August 16, 1974, Unity Village, East Coast, Demerara, Guyana
Left hand Bat
The possessor of the crabbiest technique in world cricket, Shivnarine Chanderpaul proved there is life beyond the coaching handbook. He never seemed to play in the V, or off the front foot, but used soft hands, canny deflections, and a whiplash pull-shot to maintain a Test average of over 50. While the cricket world was obsessed with Brian Lara's unquestionable talent, Chanderpaul showed that there were alternate ways to be consistent and prolific in Test cricket over a long period of time, becoming only the second West Indian to score 10,000 Test runs.
When Chanderpaul started out, he had a couple of problems: first, a low conversion rate of around one hundred to every ten fifties, and secondly, his physical frailty, widely thought to be hypochondria. That myth was exploded when a large piece of floating bone was removed from his foot late in 2000, and, suitably liberated, he set about rectifying his hundreds problem, scoring three in four Tests against India in 2001-02, and two more in the home series against Australia the following year, including 104 as West Indies successfully chased a world-record 418 for victory in the final Test in Antigua.
Since then, he managed to keep his own standards at a remarkably high level despite the perennial problems that West Indies faced. On the few occasions that West Indies tasted success during his career, Chanderpaul's contributions were vital - in the Champions Trophy triumph in 2004, he contributed greatly with a consistent performances.
A stint as West Indies captain followed in 2005-06, and though he celebrated with a double-century in front of his home fans in Guyana, it was clear that captaincy was affecting his batting, and in 2006 he gave it up to concentrate on his main job.
Perhaps his greatest contribution, though, had been in holding together West Indies' fragile batting line-up after Lara's retirement. With a couple of other senior batsmen, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle, not being available due to various reasons, Chanderpaul's contributions were immense, as he has defied bowling attacks in all countries and all conditions, often with minimal support from the other end. One of the best examples of that was against Australia in 2012, in the series in which he got to 10,000 Test runs: he ran up scores of 103*, 12, 94, 68 and 69, for an aggregate of 346 in five innings. The second-highest aggregate for West Indies in the series was 186, which amply sums up Chanderpaul's Test career. He signed off from the game in January 2016, aged 41.
Batting & Fielding