Shivnarine Chanderpaul Biography
There is nothing conventional about the way Shivnarine Chanderpaul bats: he marks his stance by digging a bail into the ground; his sponsorship stickers for Mueller are placed below his eyes; he faces mid-wicket as the bowler steams in; his footwork is cancrine; he has batted for 1,513 minutes and faced 1,051 balls without being dismissed — both world records — scoring 362 runs in the process; and he smashed a 69-ball hundred against a rampant Australian side.
Christian Ryan wrote that Chanderpaul is “disconcerting to bowl at” and “funny-looking on TV”; Ricky Ponting could never “work out how to dismiss him”; Mitchell Johnson maintained that the Australian plans of getting Chanderpaul out “are not working too well”; Viv Richards put him “up there with the very best”, comparing him with Garry Sobers and Brian Lara; and Rodney Hogg added that if Chanderpaul “had a live grenade in his pocket or a runaway train up his chaminda he would still leave the next delivery outside his off-stump.”
Chanderpaul had modelled himself on Alvin Kallicharran and was coached by Rohan Kanhai in his early days. He took 19 Tests to register his first Test hundred (though he had scored 13 fifties by then), but once that was achieved, there was no looking back for Tiger.
Given his rearguard acts over the years — especially those following Lara’s retirement — it is impossible to choose one over the others. Would it be the 104 in the record chase at St John’s in 2003? The 128 not out and 92 not out at Lord’s in 2004? The 203 not out on captaincy debut with a depleted side at Bourda in 2005? Or will it be the amazing lone hand in England in 2007, where he scored 446 from three Tests at 149?
These are merely a few examples of the single-handedness with which he had tried to — valiantly at times — bail out West Indies in times of woes. More often than not he has failed, but that has certainly not been from lack of trying. Indeed, West Indies reaching 300 after being 68 for four — Chanderpaul scoring 120 not out — has been a standard scorecard template in Test cricket. It is astonishing that he is not considered in other formats.
Given that his career stands is already past two decades, Chanderpaul’s tenacity seems almost unbelievable. He has played First-Class cricket with his son Tagenarine (an Under-19 World Cupper) — and if everything goes right, they may even end up playing at the highest level!