Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Shiv says Test series far from over
West Indies middle-order batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul has joined captain Darren Sammy in stating that the job of defeating New Zealand in their two-match Digicel Test series is far from over.
Chanderpaul, who along with Christopher Gayle and Marlon Samuels are the most experienced players in the team, says the match, which will bowl off tomorrow at Sabina Park, is a totally new game.
"I know we have some confidence coming out of the last match, but it's a totally new game and, as such, we will have to assess things and wheel and come again," said Chanderpaul, during a press conference with the teams at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday.
"It will not be easy as New Zealand is a team with quality players, and if you are not on top of your game they can hurt you.
"But if we are able to put it together like we did in the first Test in both our batting and bowling, we should be able to pull it off," he added.
The 37-year-old, who over the past year has been the linchpin of the team's batting, as they make their way back up the ICC world rankings, also expressed delight with the team's recent performances.
"We have been doing well over the last couple of Test series," observed Chanderpaul, who during the period rocketed to number one in the ICC batting Test world rankings. He is currently ranked number four.
"I am talking about from the series against Pakistan and India at home last year, Bangladesh and India away, Australia here and England away, during which we showed a lot of fight throughout.
"These results are a testimony of a team that is improving, and one of the reasons this is happening is because we have been able to take games into the fifth day."
He added: "We are now doing more of it, and once we continue to do so we should be able to go from strength to strength."
The press conference, which was held in preference to training sessions throughout the day for both teams, also saw New Zealand all-rounder Neil Wagner expressing that his team will be no pushover and they will be going all out to level the series.
"We have the players. We just have not been getting it right, and it could be argued that at some time we could get it right," he said.
"We will therefore be entering the contest high on hope and expectations and will be putting our best foot forward."
The West Indies won the first Test by nine wickets in the first game in Antigua. They are set to make at least one change to that team with fast bowler Ravi Rampaul pulling out due to injury.
Fellow speedster Fidel Edwards has since been drafted as cover and will compete with Tino Best for outstanding spot.