Shiv gives 'thumbs up' to young brigade

New Delhi, India, CMC – Though charged up about scoring a milestone Test hundred, Shivnarine Chanderpaul said passing on the knowledge about batting to younger West Indies batsmen had become an important role for him.

The West Indies most capped player ever slammed his 24th Test hundred of an undefeated 111 to claw the visitors back into the first Test against India on Sunday, leading them to 256 for five at the close on the opening day.

Shiv Chanderpaul

Chanderpaul’s innings drew him level with batting legend Sir Vivian Richards on the all-time list of West Indies century-makers behind Sir Garfield Sobers, with 26, and Brian Lara, with 34.

He shared a crucial third-wicket stand of 108 with 18-year-old opener Kraigg Brathwaite, a noted admirer of Chanderpaul’s methods of run accumulation, after West Indies dipped to 72 for three.

We have enough quality players here good enough to get big scores,” said the 37-year-old Chanderpaul. “It takes the pressure off of me knowing that there are others in the team capable of getting the job done. I’m out there just looking to do my job.

“My job is also to help the young guys. When I’m out there batting with them and I see something I try to help in which every way I can.”

He added: “The other players at the top of the order got the runs coming out of Bangladesh, but unfortunately they didn’t get a lot of runs. They are very capable of (scoring big runs).”

Brathwaite scored 63 and was the only other batsman that reached or passed 20 on a slow Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium pitch offering the spinners decent turn.

Chanderpaul did not say if he was flattered that Brathwaite has tried to pattern his game off him, but he lauded him for the time he spent at the crease.

“[On Sunday] I talked to Kraigg and pointed out a few things,” said Chanderpaul, whose hundred was his seventh against India. “Whenever [the young players] ask and I can help, I do.

“[Kraigg] played really well. He played his way which is very patient. He did his job. This is a couple of times now he has gotten past 50 and I hope next time he gets a big score.

“I told him just to look for the singles and if the bad ball came along to look to put it away. He played really well for the team.”

Chanderpaul said the pitch reminded him of the kind of surfaces he has spent most of his life playing on in his native Guyana.

“This (pitch) is a lot like the pitch at Albion,” he said. “It is quite flat and without much bounce. I grew up playing on pitches like this back home.

“It took a little time to get in, but after I did, I could play my shots and look to put the runs on the board.”

He said: “From the start, I felt if I played slowly, we would be under more pressure. I thought from the start the pitch was pretty good and it would be okay to play a bit more aggressively.

“We will take what we have now and [on Monday] look to push on and get some more runs on the board.”

Chanderpaul has remained a key member of the team after close to two decades. He is now in his 136th Test and is the second-highest run-maker for West Indies with 9,604 runs, behind Lara with 11,953.

He also has one less hundred against India than Sobers and Richards and was humbled to be in that type of company.

“In the beginning (of my career) I never thought this would happen,” he said. “I never quite thought I would reach such a milestone.

“I just try to stick to what I can do. I came to play cricket and I concentrate on my cricket. I’m pretty comfortable where I am.”

Sun, 11/06/2011 - 10:31