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Deonarine happy for third lease on life

Published:Sunday | April 8, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Narsingh Deonarine

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):

For Narsingh Deonarine, the first Test against Australia, which started yesterday, will be his third chance at international cricket. He made his debut seven years ago and was dropped after four Tests and had to wait another four years for a recall. Again, he played only four Tests before being axed, despite averaging 43.

Now, the 28-year-old says his third bite at the cherry has found him at a more mature stage of life.

"Marriage has changed me and given me a new approach to everything I do. It has brought focus and a better understanding to everything I do," said the Guyanese left-hander, who last August married the daughter of former West Indies spinner Inshan Ali, Alisha.

"I was away from the team for a while and I really want to make it count. While I was away, I made some significant changes to my approach to the game."

Batting well

He added: "I would say I'm batting really well, probably as well as I have ever batted and I want to convert that into big scores.

"It's all about knowing what is required and doing what is required. I'm also bowling well and the ball is coming out nicely. I see this series as a big opportunity to get back into the thick of things and secure a spot."

Deonarine forced himself into the selection frame, following an outstanding season in the regional first-class tournament where he gathered 582 runs at an average of 44.76 and took 20 wickets with his gentle off-spin. And with all-rounder Marlon Samuels off to the Indian Premier League, it created the perfect opening for Deonarine.

"I worked really hard on my batting and set realistic goals. I worked really hard and stuck to what I wanted to achieve," he said.

"One of my goals was to be the leading batsman in this year's Regional Four-Day tournament and I achieved that. It landed me a place back in the West Indies team and it feels good to be back playing at the highest level."

Interestingly, Deonarine's career-best knock of 82 came against the Aussies, in the second inning of the third Test at Perth during the Windies' 2009 tour Down Under.

Then, he put on 128 for the fourth wicket with Brendan Nash as West Indies went down by 35 runs, chasing a target of 359.

"I played well that day. I batted well with (Brendan Nash), but I got out at the wrong time, at a crucial stage in the game," Deonarine recalled.

"I learnt a lot from that innings. I got a really good understanding of what is required to make it in Test cricket."

He continued: "That day, I had to leave a lot of balls and I had to be really patient and dig in. It takes time, it takes discipline, it takes understanding.

"I watch the way the good players like (Shivnarine Chanderpaul) bat; and to get runs in Test cricket, you have to know your strengths and play to your strengths."

"I worked really hard
on my batting and set realistic goals. I worked really hard and stuck to
what I wanted to achieve," he said.

"One of my goals
was to be the leading batsman in this year's Regional Four-day
tournament and I achieved that. It landed me a place back in the West
Indies team and it feels good to be back playing at the highest
level."

Career best

Interestingly,
Deonarine's career-best knock of 82 came against the Aussies, in the
second inning of the third Test at Perth during the Windies' 2009 tour
Down Under.

Then, he put on 128 for the fourth wicket
with Brendan Nash as West Indies went down by 35 runs, chasing a target
of 359.

"I played well that day. I batted well with
(Brendan Nash), but I got out at the wrong time, at a crucial stage in
the game," Deonarine recalled.

"I learnt a lot from
that innings. I got a really good understanding of what is required to
make it in Test cricket."

He continued: "That day, I
had to leave a lot of balls and I had to be really patient and dig in.
It takes time, it takes discipline, it takes
understanding.

"I watch the way the good players like
(Shivnarine Chanderpaul) bat; and to get runs in Test cricket, you have
to know your strengths and play to your strengths."