India v West Indies, 1st Test, Delhi, 1st day November 6, 2011

Chanderpaul shows GenNext the way

West Indies were asked several questions today and fortunately for them, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has hung around long enough to have all the right replies
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In the West Indies team, Shivnarine Chanderpaul is now the last man standing of a generation whose best players have either retired or been sidelined due to age or disagreements. At the Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday, Chanderpaul ensured that his team remained standing during the course of a tough day, showing younger men around him the big difference between batting and scoring runs.

The most experienced man in this West Indies team after Chanderpaul, who has played 136 Tests (including this one), is Fidel Edwards, with 49. The four batsmen who preceded him on Sunday had 22 Tests among them. Chanderpaul's innings laid bare that gap.

Before him, some, like Kieran Powell, survived for a short while but had then fallen, defeated by the difficulty of their circumstances. Others, like Darren Bravo, had thrown away the opportunity to change the rhythm of the game and give India's spinners something to think about. Chanderpaul walked in at the No. 5, the linkman he has always been, and in the matter of fifteen-odd minutes sent out his own distinct signal. That of his calibre to every man in the field, of how to become the controller of a situation to his own dressing room.

West Indies have crawled to 256 for 5 and managed to get something out of a difficult day, largely due to Chanderpaul's 111 not out - his second century against India in successive Tests - and his 108-run fourth-wicket partnership with opener Kraigg Brathwaite. He averages over 71.00 against India with seven centuries against them in all, and memories of Chanderpaul's many prolonged resistances belong mostly to a consistent turnover of home Tests. Kotla was only his fifth Test in India and he made it memorable, both with his construction of this century and the circumstance in which it came.

He changed the tempo of the game with a few swift movements, deftly finding gaps to keep the scoreboard ticking over with singles and twos, which had run dry in the first session. His open stance and quick-step shuffle enabled him to whip balls from off stump over to square leg, and he attacked the bowling at the earliest opportunity, as if it were a 50-over match and the asking-rate was six an over.

Chanderpaul's Test-match play has been marked by his obduracy and endurance, but among new developments to his game has been a version of his ODI over-drive. His showing at the Kotla borrowed a slice of the same. Sitting on the dressing room balcony, watching the others struggle, he said he thought the wicket was "pretty good" and so, "I thought it would be better to be more aggressive than just being patient out there."

Even in attack, he is a man who appears placid. Chanderpaul is nicknamed 'Tiger' but is a man of minimal physical presence and imposing aura, and is most often thought of as one of cricket's oddballs. He walks onto the field in short, sharp steps, compactly, purposefully, two black, semi-comic, anti-glare strips stuck on his face. With the manufacturer's logos on them.

Then, he takes his bizarre, open, disaster-zone of a stance, his leg stump exposed to the bowler running in. Glenn McGrath once said Shane Warne had wanted to go to square leg and bowl to Chanderpaul from there. This eccentric non-conformism mixed with his orthodox approach to a Test innings have, for a while, distracted from what happens with Chanderpaul once the ball leaves the bowlers' hand.

Swift, sure movement across the stumps, a shuffle, a hop, a quick step, always ensures that he is in the best position for bat to meet ball. It wasn't always this way, but it has taken years of practice for Chanderpaul to finally arrive at a set-up he is most comfortable with it. It has made him consistent and successful, and while the Chanderpaul way cannot and most definitely will not be taught, its efficiency is now appreciated and its numbers remain formidable.

He now needs less than 400 runs to achieve his dream target of 10,000 Test runs and when asked whether he was appreciated for his achievements and contribution, said with gentle humour, " I think so, I am not too sure but I think so." A few months ago, Chanderpaul was involved in a bitter dispute with the West Indies board and had given a ferociously critical radio interview of how senior players were being treated in the drive for youth. On Sunday, he fought his case as he always has - in real terms.

Being West Indies' greybeard he says is not really a burden, that the roles were reversed in Bangladesh where the inexperienced top order had scored most of the runs "I am pretty comfortable with where I am ... The young fellows are there and they have a job to do also. They scored a lot of runs in Bangladesh. Unfortunately they didn't get big scores today but they are very capable of doing that. We have all quality players. It takes the pressure off me, knowing that they can also get the job done. When I am out there, I can just focus on getting my job done."

