Quiet, unorthodox and diminutive – there’s not much outwardly to hint at the fight that resides in West Indies veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
But once more Australia found the 37-year-old left-hander standing in their way as they pressed for victory in the third Test in Dominica this week.
Chasing an improbable 370 to win and down to 3-45, Chanderpaul gave home fans just the slimmest hope of a remarkable victory as he shared a 110-run stand with Darren Bravo.
In the end Australia breathed a huge sigh of relief as the veteran fell in the final over of the day for 69 – the fourth time in five innings this series he’s passed 50.
On the way he notched his 10,000th run in Test cricket, just the 10th player to do so and the second West Indian behind Brian Lara.
Put bluntly, his numbers this series have been phenomenal – 346 runs at 86.50 with a highest score of 103 not out.
Consider no other specialist batsman from either side can top an average above 40 in the series and it becomes apparent the class Chanderpaul has brought to the Windies team.
“Shiv’s been outstanding all series,” Australia coach Mickey Arthur said.
“He’s been quite brilliant really. He’s certainly thwarted our bowlers.
“He’s shown why he’s got 10,000 runs in Test cricket.
“Very uncomplicated technique even though it looks very weird on the eye. He’s been outstanding – to get him right at the end of the day has just lifted out dressing room hugely.”
Bravo was out on the field when the man known as the Tiger achieved his 10,000-run milestone and the 23-year-old said it was an honour to play alongside Chanderpaul.
“We’re very fortunate to have him in this team at this point in time and we enjoy his company,” Bravo said.
“He’s going to be around for a very long time still … as young batsmen in the team we should try to take a page from Shiv’s book as much as possible and as long as we do we’re going to improve as a batting unit in the future.”