8032 runs and in his era it took a long time to reach that. He set the standard and paved the way. All of us cannot be like Sir Garry. When you hear the name and when you see him, the goal is to be like him.”