‘I try and be myself, I can’t be him’- meet Tagenarine Chanderpaul

- The opener is in line for a Test debut in Perth next week after a prolific year with the bat


A familiar name is back on West Indies scorecards for the tour of Australia. Tagenarine Chanderpaul, the son of Shivnarine, is in the Test squad for the first time and appears set to make his debut in Perth next week.

Here’s a little more on what is close to being the next father-son pairing in Test cricket.

So, is Tagenarine going to play the first Test against Australia?

It would be a huge surprise if he doesn’t, having made 119 against a strong Prime Minister’s XI attack in Canberra to continue a prolific year. He had made just four in his one outing against NSW/ACT XI last week, after missing the first innings because of illness.

But on Thursday, he faced 293 balls before falling to the final delivery of the second day when he top-edged a pull against Joel Paris. The PM’s line-up included Test seamer Michael Neser as well as Mark Steketee, who has been in Australia squads.

Todd Murphy, the young off-spinner, and left-armer Ashton Agar bowled 41 overs between them, which is likely to be more spin that Chanderpaul will face in Perth, but should put him good stead for the challenge of Nathan Lyon.

A vacancy for Kraigg Brathwaite’s partner has come up at the top of the order following the anti-doping ban handed to John Campbell.

He’s 26, so not really young for a debutant…

He’s waited a little while for this opportunity, but he effectively lost two years of his career because of COVID and did not play a match from March 2020 until February 2022.

Before that gap, he had shown glimpses of his potential with a maiden First-Class hundred against Barbados in 2018, and then another against Windward Islands in 2019, which at a marathon 484 deliveries is his longest First-Class innings to date in terms of balls faced.

From early on, he had shown the ability to bat time, facing more than 150 deliveries in an innings three times in his first two seasons. However, it’s been this year where things have really taken off: in 2022, he has an average of 89.50, including four centuries.

He and his dad played together, right?

Indeed they did, 11 times in first-class cricket. The first came in 2013 against Trinidad and Tobago [Tagenarine made 42 in the first innings, Shivnarine 108 in the second], and the last in 2018, which is when Tagenarine made his maiden First-Class hundred.

What has his route to the Test side been?

He played in the 2014 Under-19 World Cup in the UAE, where he made 293 runs. That team also featured Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Shimron Hetmyer and Brandon King. After that, he bided his time in First-Class cricket before the COVID-enforced break.

Earlier this year, he was rewarded for his impressive domestic form with a West Indies A call-up to face Bangladesh A where he made an unbeaten 109 in the second four-day match.

What Shivnarine said

“He’s been knocking at the door since before COVID… two-and-a-half years passed with no cricket behind, then he started to get some cricket back. He started the First-Class season without many runs, then he came to Florida and did some work with me. When he got back, he got a couple of hundreds and now he’s got selected to come here. Knowing the attack Australia has – these guys are relentless – if he can come here and do well, it will be a start to his career.

“I try to help him sometimes but he’s a little bent in his ways. He’ll seek me out for some help but then there’s a lot of times, like any kid, when you message him but he doesn’t message back. Unless he wants something! I’ll message [while] watching the game whenever he’s playing, I’ve seen what he’s doing, if he’s doing something he’s not supposed to be doing then I’ll message and say ‘this is what I’m seeing’ and he’ll not message back for two months after.”

What Tagenarine said

“I try and be myself. I can’t be him, so I can only be myself. Fingers crossed… I’ll try to get some runs if I’m selected.”

And here’s a fun fact

Tagenarine has a movie credit to his name. He was plucked to play Larry Gomes in the film 83 about India’s famous World Cup triumph.

“Being a part of 83 was a great opportunity that I stumbled upon while playing four-day cricket in St Lucia in 2018,” Tagenarine told News Room Sport last year. “During a practice session a scout came to the ground and asked who wanted to try out for the film. To my surprise a few months later I received a call that I had been chosen to play the part of Larry Gomes.”

Lastly, but most importantly, does he mark his guard with a bail?

“Sometimes,” Shivnarine said.


1 Comment
  1. Patricia Pierre says

    I would like to congratulate. Mr Tagenarine Chanderpaul on his continued success in cricket. Like his father Shivnarine, he is doing Guyana proud He is not only excelling in cricket but he has done so academically. Like his father has done, I see his name on the honours roll in the future. I wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

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