DateLine: 20th February 2007
The anchor of the West Indian batting for well over a decade, Shivnarine Chanderpaul is one of the most difficult batsmen to dismiss in international cricket. His unusually open and rather crouched stance is the first thing that attracts attention but from this flows all the strokes in the book and then some when it comes to ODIs. As only to be expected, he can be adhesively defensive and he has frequently carried the sides batting on his shoulders. It speaks volumes to his consistency and firm batting approach that he has been able to maintain an average in the mid forties despite playing over 100 Tests spread over some 13 years. A careful driver, Chanderpaul cuts and deflects the ball like a champion and a short arm pull has been his favourite and most productive stroke. The big scores were slow in coming he had 13 fifties before hitting his first Test hundred but subsequently the centuries have come at a pretty good rate and there has been an unbeaten double century too against South Africa. And of late there has been a discernible change in his approach in ODIs and opening the batting with Chris Gayle he has frequently matched his more aggressive partner in playing audacious and innovative strokes factors that has pushed his strike rate past the 70 mark. In between he has led West Indies not with much success during their lowest ebb in the early years of the new millennium before resigning citing a need to focus on his batting which continues to be of immense value to his side in both forms of the game.