Westindian legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul is frequently labelled with tags like ‘underrated’ or ‘overshadowed’ or ‘late bloomer’ due to various reasons based on what people make out of him after having a glance on his statistics and in Outlook of those who followed his career throughout.
Underrated, because of despite having staggering numbers to his name as he stands at no 8 in all time highest run scorers in test cricket, 4th in all time list of left handed batsmen, only second to Justin Langer in terms of most first class runs among batsmen started their FC career after 1990, he is not considered among mainstream batsmen.
Overshadowed, because of high-flown brilliance of his counterpart Brian Lara. Both played 84 tests together and in 146 innings both went past 50+ scores 47 times each but due to his gargantuan scores Lara managed to score around 1300 runs more after playing same number of innings. This act of Lara didn’t let Chanderpaul getting much credit and he left less addressed.
Late bloomer, because of obviously improved numbers in second part of his career when his test average raised by around 20 digits. Till lara’s presence he was averaging around 44.60 in 101 tests but after lara’s retirement, in 63 tests Chanderpaul averaged 64.13 that is also the highest average since the mentioned period among batsmen who have scored more than 1000 runs.
Amidst all these one thing that goes unnoticed about Shivnarine Chanderpaul is that he has been unfortunate to not being able to have more good numbers especially in second phase of his career. Looking at statistics intensively, Chanderpaul’s rotten luck becomes scape. Let’s see what is the matter:-
As a overview Shivnarine Chanderpaul stands at number 2 only behind Sachin Tendulkar in terms of half centuries in test cricket with Chanderpaul have 66 fifties and Sachin has 68 such scores.
Filter a bit, we count not out fifties and here Chanderpaul emerges as the joint number with Allan border having 18 half centuries he remained not out when.
Add one more filter, we check about scores in between 70 & 99, Chanderpaul is joint number with Sachin Tendulkar having 35 such scores.
Now we add the last filter and count for not out half centuries with score between 70 & 99. This is where Chanderpaul is a undisputed winner of being unlucky as he has 12 such scores with Steve Waugh is at number 2 with 5 such scores.
A batsman have crossed 70 in an innings and heading towards a test hundred but got deprived due to lack of support from his fellows, this was the story of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, as 8 times of out of 12 he remained not out between 70 & 99 because whole team got out, remaining 4 times innings was declared with his score between 70 & 99 for the cause of the team. No batsman in the whole history met up with such hard lines in their career as Chanderpaul did.
Guyanese legend holds praiseworthy records in form of 11867 runs with average of 51.37 aided by 30 centuries. If he was bit lucky , these numbers would have been more flowering and his stature might find some more celebrity he deserves relatively.