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Chanderpaul: Contemporary Cricket’s Most Underestimated Batsman?

If you look at the career statistics of Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, it will suggest that he is among the best of batsmen who are current playing and that is across all forms of the game, i.e. the ODIs and test cricket. This might cause some of you to raise the argument that he hasn’t excelled in T20. However, it should be understood that this isn't because of his inability to adapt to the faster version of the game but simply due to lack of opportunities. For some reason, despite being the perennial saver for his team and an awesome ODI record, this guy is never counted among the current crop of batsmen who are often heralded as ‘greats’.I presume that this is due to two main factors. One, he is simply too raw in terms of handing the media part of one’s career that has become a necessity for the modern player. Even the newest of entrants in the Caribbean team can be seen making some form of a style statement by either covering themselves in oodles of gold or with some ritual-like dance after dismissing an opposition batsman. Some folks might say that this is a part of the Caribbean heritage but I would like to opine that these are simply practices stereotypes that are being done to make a splash in the media coverage of the game, ensuring that their overall marketability is sustained for money-making tournaments like the IPL or for county stints.
This is even more applicable to a West Indian player, considering that they lose so many matches that even centurions and five-wicket hauls are mentioned in a remote corner of the newspaper column. Secondly, Chanderpaul has a strange, un-classical batting stance which might be the reason that he is continuously omitted from the bracket containing stars like Sachin and Ponting. Some people might argue that the modern era of cricket is very accommodating in terms of accepting people with unconventional batting styles but I personally feel that the stance used by Chanderpaul is simply so hideous that it drives-out any form of serious praise that might be coming his way.

3 comments:

  1. I liked what you said about Chanderpaul not being recognized for his big hitting. some guys might not recall this but for some time, he was opening the odi innings with Gayle against a very potent SA attack and he was equally destructive, i.e. just like Gayle. It is just that he has to save matches on such consistent basis that it is needed to curtail his attacking skills.

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  2. yes, you are right about him getting very limited chances. further, if you recall even someone like Dravid was very inhibited when he first came into the team. it was just that with some good batsmen around him, he could take the initiative to add some tenacious big-hitting to his repertoire...sadly, chanderpaul is surrounded by absolute mediocrity.

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  3. I totally agree regarding Chanderpaul's utility up the order. I remember the matches you are speaking..though not many people recall them. the west indies lost the series horribly in the end but chanderpaul was simply awesome against the likes of shaun pollock and steve elworth and ntini...nice cricketing memory you got!!

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