Shiv may sit out
MUMBAI – West Indies middle-order batting mainstay Shivnarine Chanderpaul is doubtful for the third and final Test against India because of a calf injury, captain Darren Sammy said yesterday.
Chanderpaul had not recovered from the left calf muscle injury he suffered while batting during the second Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Sammy told reporters.
The left-handed batsman is the most experienced player in the West Indies squad and scored the highest number of runs for his team in the first two Tests, which West Indies lost to trail the series 2-0.
Chanderpaul, 37, who bats with an unorthodox stance, skipped practice on Sunday and did not bat yesterday either.
“We are monitoring his situation. The experienced player that he is, I guess he will know if he could really make it for us tomorrow [today] but we have to wait until tomorrow [today] to decide,” Sammy told reporters at Wankhede Stadium on the eve of the final Test.
Facing a 3-0 whitewash in the series, the West Indies captain said his young team had played well in patches and had to learn how to be more consistent against better Test sides.
“I think once we keep showing the improvement I am quite happy. Last Test we scored the highest second innings by a West Indian team following on,” Sammy said.
“To score 400 plus runs in the second innings is good to see. We weren’t rolled over.
“So far [we have] been playing good cricket, but we have to be more consistent . . . If we bat well in the first innings, we don’t bat as well in the second innings.
“The team has some good players coming through, so it is about building and being consistent in our performances and that is what I know the coaches are looking forward to and I am looking forward to.”
Sammy was pleased with the Wankhede Stadium pitch, which he said suited both the bowlers and the batsmen.
“So far, the practice wickets have been good. There’s been something in it for the fast bowlers and the batsmen seem to be playing their shots,” the 27-year-old all-rounder said.
“Possibly we may have three fast bowlers and Ravi [Rampaul] might come in. So far throughout the Test series, the pacers have been the ones getting the wickets for us.
“We will look at that and hopefully we could come up with the right eleven to at least salvage a draw or a win here.”
Meanwhile, India are eyeing a 3-0 whitewash to boost their confidence before travelling to Australia next month, senior batsman Vangipurappu Laxman said yesterday.
India responded in style after their 4-0 drubbing in the Test series in England by notching up comprehensive wins against West Indies in Delhi and Kolkata to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
“We would definitely like to win the series 3-0 and that will be our target,” the stylish right-handed batsman told reporters yesterday in the absence of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who skipped practice as he was unwell, but is expected to be fit.
“I think Australia is going to be an important series. We are all very happy with the way we have played in both the Test matches (against West Indies),” said Laxman.
“If you see in the Delhi Test match we were in some tough situations, especially at the end of the second day.
“But the way we bounced back and won that Test match showed the potential of the team. It is good if we go to Australia with a positive mindset and at the same time have a lot of confidence from this series, it will really help.”
India will play four Tests, two Twenty20 internationals and a One-Day International tri-series in Australia, also featuring Sri Lanka. The first Test starts on December 26. (Reuters)