‘Papa’ advice works for Tagenarine
By Avenash Ramzan
Tagenarine Chanderpaul has the weight of expectation on his shoulders. It is no fault of his though. His father Shivnarine has set the bar so high that matching or surpassing his feats is in itself a humungous task.
Whether that pressure tells on Tagenarine we would never know. He’s a man of few words, a trait that he clearly inherited from his father. At 21, Tagenarine is still trying to cement his place in the Guyana First-Class team. By that age, Shiv had already been playing international cricket for two years.
With youth teammate Shimron Hetmyer on tour with the West Indies Test team and senior opener Rajendra Chandrika dropped on poor form, Tagenarine has been called upon to fill the role of senior opener, even with just 16 games and just over 750 runs at the start of the 2017/2018 season.
Chandrapaul Hemraj, a middle-order batsman by upbringing was given the task of opening, placing additional responsibility on Tagenarine as the specialist opener.
Scores of 14, 33, 1, 11*, 3 and 16 in the first three games, two of which were on the road, were certainly not the type of returns young Chanderpaul was hoping for.
“I had a bit of a bad start; didn’t get the kind of runs I was looking for,” he told News Room Sport on Monday. “When ‘Papa’ (Shivnarine) joined the team in St. Kitts, he pinpointed a few areas I needed to tighten up on and I think that helped me.”
Tagenarine said his father felt he was “pushing” at the ball, and he needed to adjust and “try to play as late as possible.”
That method has brought immediate rewards, with Tagenarine racking up 198 runs in three innings of the Guyana Jaguars next two matches against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and Barbados Pride.
His career-best 84 in the innings and 217 runs win over Red Force was followed by scores of 52 and 62* against Pride, his second innings knock being a match-winning effort in partnership with captain Leon Johnson, who made 61.
He also crossed 1,000 First-Class runs when on 30, an achievement that came in his 21st game and 40th innings. “Right now I’m just trying to build on my starts and get runs for myself and the team,” Tagenarine said.
The left-hander, who made his First-Class debut as a 17-year-old in 2013, added, “I’m taking it one game at a time and try to do the best I can for the team.”
So far this season, Tagenarine has scored 276 runs from five games at an average of 39.42.