Why Tagenarine Chanderpaul was dropped for the England Tests, Explained

Tagenarine Chanderpaul was one of the most notable names omitted from the West Indies Test squad for their England tour – here’s why the opener was axed.

West Indies announced a 15-member squad squad for their upcoming Test tour of England from July 10, with the squad’s lack of experience being one of the major talking points. One particular notable call was the omission of opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul, who was part of West Indies’ historic Test win in Australia in late January this year.

A flying start to Test career

Evoking a sense of nostalgia for his father’s distinctive open-chested stance and grit, Tagenarine Chanderpaul impressed everyone with 51 and 45 on his debut Test against Australia in 2022 while battling against an attack comprising Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon in Perth.

He finished the two-match series as the second-highest scorer – 160 at an average of 40 – for the tourists, behind captain Kraigg Brathwaite (196).

Chanderpaul built on the start and struck an unbeaten 207 in the following series against Zimbabwe in February 2023. In the process, he stitched a record 336-run opening partnership with Brathwaite, becoming just the 10th player to convert his maiden century into a double-hundred.

From his first three Tests, Chanderpaul had 382 runs at 76.40. It seemed that the promising left-hand batter would emerge as a beacon of hope to West Indies’ ambitions in the longest format, but things started to go downhill for Chanderpaul thereafter.

The slump

A difficult away series against South Africa, followed by another below-par outing against India at home that year, meant Chanderpaul’s impressive numbers took a hit.

He toured Australia in 2024, hoping to resurrect his career from where it all started, but his performance left a lot to be desired despite a momentous 1-1 series result.

After his double-ton, Chanderpaul went 13 innings without scoring a fifty, with his highest of 36 coming in the second test in Bulawayo against Zimbabwe. He only scored 178 runs at 14.83 in this period.

Poor form continues and emergence of Mikyle Louis

In the 2023-24 West Indies Championship, Chanderpaul did nothing noteworthy either to give the selectors any confidence despite his international failures. Playing for Guyana, he only managed 323 runs at 29.36 from 12 innings.

His poor show in the domestic first-class competition resulted in his snub to fit in 23-year-old Mikyle Louis, who is one of the four West Indies cricketers in the series without international experience.

Louis was rewarded with an international call-up for his stellar run in his debut first-class season for the Leeward Islands. With 682 runs in seven matches at an average of 48.21, he finished as the leading run-scorer in the competition, trailed by West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite (565).

After a sensational season in which he hit two centuries, Louis impressed with a half-century against England’s County Select XI last week in the West Indies’ warm-up match in Beckenham.

If and when he makes his Test debut, Louis will become the first player from St Kitts to play for the West Indies.

Chanderpaul, on the other hand, will have to work hard to claw his back to the Test team.

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