I am here to play cricket, says Shiv

Between June and now, he has made two centuries in four Tests – both against India –and is now less than 400 runs away from 10,000 Test runs. His 24th ton on Sunday made him the joint third highest century maker for the WestIndies in Test cricket, behind only Brian Lara and Sir Garfield Sobers, and only Sobers and Viv Richards with eight have made more centuries against India than Chanderpaul (7).“I just stick to what I can do, what I can control,” the veteran said of the loose talk in the Caribbean. “The other things are out of my control. I am just here to play cricket. I can control those things and I would like to focus on what I can control.”

Chanderpaul, who now has 1933 runs in 22 Tests against India at the remarkable average of 71.59, was asked what it was that he ate when he came out to play his favourite opposition. “Tomorrow, I will be fasting,” he replied, in all seriousness. “I will be fasting for Lord Shiva.”

The left-hander said it was unfair to say he now carried the West Indian batting. “We have just come off a series in Bangladesh and the other guys in the top-order scored the bulk of the runs there. The young fellows are there and they have a job to do also and they scored a lot of runs coming out of Bangladesh. Unfortunately, they didn’t get big scores today but they are very capable of doing that. It takes pressure off me knowing that they can also get the job done.”

“Obviously, I try to help everyone, especially the younger guys. Sometimes when I am out there batting with them, if I see something I just point it out to them and try to help them whichever way I can. Even today, I was talking to Kraigg (Brathwaite) and trying to help him through his innings. Whenever they ask questions, I try to give them answers.”
Normally dour and stodgy, he played with great freedom on Sunday. “The wicket was pretty good. I thought it would bebetter to be more aggressive than just being patient out there,” remarked Chanderpaul, adding that he ‘thought’ he had got enough credit for what he has achieved in his career. “I am not too sure but I think so!”

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