I have been covering international cricket for the past two decades and I know for a fact that regional cricket tournaments are treated as trial matches for international cricket. With the performance of West Indies star batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul I cannnot see why he should not be selected for the three One Day Internationals starting on February 28 against England in Antigua.
The ‘Tiger’ scored two half centuries for Guyana in as many matches played in the 50 over Nagico tournament so far. He batted stubbornly on both occasions and was associated in big opening partnerships in both games.
Even before these magnificent performances the Guyanese is known as the mainstay in the West Indies line-up and one wonders why he is only being retained for Test matches ‒ the longest version of the game. The first match when he represented the West Indies in ODI was in 2011 and it was said that the senior coach Barbadian Ottis Gibson did not like his batting style for ODIs. I wonder if Gibson can properly assess one’s batting ability when he was a bowler and not even an outstanding one, hence the reason he only played a few Tests.
Shiv so far scored 11 centuries and 59 half centuries in his 268 ODI games at an average of 41.60 ‒ more than nearly all the one day players. In Tests he scored 11,999 runs at an average of 52.08. Moreso he is a team player; the junior players always turn to him for advice. He captained the Windies team on 14 occasions in Test matches and 16 ODIs and was among the Wisden 5 best players in 2008.
He is known as the backbone of the team and one wonders why he is being sidelined for the shorter version of the game when he is an aggressive player having scored the third fastest century in Test cricket. He is also a magnificent fielder. What else can a player do to be in the squad? It seems as if Gibson has other reasons for keeping him out.