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Australia v West Indies 2022

Tagenarine Chanderpaul, legacy and a Test debut that has long been in the making

Tagenarine Chanderpaul
by Calum Trenaman 3 minute read

Tagenarine Chanderpaul is all set to kickstart his Test career, following in the big footsteps of his father. Calum Trenaman traces the journey of the 26-year-old, who is keen to carve his own identity in the cricketing world.

West Indies cricket can be tumultuous at the best of times, but the stolid influence of Shivnarine Chanderpaul acted as the perfect counterbalance to that for years. A sense of tumult never strays far from cricket in the Caribbean. The latest episode came in October, when it was announced that Test opener John Campbell had been handed a four-year doping ban by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission for refusing to provide a blood sample at his home in Kingston in April. Now, with a spot up for grabs at the top of the West Indies order for the side’s two-Test series in Australia, the mantle might fall on another Chanderpaul to steady the ship.

It is difficult for any child to live up to the legacy of a successful parent, and Tagenarine Chanderpaul faces the unenviable task of following on from a player that was the backbone of West Indies cricket for the best part of twenty years. While Chanderpaul Jr is slightly taller and skinnier than his father, their playing styles are remarkably similar. A short video published by cricket.com.au shows a side-by-side of the two batting and the likeness is clear. Both left-handed, both appearing remarkably assured at the crease, with Tagenarine echoing his father move-for-move in his shot selection. He even has an open batting stance, although not to the same extremes that his father went to.


Tagenarine’s path to the West Indies team has not been smooth. Having made his First-class debut all the way back in 2013, he struggled to establish himself in the Guyana team early in his career. Prior to this season, he had scored just two First-class centuries in 45 matches – though that can be partly blamed on an absence of domestic First-class cricket in the Caribbean for nearly two and a half years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the 2022 West Indies domestic season, however, he truly stamped his claim with remarkable authority. A sedate start to the season saw him seek out his father’s wisdom.

“He started the first-class season without many runs, then he came to Florida and did some work with me,” Chanderpaul Sr revealed recently.

It produced a remarkable turnaround in Tagenarine’s form. In the five First-class matches he played in the West Indies between May and August, he scored 530 runs in six innings at an average of 176.67, making three hundreds in the process, including one for West Indies A against Bangladesh A. Off the back of this, he earned a call-up to the West Indies Test squad touring Australia.

He then added his fourth ton of the year in a warm-up match against a Prime Minister’s XI side that featured a bowling attack including Michael Neser, Joel Paris and Mark Steketee. He finished on 119 off 293 balls in the first innings, before making 56 off 138 balls in the second. His sedate strike rate certainly suggests he is a chip off the old block.

After notching up the West Indies’ only century of the match, Tagenarine played down his familial connections: “I try and be myself. I can’t be him, so I can only be myself. Fingers crossed [I get picked for the first Test]. I’ll try to get some runs if I’m selected.”

He was similarly humble after securing the Player of the Match gong: “It was nice to get some runs. I knew it was going to be tough…just happy to get some runs.”

While a visit to his father fuelled a turnaround in his form, Shivnarine has indicated that Tagenarine can actively avoid his cricket legend father’s advice: “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.”

Many said that a call-up for Chanderpaul to the starting XI for the first Test in Perth on Wednesday is inevitable. He did earn his cap in the first Test; his father is hopeful that it can be the start of Tagenarine’s international career.

“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,” Shivarine said.

If Tagenarine can continue with performing as he has done in the latter half of 2022, perhaps there will be a second Chanderpaul to feature in the nightmares of opposition bowlers on the Test scene.

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