Chanderpaul's partnership with Brathwaite was dominated by the older man - (73 to Chanderpaul out of 108) even as the 18-year-old, who guarded his wicket like an obdurate, survival-driven 1970s opener, learnt a few lessons of his own. Chanderpaul said they had talked during their partnership. "I was trying to help him through his innings also ... [he] played very well. He played his way, which is very patient. He did his job and unfortunately he got out. It's a couple of times now that he has got past 50 and got out. I hope the next time he goes on to the three-figure mark."

With the younger men, he says, he tries to pass on a bit of wisdom. "Whenever they ask questions, I try to give them answers." West Indies were asked several questions today and fortunately for them, Chanderpaul has hung around long enough to have all the right replies.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rayinto on November 7, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Shiv -rock solid as always! Upon this rock we will continue to build.

  • S.Jagernath on November 7, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    Shivnarine Chanderpaul has to be one of the great sights in cricket,he looks so odd and yet he always get into the perfect position to play the ball I'm glad Chris Gayle has been dropped and I hope its for good too Since Gayle's departure they have been a positive and energetic team Darren Sammy may not be the most talented player around but he is positive,hardworking and very intelligent,I hope his batting improves because his bowling is accurate and fairly consistent

  • purposeful on November 7, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    bring back gayle and sarwan. sarwan atleast for tests. darren sammy is spoiling the balance of the side and there is no place for him in the side and yet he is the captain. he does not even shows responsibility with the bat. god bless windies cricket!

  • on November 7, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    Did he perform a sajda after his century?

  • on November 7, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    @Godfrey Pieters That was Ganguly NOT Gayle who hit Ojha in ipl. Ojha bowled very well to Shiv (23 runs off 47 balls), it was Ashwin who struggled (38 runs off 34 balls) strange isn't it?.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 7, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    @SpartaArmy, boss I'm an Indian and a huge fan of Dravid. I'm just saying if we don't send Shiv back to the pavilion quickly, it's going to be tough times for us in this series as Shiv is known for his limitless temperament and class. Please read my previous comment again. I'm not a West Indian thinking about 70s/80s/early 90s and all.

  • on November 7, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    Shiv is a good bastman, unfortunately the WICB wants to get rid of him the same way they did Lara, Gayle and Sarwan.

  • yocasi on November 7, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    Congrats, Chanders. You've got the goods so don't hide it away, as you do too often when you just poke around and help pile up pressure on the team by not scoring. Keep it up!

  • Radesh74 on November 7, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    GOOD jOB tIGER GROOM THE YOUTH

  • nafzak on November 7, 2011, 1:05 GMT

    Shiv is the most underrated cricketer of his generation. I disagree with those who say he bats too slow sometimes, especially in the test matches. Shiv, in my humble opinion, plays as the situation demands. Today his century came at a rate of about .65. Sanga's century against Pakistan was at around .44. Yet, no one will call Sanga slow. Shiv has come in more often than not when WI is in trouble and they need someone to hold up an end and stabalize the innings. Now that the WICB has asked Gayle to apoligise, they - especially Hilaire and coach Gibson, should set the example and apologise to Shiv. I agree with those who say that Sviv is the most loved Guyanse cricketer. I believe that he has surpassed Kanhai, Lloyd, Kallicharran, Gibbs and all the rest.

  • rayinto on November 7, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Shiv -rock solid as always! Upon this rock we will continue to build.

  • S.Jagernath on November 7, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    Shivnarine Chanderpaul has to be one of the great sights in cricket,he looks so odd and yet he always get into the perfect position to play the ball I'm glad Chris Gayle has been dropped and I hope its for good too Since Gayle's departure they have been a positive and energetic team Darren Sammy may not be the most talented player around but he is positive,hardworking and very intelligent,I hope his batting improves because his bowling is accurate and fairly consistent

  • purposeful on November 7, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    bring back gayle and sarwan. sarwan atleast for tests. darren sammy is spoiling the balance of the side and there is no place for him in the side and yet he is the captain. he does not even shows responsibility with the bat. god bless windies cricket!

  • on November 7, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    Did he perform a sajda after his century?

  • on November 7, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    @Godfrey Pieters That was Ganguly NOT Gayle who hit Ojha in ipl. Ojha bowled very well to Shiv (23 runs off 47 balls), it was Ashwin who struggled (38 runs off 34 balls) strange isn't it?.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 7, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    @SpartaArmy, boss I'm an Indian and a huge fan of Dravid. I'm just saying if we don't send Shiv back to the pavilion quickly, it's going to be tough times for us in this series as Shiv is known for his limitless temperament and class. Please read my previous comment again. I'm not a West Indian thinking about 70s/80s/early 90s and all.

