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Shivnarine Chanderpaul: The master of crude effectiveness

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Shivnarine_Chanderpaul_West_Indies_cricketThe aesthetically pleasing garners more attention than the 'crude effective'. While the conventional is goaded to get the job done, the unconventional is only accepted if it gets the job done. Shivnarine Chanderpaul has made sure his unusual technique never made him a pariah by scoring runs.

His 150th Test has been overshadowed by Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement. Though Sachin’s retirement has overshadowed cricket itself, Chanderpaul is perhaps used to staying away from the limelight. He seems to have found solace in living life in the shadows.

For West Indies, Chanderpaul is the most capped Test player but can never surpass Brian Lara’s name in the Caribbean islands or world cricket for that matter. This man, whose batting style does not merit entry in the pantheon of West Indian greats, still carries out similar duties to the glamorous Gods. He scores runs.
He does not represent the Caribbean flair, but is the 8th highest run-getter in Test cricket. Come 18th November, he will be the batsman with the most number of 50s in Test cricket amongst those still playing. He has 61 fifties to his name and with at least one more year of Test cricket, a chance to hold the all-time record.

 

  Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s
Test 149 253 43 10897 203* 51.89 25358 42.97 28 61 1182 34

 

Over the years, Chanderpaul has changed his stance and technique eventually ridiculing the norm of batting side-on. The soft-spoken Shiv expresses a lot through his stance. It shows he doesn’t give a shit about what others think and when it comes to batting, he knows what works best for him.

In a time of violent and daring stroke play, Shiv continues to nudge, glance, defend, prod and accumulate runs while his teammates crumble in their attempts to look pretty. After making his debut in 1994, Chanderpaul has featured in 55 out of 61 Test series played by West Indies. In a way, his unnoticed longevity accentuates his servitude to West Indies cricket.

Staying away from controversies, Shiv continues to bring respectability to the flair that was once the West Indian batting. As pointed out on Twitter, Chanderpaul has seen the most number of wickets fall from the non-striker’s end. He has been criticized for showing too much faith in his partners but perhaps it is this faith that helped him stitch together quite a few partnerships with the tail.

Certainly faith in his own ability has taken him down a path only a lucky few get to traverse. Sharing his 150th Test with the final Test of the great Sachin Tendulkar’s career represents Shivnarine Chanderpaul. For while greats may come, accomplish wonders with the bat and leave, Shiv will stealthily go on his merry way.
He might not be a Da Vinci masterpiece but currently, he is West Indies’ best…and that says a lot.



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