“If given the opportunity, I’ll try and get involved” – Tagenarine eager to contest T20 matches

South Africa and West Indies will square off in the second Test of the two-match series on Wednesday, March 08. South Africa won by 87 runs and concluded the match in 3 days.

Although West Indies bowled exceptionally well in both innings, their batting has been a major disappointment.

The son of Shivnarine, Tagenarine Chanderpaul scored 22 and 10 in 1st Test Against South Africa.

Earlier, Tagenarine scored 51 and 45 in this first Test and 47 and 17 in unfamiliar conditions and against a strong Australian attack, under the guidance of none other than Brian Lara.

“He wasn’t a team mentor then but he was doing commentary and he would come to practice sessions and offer some advice,” Tagenarine said to ESPNcricinfo.

Then, with Lara assigned to the team full time, his baptism of fire has continued with his season ending in South Africa.

“Australia and South Africa have very good bowling attacks and the conditions are very different from back home. It was nice to get some runs in Australia on debut. Here, the South African attack is very good. They are very consistent and they don’t give you many loose balls. You’ve got to try and concentrate for long periods.”

He has already demonstrated he can do that because in between those two series, West Indies were in Zimbabwe, where Tagenarine scored his first Test century, and made it a double.

He spent four minutes short of 10 hours at the crease crafting that innings.

“It was a very special feeling – my first century,” he says. “I didn’t really celebrate too much. I’m not really too much of a party person.”

Instead, he is committed to the growth of cricket in Guyana, where significant investments are being made to develop the game.

“The government is putting a lot of emphasis on sports right now. They’re building a few stadiums and getting some more indoor facilities,” he says.

In January, the Guyana government announced a budget of US$4.3 billion for the development of sports which includes the development of a cricket academy.

That, together with a renewed resolve from players like Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers – both of whom left the SA20 to play the Tests in Zimbabwe – to the longest format, gives Tagenarine hope that West Indies can become more competitive in Tests.

In particular, he singled out his captain and opening partner Kraigg Braithwaite as someone who has put a particular importance on the red-ball game.

“Kraigg has been a consistent performer over the years. He is pretty tough mentally and accustomed to pressure situations,” Tagenarine says. “And we have players who are committed. Jason and Kyle left leagues to come back and play Test matches. Everyone gets along very well and the guys gel together. Guys are very easy to approach and welcoming. Hopefully, all goes well for us.”

As for Tagenarine himself, the T20 game has not yet lured him and has yet to play a single one, although he’d like that to change.

“It’s something I could venture into. If given the opportunity, I’ll try and get involved,” he says.

“I’ve got to work on a few more scoring shots and areas I can improve to try and be well equipped for that type of cricket.”

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