DLF Cup, 2006 September 13, 2006

'We all know what Sachin can do'



Shivnarine Chanderpaul blazed away, but once he was gone the wheels came off for West Indies in the first match against Australia © Getty Images

For Shivnarine Chanderpaul, it was a time for reflection after a remarkable innings that should have propelled West Indies to victory over Australia on Tuesday. A cataclysmic collapse destroyed those hopes, and Chanderpaul was obviously disappointed that the rest of the batting order couldn't build on a superb opening partnership of 136 runs.

"Obviously, we got off to a very good start, but it is another thing to finish the game and not leave it open," he said, before the team trained at the Royal Selangor Club ground. "Last night, we were ahead and from there, we let the game slip."

Chanderpaul said that he enjoyed his batting, and gave some insight on the blazing approach that served him so well against Australia. "No one knows what's going to happen on a surface like that," he said. "I thought you could get a ball anytime that can get you out. So, when I went out, I decided to have a look early on and then start playing my shots. Chris [Gayle] was struggling a bit initially and the ball was doing a lot. Both of us were struggling a bit and eventually, I got through a few shots and just kept going on from there."

Brian Lara had spoken after Tuesday's game of West Indies having a psychological edge over an Indian side that they beat 4-1 two months ago, but Chanderpaul was a little more cautious when it came to assessing the opposition. "Every win will help us, because we've been down and will have to get our confidence back," he said. "We all know what Sachin [Tendulkar] can do," he added, aware that the game's most successful batsman hadn't toured the Caribbean.

"The wicket is not that is easy to bat on. You can get a ball that can take off or it might seam around all through the game. We know Sachin can bat well, just like others in the team. Our gameplan would be to restrict them to a decent total, which we think would be quite easy to chase."

His thoughts were echoed by Ian Bradshaw, who bowled a tidy spell against Australia to finish witn 2 for 37. "They [India] have a very talented batting line-up, you can't afford to focus on one or two individuals," he said. "It's just a case of sticking to our team plan and restricting their batting as best we can."

Though the bowlers got plenty of encouragement in the opening match, Bradshaw reckoned that the pitch had been a sporting one. "There's a little bit of seam movement and a bit of bounce for the fast bowlers, but the performance of both teams yesterday showed that it is a wicket where runs can also be scored."

Dileep Premachandran is features editor of Cricinfo

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