Port of Spain: Trinidad and Tobago Red Force batsman Narsingh Deonarine has praised the recently retired Shivnarine Chanderpaul as a cricketer with great intellect and humility, and who was always willing to help younger players.
The 41-year-old Chanderpaul announced his retirement from international cricket two weeks ago following a stellar 164-Test career which yielded 11,867 runs, reports CMC.
Deonarine, who like Chanderpaul is Guyanese, said the veteran left-hander had a profound impact on his career.
“Sometimes I would sit and talk to Shiv about cricket and he makes the game sound very easy and simple. The way he talks about batting and the manner in which he analysed how bowlers would try and attack a batsman showed his intellect,” said Deonarine on Sunday.
“Simple things like when a fast bowler is swinging the ball in both directions, how to negate this threat. The first thing he said to us young batsmen is always play for the ball coming back in because once the ball comes back in there is a greater chance of getting out.”
“If the ball swings away there is no major threat once we played tight and close to our bodies since the ball will miss the bat. It is simple things like that he was able to work out quickly.”
Deonarine was fortunate enough to play alongside Chanderpaul, having managed 18 Tests and 31 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for the West Indies.
The 32-year-old said much of Chanderpaul’s overwhelming international success had come because he had taken the time to understand the mentality of bowlers.
“When Shiv got into the West Indies team there was so much legends in the squad. He told me he would sit between bowling greats Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh and listen to them talk about the way they were going to bowl to the opposition batsmen,” Deonarine related.
“Shiv used this opportunity to learn how bowlers thought and analysed batsmen. He explained that if he knew the thought process of a bowler it would make him a very formidable batsman since he could counteract their strategies.”
“Shiv stressed that throughout his career he was always willing to learn and it was a key component of being a successful cricketer.”
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Chanderpaul lies second on the West Indies all-time list of run-scorers, only behind the legendary Brian Lara who retired with 11,953 runs.
His 30 Test centuries and average of 51 marked him as one of the greats of the contemporary era but Deonarine pointed out that for all his success, Chanderpaul had remained grounded.
“Tiger was always a very cool, simple and humble guy. He is an extremely disciplined cricketer who trained very hard and was continuously looking to improve his batting,” he explained.
“If he was up to bat next, you could not speak to him because he was focused on his batting. His logic was I am here to play cricket for six to eight hours so I am going to be in the zone for that period of time.”
Chanderpaul is currently playing in the Masters Champions League in Dubai.