New Delhi: Shivnaraine Chanderpaul's astounding average of 140.50 reflects the resurgence of West Indian middle order which enabled the home team to clinch the Test series against India whose fancied batting line up did not live up to its reputation.
The averages aptly show the earnestness and application of the West Indies batsmen who largely helped their side register a memorable 2-1 series victory. And it was exemplified in Chanderpaul's aggregate of 562 that rightly earned him the man-of-the-series award. It also didn't come as a surprise that the highest run getter was a West Indian batsman - skipper Carl Hooper who turned the corner in his career aggregating 579 at 82.71 including his maiden double ton (233) at Guyana. The Indians, in contrast, fell by the wayside, burdened it seemed, by their own huge reputations. None of the Indian batsmen could aggregate 500 runs.
The nearest to Chanderpaul was middle-order bat V V S Laxman, who also topped the batting averages for India. Laxman aggregated 474 runs from eight innings at 79.00, his best performance to date after his historic stint against Australia last year. Rahul Dravid was the only other Indian to reach the 400-run mark, aggregating 404 at 57.71.
Fancied stars Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara had to be content playing second fiddle. While Tendulkar aggregated 331 runs from eight innings 41.37 to be placed fourth, behind skipper Saurav Ganguly (322 at 53.66) in India's averages list, Lara managed 202 runs from seven innings at 28.85.