Yahoo! Cricket – Nothing about Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s bizarre stance and dour run-gathering style suggests he should have succeeded at the Test level. But here he is, touching 9,000 Test runs and punishing old foes like there’s no tomorrow.
The veteran left-hander completed his seventh Test hundred against India, bringing respectability to West Indies after their poor start to the series starter at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.
He was helped ably by the 18-year-old opener Kraigg Brathwaite who defied India for over two sessions in making a watchful 62.
That the Kotla wicket was slow as a snail became evident in the first over when deliveries banged into the middle by Ishant Sharma and debutant Umesh Yadav went to MS Dhoni on the volley. Not surprisingly, the other debutant Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha did the bulk of the bowling and took all five wickets.
BRAITHWAITE DEFIES ODDS
Two years ago, the 16-year-old Brathwaite scored a double hundred in a domestic game. He described his effort as thus: “You’ve got to concentrate, put all your faith and truth in god, and then just do what you do, just bat and bat.”
That’s what he did yesterday: bat, bat and bat — getting fully forward to the spinners, playing with his bat and offering the full face. He’s something of a child prodigy and became the first West Indian in over 70 years to score two Test fifties while aged 18. He could be the ice to Chris Gayle’s fire, whenever he’s back.
The youngster added 108 with Chanderpaul after they’d been begun poorly, losing Kieron Powell and Kirk Edwards to Ojha in the first session, and Darren Bravo to Ashwin immediately after the break.
Brathwaite’s settling down allowed Chanderpaul to accelerate after their slow start. The senior guy pressed past fifty off 77 balls and a hundred off 144. He has been a thorn in India’s side and would prove difficult to dislodge for their inexperienced bowlers.
Chanderpaul said the wicket here was like the flat ones in Guyana where nothing happens for the pacers and he could play his natural game.
OJHA, ASHWIN AMONG WICKETS
Ojha has been in good form, having had a short, successful stint with Surrey for whom he took 24 wickets in four games. He then followed that up with nine wickets in the Irani Trophy.
Ojha nearly began with a wicket in his first over when he put down Kieron Powell off his own bowling. Next over, he had his man LBW.
He’s one of the most economical spinners in world cricket, getting into his rhythm quickly. Operating from around the wicket to the right-handers, Ojha bowled at a steady pace and got sharp turn.
Kirk Edwards was tentative with his footwork and struggling to read the orthodox breaks mixed with the straight balls. The runs dried up and he eventually hit a return catch to Ojha.
Immediately after the break, Bravo played back to cut Ashwin. The ball stayed low, went with the angle and crashed into middle stump.
The other debutant, Umesh bowled too short and rarely troubled the batsmen despite getting some reverse swing. Testing the middle of a slow wicket would prove futile. He was wayward with the second new ball, allowing Chanderpaul to hasten their scoring rate late in the day.
Ishant bowled full and straight. He had a couple of LBW shouts and some edges falling short of the slip cordon. On a luckier day, he would have picked up a couple of wickets.
Scores: West Indies 256 for 5 (Chanderpaul 111*, Brathwaite 63, Ojha 3-58) v India.
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