Mumbai, Nov 13 (IANS) As Indian great Sachin Tendulkar prepares for his 200th and farewell Test, senior West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul also quietly went about gearing up for what would be his 150th Test when the two sides face off at the Wankhede Stadium here Thursday.
Chanderpaul has carried the expectations of the Caribbean islands especially after the retirement of Brain Lara. The 39-year-old Guyanese of Indian origin is the eighth highest run-getter in Test cricket with 10,897 runs. He is also the second West Indian after Lara to be in the top-10 run scores in Test.
Against India, Chanderpaul has always given his best, scoring 2,105 runs from 24 matches at an average of 65.78. He has also scored seven centuries and 10 fifties.
West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said it would be sad that Chanderpaul 150th Test match will be overshadowed by Tendulkar’s 200th Test.
“In this match, our most experienced player would be playing his 150th game. That is a big milestone for him and for us. It will be overshadowed by Sachin’s 200. We, as a team, would go out and work hard for Shiv,” he said.
Sammy hoped that Chanderpaul would hit a 150 to celebrate the landmark.
“Like Sachin, everybody can see he has not changed. Shiv, when it comes to his batting, the way he prepares, he has been the same ever since I have known him. You could see the way it reflects on his game. I hope he goes on to score 150 in his 150th match. I don`t know if I could say the same for Sachin, that means he will get a double,” he said.
Sammy hoped that Chanderpaul would defy age and continue playing for another couple of years.
“Shiv has been very important to us. Since Brian (Lara) left, he has been the rock of our batting. The young players could take a page out of his book, the way he prepares. Hopefully he will be around in the dressing room for a few years to come,” he said.
Sammy admitted that it was an honour for the team to play in Tendulkar’s 200th Test but they are focused on winning it.
“It feels great. It is a great honour for us, here to be taking part in his final Test match. And we still have to go out and focus on what we have to do. I think it is a great moment for Sachin, especially for what he has done in cricket in India and all over the world. He deserves all the praises and all the blessings that has been bestowed upon him,” he said.