  • on November 7, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    Shiv is a good bastman, unfortunately the WICB wants to get rid of him the same way they did Lara, Gayle and Sarwan.

  • yocasi on November 7, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    Congrats, Chanders. You've got the goods so don't hide it away, as you do too often when you just poke around and help pile up pressure on the team by not scoring. Keep it up!

  • Radesh74 on November 7, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    GOOD jOB tIGER GROOM THE YOUTH

  • nafzak on November 7, 2011, 1:05 GMT

    Shiv is the most underrated cricketer of his generation. I disagree with those who say he bats too slow sometimes, especially in the test matches. Shiv, in my humble opinion, plays as the situation demands. Today his century came at a rate of about .65. Sanga's century against Pakistan was at around .44. Yet, no one will call Sanga slow. Shiv has come in more often than not when WI is in trouble and they need someone to hold up an end and stabalize the innings. Now that the WICB has asked Gayle to apoligise, they - especially Hilaire and coach Gibson, should set the example and apologise to Shiv. I agree with those who say that Sviv is the most loved Guyanse cricketer. I believe that he has surpassed Kanhai, Lloyd, Kallicharran, Gibbs and all the rest.

  • on November 7, 2011, 0:34 GMT

    With West Indies teams, I find it difficult to poke fun at,let alone make "nasty" comments, even in jest...even when they are playing against India ( though, sure, I want India to win). They are a lovable team. Chanders also proves that it is finally performance which matters... not the stance... not whether his batting style is approved by coaches or not ... whether one has a movie star looks and personality. All those are embellishments. The real cake is performance; all the rest are icings.

  • KishoreSharma on November 7, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    Why oh why can the West Indies not pick Edwards and Roach together? In fact, if they have Edwards, Roach and Jerome Taylor together, they will have a world class pace attack. Rampaul may be a good seamer but Roach is much more likely to win a test in India. Sammy is simply not good enough. So West Indies are not utilising the full potential of the pace bowling talent that they have - they are simply shooting themselves in the foot !

  • on November 7, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    In my view one of his best. I really did enjoy that knock. He was fully in control from the word go. He is the real old wine. Sitting there watching, I asked myself how Gayle must be feeling, watching some of his team mate struggling on a fairly good batting wicket, when he could have made such a big difference. I once saw Gayle destroyed OJHA in a IPL match. Well so much FOR patriotism. Well done SHIV, show them the way to do it.

  • on November 6, 2011, 23:50 GMT

    India bowling is mediocre the guys should have scored at least 300 runs minimum. I like shiv but cricket is not a one man show. Sometimes he scores too slow for us west Indies to win games, but when he bats in the the way he did on Sunday he gives us a real chance of winning he game. congrats to him.

  • on November 6, 2011, 23:34 GMT

    chanderpaul, tendulkar, kallis, ponting and dravid the last remaining classic batting geniuses remaining in the game, enjoy it while it last because they dont make them like this anymore....

  • on November 6, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    Chanderpaul indeed is the anchor batsman of the West Indies. I believe to get the most out of him, we need to preserve him for just test cricket. Hopefully he can be around until he reaches forty. To Bravo, tough luck in 1st innings. Hope he gets better as the series goes on. It's good that Sammy experienced a test series win as captain, but I still think that he is blocking guys like Andre Russell and Ravi Rampaul from establishing themselves on the team.

  • jermainewi on November 6, 2011, 23:14 GMT

    chanderpaul has nothing to prove to anyone ..... he is one of the very best to ever play this game. more young w.i players need to look up to him an see the way the needs to be played .I m happy to see young Brathwaite taking on a grate temperament form one of the grate ones Mr..S Chanderpaul ( TIGER ) GUYANA LEGEN

  • on November 6, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    good tiger silense the critic

  • SpartaArmy on November 6, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas "Tough times for India"?? is it because a team ranked just above Bangladesh is visiting India?? Hi, please come back to the present from past. 1970's are golden, i agree, but can't live ther for ever, no matter how worse the things are right now.

  • RandyOZ on November 6, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    Shiv is an absolute gun and the WICB need to realise players like him make the team competitive and bring fans back to the grounds!!!

