While India readies to bid adieu to Sachin Tendulkar, West Indians across the islands back home will have their own moment to celebrate at the Wankhede Stadium. While Tendulkar will make his 200th and final Test appearance, the Mumbai Test will be Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s 150th.
“Shiv has been our Tendulkar and his longevity and contribution to cricket are unmatched. He’s a great player and has been a great ambassador for West Indian cricket. Along with Sachin, we will also be celebrating our champion’s milestone,” says skipper Darren Sammy.
Chanderpaul, 39, had become the most capped West Indian Test cricketer two years ago against India in Roseau, Dominica, when he went past Courtney Walsh’s record of 132 matches. His tally currently stands at 148 Tests in which he’s scored 10830 runs at 51.81 with 28 centuries.
“Shiv’s our own legend. He’s still going strong and scoring a lot of runs. He’s another phenomenal person. Laidback guy and very easy to relate to. I have played 97 Tests and most of them with Shiv. We have shared great moments on and off the field,” says Chris Gayle.
Throughout his career, Chanderpaul has remained a scourge for India. The plucky left-hander with the unique stance averages 65.74 in 23 Tests against India, and 54.55 in six Tests in India.
“In my opinion Shiv’s greatest moment was he and Sarwan scoring hundreds during the world-record chase (418) against Australia in Antigua in 2003,” says Gayle.
Gayle feels that the Guyanese veteran looks hungry and fit enough to continue plugging away for a few more years. And the aggressive opener doesn’t think his teammate is anywhere close to being done.
“For someone at his age, he’s still so agile and mobile on the field, and keeps going from strength to strength,” he says. “I think he could get another 50 Tests, and go out like Sachin with 200.”