Chanderpaul skippers Windies in first test
April 1, 2005
Chanderpaul skippers Windies in first test

by CMC

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Regular captain Brian Lara is missing but new West Indies skipper Shivnarine Chanderpaul has no qualms over his assignment for the first Test against South Africa, which started yesterday.

The 30-year old left hander, known for his resolute batting, was handed the captaincy of the team recently, after Lara opted not to accept an invitation by the West Indies Cricket Board to play in the first Test.{{more}}

“I’m feeling ok and I have done some captaincy for my country and also on tours for West Indies so it’s nothing strange to me,” Chanderpaul said Tuesday at the Three W’s Oval, of the UWI Cave Hill Campus, shortly before the team left for his homeland Guyana.

He added: “It’s just that it’s my first time in Test cricket, which might be a little different but it shouldn’t be so much of a difference, it’s all cricket so I’m not worried too much about it.”

The West Indies have won just two of 15 Tests played against South Africa and failed to win a single Test in their 2003/04 campaign in South Africa.

Chanderpaul is upbeat over the team’s chances against the South Africans.

“I’m positive, we all are positive and once we play to our abilities – and all the guys are very talented – and once we can play to that and play better than South Africa we will win,” Chanderpaul explained.

The West Indies selection panel have included some players with limited experience for the first Test with Guyanese Narsingh Deonarine along with the Jamaican pair of Dwight Washington and Donovan Pagon all set to make their debut for the regional team.

Further, Jamaican pacer Daren Powell has played just four Tests – his last was three years ago – while his fellow countryman Jerome Taylor has played just three Tests and has also been out of the international arena since November 2003.

Chanderpaul, who was appointed vice captain prior to the VB Triangular Series in Australia in January, said he had indicated to the inexperienced members of the squad that they needed to play their natural game.

“We have been working hard and telling them to go out there and do what they can do and (that is) play their cricket,” Chanderpaul said.

“We are pretty much not telling them to do anything much different than what they know how to do.”

The first Test of the four-Test series bowls off Thursday at Bourda.