Match Analysis

Perth basks in nostalgia as Chanderpaul emulates father's feats

The open stance was there, and so was the grit, as Tagenarine played a knock reminiscent of Shivnarine's first innings in Australia

Alex Malcolm
Getty Images and Cricket Australia

Getty Images and Cricket Australia

Cricket fans have been chasing nostalgia in one of the most low-key Australia West Indies Test series in memory, and they might have got some in the form of Tagenarine Chanderpaul.
The son of a gun made a half-century on debut in Perth, and the familiarity of his fight, his technique, and his general presence at the crease left an impression on the locals as he looks set to forge an impressive Test career.
There were parallels to his father's first Test innings in Australia in 1996, when Shivnarine made 82 off 230 deliveries. Tagenarine batted after watching Australia pile up 598 in five sessions of batting at Perth Stadium, just as Shivnarine had watched Australia pile up 479 in five sessions at the Gabba.
But unlike his father who batted at No. 5 in that Brisbane Test, Tagenarine had to walk straight back out to bat with captain Kraigg Brathwaite and negotiate Australia's attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon. Incredibly, Starc and Lyon had both bowled to his father in Test cricket in 2012 and dismissed him once each.
Tagenarine was able to survive on the second night, and did so with aplomb, showcasing bravery and skill. He got off the mark with a streaky outside edge through a vacant fourth slip first ball. But thereafter he looked every bit a Test-match cricketer.
He copped a nasty blow in the groin that floored him and left the fans in the stadium feeling his pain. He contorted himself backward into an extraordinary limbo position as he took another blow to the body. He was fortunate to survive an umpire's call lbw decision that went his way off Starc, as he was squared up deep in the crease.
But he never took a backward step, with that familiar, open Chanderpaul stance, getting into line time and again, withdrawing the bat inside the line late to avoid nicking anything that nipped off the seam.
As Australia's quicks pushed fuller he punched them down the ground. When Cummins banged in short, he swiveled inside the line and pulled him high into the stands over fine leg, bringing back memories of his father hooking a Brett Lee bumper in the same fashion during his 69-ball century in Georgetown in 2003.
He finished the second day unbeaten on 47 from 73 balls with six fours and a six to steer West Indies to close without loss after spending nearly two days in the field chasing leather. His performance came as no shock to his captain, who has now batted with both Chanderpauls in Test cricket.
"He's a fighter so it isn't surprising. It was good to see," Brathwaite said on the second night. "I knew for a while playing against him that he always has fight, for he always takes his time and bats long periods. No surprise at all. I think he has a bright future for the West Indies.
"He's going to be special. He's going do a great job. I look forward to batting with him for many years to come."
The pair weren't able to bat for long on the third morning. Chanderpaul edged Hazlewood along the ground through fourth slip to bring up a half-century on Test debut, matching his father's feat from 1994.
But he fell next ball, edging a superb delivery from Hazlewood to slip. It will be difficult for the 26-year-old late bloomer to match his father's hall-of-fame Test career, particularly in an age when West Indies are starved of Test cricket compared to the days of old. But the Chanderpaul name and technique live on in Test cricket and look set to stay for a while yet.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo