Chanderpaul has been the glue that’s kept West Indies going

Cricinfo Article

Bowl at Boycs
Excerpts from the discussion below.

Raunak Kapoor: Hello and welcome to Bowl at Boycs, it’s the big season for Indian cricket. It is Sachin Tendulkar’s final series and all the questions on this edition are to do with the India-West Indies series. Shivnarine Chanderpaul is the subject of the first question, Geoffrey, and it comes from Bas Tambil in the United States.

He asks: Geoffrey, inspite of amassing thousands of runs and performing consistently, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has never been considered an all-time great batsman by many cricketers and experts. Why is that so? How do you rate Chanderpaul as a batsman and what he has contributed to West Indies cricket?

Geoff Boycott: He’s had an enormous contribution, Shiv. He’s been a lynchpin, a sticker. In the second half of his career, when West Indies haven’t been particularly good in their batting, he’s the one who has held them together. He’s been the glue that’s kept them going. Every time they’ve had a collapse or so, it’s usually him and certainly most of the time he scores the runs. And he does this time after time.

Without him, I think the West Indies’ results in the last few years would probably have been worse. How do you define greatness? Well, it’s in the eye of the beholder. For me, it’s about helping to win matches. I’ll keep it simple. Winning or helping to keep winning matches is a priority. Next to that is saving a Test match. In a short Test series, that could be vital.

So the first one is winning, second is helping save a Test match, and the third one for me is capturing the imagination of the public. Because in a way we only play for two people. One is ourselves, for the enjoyment of the game, and the other is to give pleasure to the public, and it doesn’t always have to be in sixes and fours, it could be by playing a beautiful innings like Dravid.

What a gorgeous player he’s been. Winning matches for India or saving them. So it isn’t just bashing it out of the ground like one-day cricket. Some people capture the imagination and some people don’t, and I think those three points in a simplistic way are important.

Shiv has done so many things, he’s been wonderful for them but I don’t think he’s captured the imagination. I don’t think he’s won any matches. He’s saved some, yes, so one out of three but not three out of three for me. And I love him dearly, I think he’s a lovely boy.

First Published on Cricinfo