West Indies lead selector and cricketing legend Desmond Haynes believes the opening combination of skipper Kraigg Brathwaite and the uncapped Tagenarine Chanderpaul can pay dividends for West Indies in the two-match Test series against Australia to be played in December this year.
The left-handed Tagenarine, 24, is the son of West Indies batting great Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and has aggregated 2,669 first-class runs at an average of 34.21 with five hundreds in first-class cricket till date.
He has been included in the squad following his superb run in first-class cricket this year and is expected to pair with Brathwaite at the top of the order.
West Indies are expected to assemble in Australia on November 10 and will play a three-day game against an ACT/NSW XI in Canberra, before facing PM’s XI in a four-day match beginning November 23 at Manuka Oval.
The first Test at Perth Stadium commences on November 30 with the second at the Adelaide Oval — a D/N contest — scheduled to start on December 8.
“I believe (they can work well together). I think what you have to take into consideration too is with Tage (Chanderpaul), a young man, he’s got a very good technique to the new ball which is good,” said Haynes, one of Test cricket’s greatest openers.
“He leaves alone very well. When you go to places like Australia, you don’t want to see the number three batsman coming in too early or the number four. So I think, he and Kraigg would definitely complement each other because at least they would be looking at what openers should do for a team as well, which is build a foundation for the side so the guys coming in down the order would not get the new ball,” Haynes told Cricket West Indies.
Captain Brathwaite is renowned for his resolute approach to batting which has yielded nearly 5,000 Test runs including 10 hundreds. His powers of concentration came to the fore during the second Test against England at Kensington Oval last March when he made a marathon 160 in the first innings and an unbeaten 56 in the second. He spent a combined 15 hours and 45 minutes, along with 673 balls at the crease — a record for a West Indies batsman in a single Test.
Chanderpaul has scored five first-class hundreds — the last of those hundreds, 109 against Bangladesh A in St Lucia last August — required 337 balls in nearly seven hours at the crease.
Haynes, who formed Test cricket’s most feared opening partnership with Gordon Greenidge, said the upcoming series would be an excellent starting point for Chanderpaul’s career.
“I think it’s a good choice of picking the young man. (There is) no better place to start your cricket career than Australia where a lot of people believe if you do well against Australia then you’re rated,” Haynes said.
“It’s always been considered a tough place to play cricket and I think he has the ability to do it and I want to wish him all the best.”