Friday, December 15, 2017

Chanderpaul to focus on helping youngsters

Veteran West Indies left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul says one of his main career goals now is to use his vast experience to help develop the new generation of batsmen.

Chanderpaul, who turned 40 two weeks ago, is in the twilight of an illustrious career that has seen him accumulate 11,414 runs from a record 156 Tests. He believes his two decades in international cricket have equipped him to be a mentor to younger players.

“There are some goals I want to achieve and hopefully I can get there. But I want to help the young guys in the team and wherever I go I want to help as much as I can,” Chanderpaul said.

“There are a lot of young fellas out there who, when they are batting, they make a lot of mistakes and you try to help as much as you can. You have so many experiences over the years – you experience a lot just playing – so it is easier for me to pick up things but the younger fellas are not going to realise what they are doing wrong sometimes.

“So you try to help as much as you can in pointing out their mistakes … but pointing out is not all because you have to help them to correct their mistakes. These are some of the things I’m hoping to do for the younger fellas.”

Chanderpaul lies second on the West Indies list of all-time Test run-scorers, and will be looking to add to his tally when he lines up against Bangladesh in the first Test of the two-match series at Arnos Vale in St Vincent starting next Friday.

He will turn out for St Kitts in the three-day tour match against Bangladesh which started yesterday, as he vies for batting practice ahead of the upcoming series. He has not played competitive cricket now for almost a month, since ending his stint with Derbyshire in the English County Championship.

“It’s always good to be with a bunch of young fellows playing and I’m hoping I can help them a bit,” he said.

“I left England since the end of July and I’ve been in Guyana so I’ve been looking forward to getting some practice. Hopefully I can get enough batting in this game and that it helps in the Test series.”

Chanderpaul likes the fact West Indies swept the preceding three-match one-day series, pointing out it augured well for players’ confidence.

“It’s always good to have the momentum going into the Test series. It’s a new format but hopefully the guys come up and do as well,” he said.

“The batters have been getting some runs and hopefully they can carry on and do as well as they have been doing in the one-day series.”

Despite his age, Chanderpaul’s powers are yet to decline. He has averaged 55 over the last year which has helped to keep his career average at 51.

The last time he faced Bangladesh in a Test series two years ago, he hit an unbeaten double hundred in the first Test in Dhaka and an unbeaten hundred in the second Test at Khulna.

With the first Test just a week away and the second Test in St Lucia just days after, Chanderpaul said he would prepare the same way he always has done.

“No one knows what’s going to happen in their lives but I’m still doing the same things I have always been doing. I did it just a couple days ago – train as hard as I can the same way and preparing the same way,” he said.

“I have not played a lot at either venue so I don’t know what to expect. I just have to go and get accustomed to the wickets especially here in the Caribbean because I’ve been playing in England where the ball bounces a bit more, whereas the wickets in the Caribbean the ball stays a bit lower.”