St John's (Antigua): Shivnarine Chanderpaul has revealed that hour upon hour of extra practice have helped his capability to bat long periods in Test cricket.
The 33-year-old Chanderpaul said that spending excessively long hours in the nets at the mercy of a bowling machine was part of the reason why he has emerged from the shadow of Brian Lara in the last 18 months to become the leading West Indies batsman in recent years.
"It's all part of my preparation," Chanderpaul told reporters on Tuesday, after another marathon innings that helped West Indies draw the second Test against Australia on Tuesday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
"You never know what will happen in the middle and what the bowlers will bowl to you, so you have to prepare yourself and get your mind adjusted to being able to bat for long hours."
A West Indies team spokesman indicated that he has seen Chanderpaul bat for as long as three hours with a bowling machine, and then still take deliveries from a net bowler for another hour or more.
"A session of Test cricket lasts two hours - sometimes two-and-a-half hours, so you have to prepare yourself to do this or go longer, and trying not to make too many mistakes when batting," he said.
"So when I enter the nets, I do not really clock the time. I just go into the nets and bat for as long as I can."
Chanderpaul is not the typically flamboyant West Indies batsman, but he has improved his consistency over the last three years and maintains a healthy average of 48.59 in his 111 Tests.
He earned the man-of-the-match award in the second Test. He top-scored with an undefeated 107 - his 19th Test hundred - in the West Indies' first innings total of 352, in response to Australia's 479 for seven declared.
He followed up with his match-saving knock of 77 not out in the second innings, and might have made an assault on scoring a second hundred in the Test had West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan not been dismissed late in the day.
"If 'Sars' was still there and there was an opportunity for me to score a hundred, I would have played my shots," he said.
"Obviously, I was worried when he got out and Dwayne Bravo soon followed, so I had to buckle down and get a little tighter again, then hope that we could survive the remaining overs."
The drawn Test however, means Australia retain their hold on the Frank Worrell Trophy - symbol of Test supremacy against West Indies - and have not lost a Test series in the Caribbean since 1991.
West Indies trail in the three-Test series 0-1, after they lost by 95 runs in the opening Test at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
The third and final Test between the two sides starts on June 12 at Kensington Oval in Barbados.