Respect for Australian opponents has helped turn Shivnarine Chanderpaul into the ultimate stumbling block for Michael Clarke’s touring team in the West Indies.
Chanderpaul’s unbeaten 103 in the first Test in Barbados on Sunday was the Windies veteran’s fifth in seven Tests against Australia in the Caribbean.
He’s scored 802 runs at 89.11 in those matches.
Chanderpaul said he relished the battle against Australia’s bowlers in his own backyard, something wholly in character after building a career on immense concentration and an unflappable temperament.
“Always a tough, tough opposition and you always have to fight and it is always good to do well against them,” Chanderpaul said of the tourists.
“Against an opposition like Australia if you’re doing well against them you know the world is watching.
“When you go against them you have to bring your A-game.”
Unlike fellow 37-year-old Ricky Ponting, Chanderpaul’s spot in the Windies Test line-up has never been questioned despite his advancing years.
And he achieved a notable highlight during his knock on Sunday, becoming the highest Test run-scorer at Kensington Oval – topping a list that includes Windies greats such as Brian Lara, Viv Richards, Desmond Haynes, Clive Lloyd and Sir Garfield Sobers.
“I never expected to be the person who had the most runs at Kensington, given I’m a guy from Guyana coming to Barbados,” he said.
“To have the most runs is a hell of an achievement at Kensington.”
For Shane Watson and the rest of Australia’s bowlers the challenge now is finding a way to breach Chanderpaul in the innings that remain in their three-Test series.
“We have to find a way to be able to get him to take some type of risk,” Watson said.
“He’s done it for such a long period of time and he is a true champion so we’re going to have to bowl really well to him throughout the series to hopefully not let him have as much impact as he did today.”