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Shivnarine Chanderpaul: The tireless warrior of the West Indies

Published Jan 06, 2020
Jan 06, 2020 IST

Chanderpaul went about his business like a monk
Chanderpaul went about his business like a monk

The wicket might be crumbling, but he always stood firm at the crease. The other batsmen might be departing at the other end, but he always stood unconquered. It might be pace or spin that is hurled at him, but it was almost impossible to breach his defence.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul was a warrior for the West Indies. In a stellar career spanning two decades, the unorthodox batting legend etched his name in history as one of the greatest West Indian batsmen of all time. He featured in a colossal 164 Tests for his country, and scored 11867 runs at an average of 51.37. He is also the second highest century maker for the West Indies after the iconic Brian Lara, with 30 tons to his name. He is till today, the only West Indian cricketer to feature in more than 150 Tests for his country.

His stance was awkward, his front foot stride was not perfect, but he was a man who was blessed with supreme resilience. He stood at the crease like a monk, going about his business in a methodical way. His career was always shadowed by the presence of the gifted and more flamboyant Brain Lara, who played the most audacious of strokes that left us gaping. But at the same time, he was also more prone to mistakes. But Chanderpaul was like a rock. The bowler had to sweat it out to earn his wicket. He will give nothing away.

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His Test career is adorned with instances of him being a lone warrior at the crease, waging a battle against the opposition. Out of his 30 hundreds, he was unbeaten on 18 occasions. This proves the fact that there was no batsman to support him from the other end, as he stood holding one end up, unconquered. Chanderpaul was a man who gave it his all for the team. He never got the credit that he deserved, but he hardly complained. His only thought was to get his team out of the several precarious situations that they found themselves in.

The legendary batsman announced his retirement from the game in the year 2015, bringing down the curtains on an illustrious 21-year career. And with him, an era came to a close. For, Chanderpaul was a batsman of a rare breed, does not come visiting often.

Also read: West Indies Cricket's Greatest Test XI of all time

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