A century of matches for Shivnarine Chanderpaul November 19, 2006

A 100 Tests for West Indies' Mr Dependable

Almost throughout his 12-year Test career, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has played second fiddle to Brian Lara, but in the second Test at Multan, the spotlight will deservedly be on him

Shivnarine Chanderpaul becomes only the eighth West Indian to play 100 Tests © AFP
Almost throughout his 12-year Test career, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has played second fiddle to Brian Lara, but in the second Test at Multan, the spotlight will deservedly be on him. After Lloyd, Greenidge, Richards, Haynes, Hooper, Lara and Walsh, Chanderpaul will become only the eighth West Indian cricketer to reach the 100-Test landmark.

Chanderpaul's contributions have often been lost in the greater flourish and bravado of some of his mates, but over a decade and more his solidity and skill in the middle order have been critical for West Indies. With 6617 runs in his kitty, Chanderpaul ranks seventh in the list of highest run-scorers for West Indies in Tests.

As the table below shows, one of the biggest strengths of Chanderpaul has been his consistency. He suffered a lean spell between Tests 21 and 40 - that period included difficult tours to England and South Africa - but since then the runs have flowed quite regularly. The one area in which he has improved significantly is in his ability to convert fifties into hundreds. He notched up his first century in only his 19th Test, by which time he had already racked up 13 half-centuries, but since then his conversion has improved dramatically. Of his last 20 fifty-plus scores, ten have been hundreds.

Chanderpaul's progression to 100 Tests
Matches Runs Average 100s/ 50s
1-20 1396 51.70 1/ 13
21-40 957 30.87 1/ 5
41-60 1366 50.59 3/ 10
61-80 1473 46.03 6/ 4
81-99 1425 45.97 3/ 7

Chanderpaul's country-wise stats reveal some rather interesting numbers. He obviously relishes playing the Indian attack, against whom he averages more than 70, but quite surprisingly, he has found Zimbabwe's bowlers more difficult to get away than the Australians: in nine innings against Zimbabwe, he's only managed one half-century and an average of less than 30.

Chanderpaul has been the main support act for Lara on numerous occasions - most recently in the first Test against Pakistan at Lahore - and so it's hardly surprising that he has added most runs in the company of Lara: the two have put together 2600 runs at an average of 47. While his partnerships with Lara have added up to many runs, in terms of average runs per stand he has had a more prolific time with his Guyanese mate and former captain Carl Hooper. Quite unexpectedly Ridley Jacobs is third in the list of Chanderpaul's best partners, indicating the frailty of the West Indian top order and the number of times Chanderpaul and Jacobs have mounted rescue missions.

Chanderpaul's best batting partners
Partner Partnership runs Average stand 100s/ 50s
Brian Lara 2600 47.27 9/ 9
Carl Hooper 2083 53.41 6/ 5
Ridley Jacobs 1021 36.46 4/ 3
Ramnaresh Sarwan 990 39.60 3/ 3
Jimmy Adams 873 45.94 3/ 4
Chris Gayle 873 51.35 2/ 5
Dwayne Bravo 726 51.85 3/ 2

Another reason, perhaps, why Chanderpaul hasn't always got the recognition he has deserved is because many of his big runs have come in draws: he averages 54.74 in wins, but 70.21 in stalemates, with 16 fifty-plus scores in such games. Like Lara, Chanderpaul has scored plenty of runs in defeats - 2954 of them, next only to Lara and Alec Stewart, who is only 39 runs ahead of him.

Most Test runs in defeats
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Brian Lara 62 5267 42.47 14/ 22
Alec Stewart 54 2993 29.93 0/ 23
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 48 2954 33.19 3/ 18
Allan Border 46 2771 33.38 5/ 13
Andy Flower 34 2713 43.06 7/ 15
Sachin Tendulkar 37 2642 35.70 8/ 9

Apart from his stats against Australia (average 34.90), the one discrepancy that Chanderpaul will have to address over the rest of his career is the huge difference between his home and away numbers. When playing in the West Indies he averages more than 54, but when playing overseas it drops to less than 37. One primary reason for this skewed stat is his inability to convert the fifties into hundreds when playing away from home - he has three centuries and 20 fifties abroad. A three-figure score at Multan would be the ideal way to start correcting that statistic.

Chanderpaul home and away
Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
At home 49 3623 54.07 11/ 19
Overseas 50 2994 36.96 3/ 20

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo.