In 2012, we wrote a piece for Cricinfo about Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s patient wait for a West Indies Test team worthy of his contributions. Little did we know he wasn’t just waiting; he was taking active steps.
‘Taking active steps’ is an interesting euphemism because what we’re saying is that Shiv’s son Tagenarine is a really good player. About a year after we wrote that piece, we learned of his existence and (this website being what it is) immediately delighted in his magnificent name.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul opens the batting for the Windies these days and that seems significant.
Shiv was a batter who did not much enjoy being dismissed and rather went out of his way to avoid experiencing that thing.
In 2002, he went 1,051 balls and 1,523 minutes without being dismissed. Just to contextualise that feat, it’s almost a full day of Test cricket longer than the next best effort, Jacques Kallis’s 1,241 minutes.
Nor was it the only time he batted for absolutely bloody ages without anyone getting him out. Shiv is responsible for no fewer than four of the 10 longest unbeaten streaks. That gives him a pretty strong claim to being cricket’s most immovable batter.
That’s how you get named not just Lord Megachief of Gold, but Grand Lord Megachief of Gold, people. That’s how you get Cricinfo articles written by us when you pass 10,000 runs. That’s how you get called the last great West Indies cricketer upon your retirement. (Last of one era, at any rate.)
The similarly unbeaten
If Tagenarine has inherited even half of his father’s aversion to getting out, the West Indies have a handy cricketer on their hands – and one who may prove useful in a way Shivnarine never really was.
Because if there was one thing that characterised Shiv’s output, it was halting – or at least significantly slowing – batting collapses. Time and again, he’d walk in at 26-3 and finish with 72 not out off 200 balls. Shivnarine Chanderpaul entered disaster zones and mitigated the situation.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul does not enter disaster zones. Tagenarine is an opener. If Tagenarine bats and bats and doesn’t get out, he greatly reduces the chances of a disaster zone materialising in the first place.
Why not go and read The Cult of Digging In, our feature about the psychology of rearguard batting next? What else are you going to do? Your job?