Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who plays his 150th Test match for the West Indies this Thursday at the Wankhede Stadium is one of the great West Indies cricketers, but doesn’t get the credit that he deserves because of his style of play. He is one of our most reliable batsmen and is probably the hardest to get out. I think that if the team built their batting around him and learned from his approach, tactics and batting strategies they would do much better.
Instead, he has been severely and unjustifiably criticised by the coach for his method of play in the past. Mentally, he is probably the strongest player in the team.
He has enormous powers of concentration, has strong self-belief and self-confidence as well as enormous patience and the capacity to think simply, clearly and positively under great pressure. These are some of the attributes of champions.
The coach has been pointing out the mistakes that the players are making and says that all they have to do is bat longer and make more runs. But the skills of talking and planning are different from the skills of execution. There is an African saying, “when a man falls don’t look at where he falls but where he slips.”
So in looking at the players’ mistakes, they should pay attention to what happens just before the mistakes occur. The cause is usually found in the mind nine times out of 10.
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