  • adelaidecrows01 on November 6, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    Great to see Shiv, answer to those that think he is a " has been" and should not be in the team with this display, he is a class player, very dedicated & determined & knows the best way to do the talking is with the bat. Keep Going Shiv

  • on November 6, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    Great job Tiger. Now show them that they Need you in the ODI's as well!!!

  • on November 6, 2011, 21:20 GMT

    Chanderpaul has nothing to prove to anyone including you "debator". His record is excellent and he has one of the fastest test 100's and in test cricket he does not need to hit out. He has showcased his hitting ability in the hong kong sixes. Classic batsman , excellent record and no one spectator or coach shoul "tell him how to bat "

  • MaruthuDelft on November 6, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Sure This guy is something!

  • SriUSA on November 6, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Good to see the Windies battling it out. It is heartening to see a you rookie Kraigg Braithwaite giving company to to the veteran Shiv. WI has been my favorite team during Viv's era. I should say my second favorite after India. After all I am an Indian and want them to win :). I want the Widies to achieve the old glory and prod use great cricketers like Viv, Lara, Marshall, Roberts, am rose, Walsh to name a few. The passion, arrogance and flair of those great cricketers are un matched and they conducted themselves within the rules of the gentlemen's game. Good luck WI and ofcourse India too.

  • Nampally on November 6, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    If Chanderpaul was dismissed in single digits, WI would have folded for <200 runs. He was the sheet anchor of the side and carried the team total towards 300. He & Braithwaite scored nearly 200 of 256 runs. India inexplicably went for Yuvraj instead of a third spinner in Rahul Sharma. With Rahul's leg breaks, WI might still have folded under 200. Anyway it was spinners day at the Kotla - capturing all 5 wickets that fell. For Ojha, it was sweet relief. He has been dropped repeatedly in favour of Harbhajan or Jadej or Yuvraj. This time he was selected alongside Yuvraj, who surprisingly bowled only one over.Ojha had astounding figures after 8 overs with 2 Wkts. for 7 runs. He controlled the runs & took wickets.But for Chanderpaul, he would have run thru' the WI batting. That makes the Chander's innings all the more great. He was treated badly by the WI board along with Gayle. He somehow appeased the Board to get in the side.WI should be heaving a sigh of relief for his presence in XI.

  • kriketluva on November 6, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    Well done Chanders. His average is reflective of his efforts and Gayle's and Sarwans's theirs. He is a very good and effective batsman. I hope he goes on to score eleven thousand test runs.

  • cricketdebator on November 6, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    In the past I have been critical of Chanderpaul over his batting style and slow scoring rate etc. However, for this innings, I take my hat off to him. I was most impress by the manner in which he took the initiative and controlled the entire WI innings. He really showed his experience and class today in playing a very very good innings (perhaps one of his best), during which he showed the youngsters how to manipulate the field and keep the score moving. If his aim was to prove a point to me, he certainly did. Congrats Tiger!! Well played!!!

  • on November 6, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    Congrats to Chanderpaul, again he has proven how essential he is to the W.I Team...A true Cricketer for W.I ...His temperament was excellent...Happy to See Kraigg Brathwaite with similar..temperament he can only get better he is certainly one for the future W.I...

  • on November 6, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    The cricket angels are singing in triumph for the great Shiv Chanderpaul tonight.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 6, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    That was a tremendous knock in the series opener. He is too good a player that the WICB should even think of pulling him up. His innings has been an after-school special class for all the non sub-continent players who find it so hard to play on our difficult tracks. Hope he goes on to cross 10,000 runs in this series. Tough times for India. Hats off to Shiv.

  • Maroon11 on November 6, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    "...when asked whether he was appreciated for his achievements and contribution, said with gentle humour, " I think so, I am not too sure but I think so." Shiv is the most loved guyanese cricketer, that goes without saying and i'm sure that he is also the most loved west indian cricketer of his generation. Always know to be a modest individual, i didnt expect a different answer. Nonetheless, i think i can answer for everyone and say every second that he has appeared in the middle for west indies, has been truly appreciated and we are greatly indebted to him for the joys that he has brought to us. the best spent guyanese $500 i ever spent was when he made the 72 ball century against australia at bourda. i was in school boys stand and i enjoyed every moment of it. equally so, i have thoroughly enjoyed every instance where his stubborness and his ability to frustrate bowlers have helped west indies saved many games, especially against india. Shiv, it goes without saying, that we love you

  • on November 6, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    You cannot keep the tiger down. He is easily going to go past Lara in the next year and become the windies batsman with the highest aggregate. I would like to see his average cross the 50.0 mark, as it was when he won cricketer of the year right now it's just under. Definitely one of the greatest the caribbean has produced.

