Bangladesh v West Indies, 1st Test, Mirpur, 2nd day November 14, 2012

Patience pays for Chanderpaul


While Tamim Iqbal was taking apart the West Indies attack in Mirpur, Shivnarine Chanderpaul walked up to him. "He asked me whether I was playing a Twenty20," Tamim said. "I replied that I'm just hitting what the bowlers are bowling but I can't bat like you." To which Chanderpaul said, "Neither can I."

Perhaps Chanderpaul meant that is the case at his current age of 38, because he has batted at higher strike-rates than Tamim in the past two decades, most memorably during the 69-ball century against Australia in 2003, which at the time was the third fastest Test hundred. In Mirpur, though, he showed the side of his batting that is more frequently seen these days.

His 203 took more than seven-and-a-half hours, the fifth longest innings in terms of minutes. He used the example of the first two days of this Test to explain how he changes the pace of his innings according to the situation. He batted at a strike-rate of 63 on the first day during which he scored 123 runs off 195 deliveries, but then he took 177 balls to score 80 on the second day, at a strike-rate of 45.2.

"These are things I work out in my game, whichever way I can," Chanderpaul said. "Sometimes you find yourself in good form and things go your way, you get into a rhythm and you're able to score freely and quicker. Some days you have to work hard, that's how it goes.

"We scored freely yesterday, but we had to work hard today. The [Bangladesh] bowlers tried a little too hard yesterday but today they bowled well. They bowled to a plan, stuck to it and made us work hard. You have to, as a Test cricketer, put your head down and work hard when the time comes."

His double-century also brought him level with Garry Sobers on 26 Test hundreds, leaving Brian Lara as the only West Indian with more Test tons. "The team comes first, it doesn't matter what the individual score is. Whatever the team plan is, that is what we have to stick to. It is always a great honour [to be mentioned] with names like Sir Garry, though I have played a lot more games than him."

This was only his second double-hundred, and he doesn't have the mammoth scores that Sobers and Lara ran up. "[Batting low down the order] could be one reason. I had opportunities to get a big hundred but I didn't, it's unfortunate. Thankfully today I was able to cross it [200]."

Chanderpaul's usefulness isn't limited to the field. He is a mentor to batsmen like Kieran Powell and Denesh Ramdin, both of whom shared long partnerships with him in this game. Powell missed a short ball from offspinner Sohag Gazi to be bowled after making a century, prompting Chanderpaul to have a talk with the young opener about his dismissal. "He played a fantastic innings yesterday. Unfortunately he got out the way he did. I had a chat with him about the way he did. I thought he should have played the first ball after tea a lot straighter.

"I didn't see anybody getting him out, he's the one who's giving his wicket away. I have talked to him about already. The future looks bright, you've seen [Veerasammy] Permaul today. We were here last year, you know what we have back home on offer. The future looks good for us."

At the end of the tour last year, Chanderpaul spent nearly half an hour with the Bangladesh batsmen. How Bangladesh would like to have someone like him in their midst for the long term.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Tamim is a fantastic batsman. He sees the ball early and the shot is there, almost always, so he plays it. It's almost there always...almost. In t20, that's fine but in in test cricket, he needs to know for sure that the shot is there before playing it. The underlying thing here is patience. And that's the difference between he and Chanderpaul. He may learn: or he may not. "when the student is ready, the master will appear". ....

    .... and Thanks again Tiger from all the way here in Thailand.

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    Chanderpaul is a modern batting phenomenon. He did not have great series against New Zealand but you can't rule him out for long. Chanders will make you pay. He has scored against bowling attacks in all conditions and at 38 he still plays like a hungry teenager. Apart from run-making Chanders is a keen student of the game and will make a fantastic coach in any side. Let us treasure him for the remaining time that he has to play.

  • Haroon on November 15, 2012, 1:00 GMT

    Oh Tamim, its ok to not be able to bat like Chanders, but your nothing close to a test batsman. T20 tactics will only get you so far. Maybe its your youth, your stubbornness, but you have to learn how to grind out big scores in this format. Wham, bam, and thank you maam wont reflect much on the scorecard. Besides, your an opener, give the other ten batsman some inspiration, not fireworks. Sadly, your score might be the highest in the innings, but please dont be proud of it. Wish you will "try to be patient like Chanders" in the second innings

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    There are good batsmen and there are great batsmen Chanderpaul is one of the great batsmen of our era. I wish him more sucess. He is a great West Indian and should be hailed as such. Test cricket is not about looking pretty for 30 runs and then getting out, it is also about true grit and character. Everyone has their part to play and I am not devaluing those who entertain because they bring a different element to the game. However, great teams are built around men like Gavaskar, Dravid, Larry Gomes and Chanderpaul. They are in a class by themselves. Without them, teams would regurlaly score around 250 or less pretty looking runs but that is not always enough to win a test match.

  • sadequl on November 14, 2012, 19:05 GMT

    If Tamim really said that which is being quoted in this article above then he should let someone else to handle his job to do in test match. its not a matured innings if we want to count Tamim as a real test batsman where BD team needed to conquer a mammoth hill like 527 score. It would have been much more lucrative if it would have been 72 out of 171 or more balls to spend in it & staying stuck in the pitch by the status like a genuine batsman who knows what his team requires from him at times.

  • Jonny on November 14, 2012, 19:05 GMT

    When Shivarine Chanderpaul finishes playing his wonderful career, he could one day become the Bangladesh batting coach just my opinion. Bangladesh apart from their pacers, didn't play bad quite honestly, just that West Indies who won the toss made full use of the conditions and batted superbly in conditions favourable to batting. The pitch apart from the first session where it had a bit of moisture, just didn't suit spin bowling or fast.

  • sadequl on November 14, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Many congratulations to you modern Garry sobers :)

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    Yeah I heard about that first bit quoted on top of the article but you have to realise that these Bangladeshi players have not played anywhere near the amount of tests Shivarine has therefore clearly inexperience. Apart from the fast bowlers, the spinners did well but the pitch was totally flat even Narine struggled to bowl on it. Don't understand why Bangladesh prepared such a track I just hope they can somehow not lose embarrassingly.

  • Douglas on November 14, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    So given that Chanderpaul "pokes" while Tamim "strokes", one should realize which form of play is more suitable for tests. Bangladesh need to ask themselves if the strokes worth the risks in the longer form of the game?

  • Sarfin on November 14, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Tamim now has 5 consecutive international half centuries barring T20Is. That indicates two things. One, he is the most consistent batsman (and probably the main batsman) in the squad. Secondly, he is not concentrating enough. At least two of those 50s should have been converted into 100s. I think he missed a huge chance to make his mark in this Test. He could have easily make 150. Of course he shouldn't change his natural game but should knuckle down after getting a good start. That will make him one of the top batsmen in international level and Bangladesh will be highly benefited from that. He has the material. Now just use it properly.

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