A man of determination and fortitude: Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Vineet Ramakrishnan

Shivnarine Chanderpaul became the 10th batsman to reach a career milestone of 10,000 Test runs en route to his valiant effort of 69 runs off 122 balls against Australia in the third Test played at Dominica.

His landmark run came off Michael Clarke’s bowling courtesy a gentle push towards mid on when he was on 14.

Having debuted against England in his home country of Guyana in March 1994, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been the backbone of West Indian middle order ever since Brain Lara retired, particularly in Test match cricket where he has played out umpteen number of overs and hours to salvage pride for his country overs the years.

Known for his unorthodox batting stance and very effective dodgy style of play, he is probably the last remaining breed of pure Test match workhorse whose level of concentration and patience can only be match by a rock, or by a certain Rahul ‘The Wall’ Dravid.

His 10, 000 runs have come in 140 matches with an enviable average of 50. 02. Out of the 10 greats who have achieved this landmark the diminutive West Indian has the lowest average but mere stats cannot confine this great batsman’s skill and temperament. He is the player who has occupied the crease maximum in terms of hours only to be surpassed by Rahul Dravid.

For most part of his career, the left hander had played at 5 or below and coming so down the order he has got 59 fifties to his credit and 25 centuries.

At the age of 37, Shiv has seen West Indian cricket at its lowest ebb and he has always proved to be that defiant figure that has frustrated many number of bowlers. He definitely has a legacy, but not the kind of legacy someone like Brain Charles Lara enjoys.

A young Chanderpaul was at the middle as the last batting partner when the iconic Lara broke Gary Sobers’ then record of highest individual score in Tests, 365 runs. Lara went on to make 375 and Chanderpaul was not out on 75. At that time, many would have thought -- if anyone would break that ultimate record of fortitude and concentration for the West Indies, the man might well be Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Though, Shiv has not been able to itch his name in the ‘popular’ category of record books (read as highest score, highest average), the man from Unity Village, East Coast, Demerara, Guyana is unmatched when it comes occupying the crease in the middle and making a match out of absolutely nothing.

He is a specialist at churning out some spectacular rearguard knocks and if anyone witnessed his knock against India way back in 2002 where he went without being dismissed for over a day, 26 hours to be precise, you would know, he has to be one of the greatest players to play the sport in the modern era.

List of members of 10, 000 runs elite club

Player Years Mat Runs HS Avg.

S Tendulkar 1989-2012 188 15470 248* 55.44

R Ponting 1995-2012 165 13346 257 52.75

R Dravid 1996-2012 164 13288 270 52.31

J Kallis 1995-2012 152 12379 224 56.78

B Lara 1990-2006 131 11953 400* 52.88

A Border 1978-1994 156 11174 205 50.56

S Waugh 1985-2004 168 10927 200 51.06

D Jayawardene 1997-2012 130 10440 374 51.17

S Gavaskar 1971-1987 125 10122 236* 51.12

S Chanderpaul 1994-2012 140 10055 203* 50.02

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