  • hhillbumper on November 6, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    he is a good batsman to be sure and is a lot classier than chris Gayle.

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  • hhillbumper on November 6, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    he is a good batsman to be sure and is a lot classier than chris Gayle.

  • on November 6, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    You cannot keep the tiger down. He is easily going to go past Lara in the next year and become the windies batsman with the highest aggregate. I would like to see his average cross the 50.0 mark, as it was when he won cricketer of the year right now it's just under. Definitely one of the greatest the caribbean has produced.

  • Maroon11 on November 6, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    "...when asked whether he was appreciated for his achievements and contribution, said with gentle humour, " I think so, I am not too sure but I think so." Shiv is the most loved guyanese cricketer, that goes without saying and i'm sure that he is also the most loved west indian cricketer of his generation. Always know to be a modest individual, i didnt expect a different answer. Nonetheless, i think i can answer for everyone and say every second that he has appeared in the middle for west indies, has been truly appreciated and we are greatly indebted to him for the joys that he has brought to us. the best spent guyanese $500 i ever spent was when he made the 72 ball century against australia at bourda. i was in school boys stand and i enjoyed every moment of it. equally so, i have thoroughly enjoyed every instance where his stubborness and his ability to frustrate bowlers have helped west indies saved many games, especially against india. Shiv, it goes without saying, that we love you

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 6, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    That was a tremendous knock in the series opener. He is too good a player that the WICB should even think of pulling him up. His innings has been an after-school special class for all the non sub-continent players who find it so hard to play on our difficult tracks. Hope he goes on to cross 10,000 runs in this series. Tough times for India. Hats off to Shiv.

  • on November 6, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    The cricket angels are singing in triumph for the great Shiv Chanderpaul tonight.

  • on November 6, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    Congrats to Chanderpaul, again he has proven how essential he is to the W.I Team...A true Cricketer for W.I ...His temperament was excellent...Happy to See Kraigg Brathwaite with similar..temperament he can only get better he is certainly one for the future W.I...

  • cricketdebator on November 6, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    In the past I have been critical of Chanderpaul over his batting style and slow scoring rate etc. However, for this innings, I take my hat off to him. I was most impress by the manner in which he took the initiative and controlled the entire WI innings. He really showed his experience and class today in playing a very very good innings (perhaps one of his best), during which he showed the youngsters how to manipulate the field and keep the score moving. If his aim was to prove a point to me, he certainly did. Congrats Tiger!! Well played!!!

  • kriketluva on November 6, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    Well done Chanders. His average is reflective of his efforts and Gayle's and Sarwans's theirs. He is a very good and effective batsman. I hope he goes on to score eleven thousand test runs.

  • Nampally on November 6, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    If Chanderpaul was dismissed in single digits, WI would have folded for <200 runs. He was the sheet anchor of the side and carried the team total towards 300. He & Braithwaite scored nearly 200 of 256 runs. India inexplicably went for Yuvraj instead of a third spinner in Rahul Sharma. With Rahul's leg breaks, WI might still have folded under 200. Anyway it was spinners day at the Kotla - capturing all 5 wickets that fell. For Ojha, it was sweet relief. He has been dropped repeatedly in favour of Harbhajan or Jadej or Yuvraj. This time he was selected alongside Yuvraj, who surprisingly bowled only one over.Ojha had astounding figures after 8 overs with 2 Wkts. for 7 runs. He controlled the runs & took wickets.But for Chanderpaul, he would have run thru' the WI batting. That makes the Chander's innings all the more great. He was treated badly by the WI board along with Gayle. He somehow appeased the Board to get in the side.WI should be heaving a sigh of relief for his presence in XI.

  • SriUSA on November 6, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Good to see the Windies battling it out. It is heartening to see a you rookie Kraigg Braithwaite giving company to to the veteran Shiv. WI has been my favorite team during Viv's era. I should say my second favorite after India. After all I am an Indian and want them to win :). I want the Widies to achieve the old glory and prod use great cricketers like Viv, Lara, Marshall, Roberts, am rose, Walsh to name a few. The passion, arrogance and flair of those great cricketers are un matched and they conducted themselves within the rules of the gentlemen's game. Good luck WI and ofcourse India too.