Chanderpaul urges youngsters to learn fast

Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 10:53 [IST]
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Bridgetown: Shivnarine Chanderpaul acknowledges that West Indies have made strides in their series against Australia, but he wants the less experienced players in the side to learn the nuances of the game much quicker.

The durable left-handed batsman was named Most Valuable Player of the three-Test series against the Aussies which ended on Monday, when Australia completed an 87-run victory in the third and final match at Kensington Oval about 25 minutes before tea.

The 33-year-old Chanderpaul amassed 442 runs from six innings at an average of 147.33 and passed 8,000 Test runs, but he believes the younger members of his side need to.

"It is hard at times because you have a bunch of young guys, and they are learning, but they are learning slowly," Chanderpaul told reporters.

"When I came into the team, I had a bunch of senior fellows around -- men who played their cricket tough and types of things -- so it was easy for me to learn from them, but we have a whole heap of young guys and there are not a lot of senior players to guide them.

"But we are trying to mould them, and they are learning, but they are not learning fast enough because at this level you need to learn fast."

Australia clinched the series 2-0, after they won the first Test in Antigua by 95 runs, drew the second in Antigua, and earned another hard-fought win here.

But the World No.1 side was pushed all the way throughout the series, and with a little more substance and stability, things could have swung West Indies' way.

"We did pretty well in this series because nobody expected us to last until the fifth day in any of the Tests," Chanderpaul said.

"There were periods when we messed up big time when we played well for four days, and then for one or two periods, it slipped away from us. A team like Australia will never let it go, and this is what they did throughout.

"This is what we have to learn from - the mistakes we made, and the positive way the Australians took those mistakes and turned them into wins."

For all the progress which Chanderpaul and others believe West Indies have made in the last 12 months, there are still many doubting Thomases in the Caribbean, and this meant the series was characterised by empty stadiums.

"There is only one way to change this - and that's by winning more consistently," Chanderpaul said.

"In the Caribbean, we have a way of being negative. Sometimes we can be very negative, rather than positive, and looking for ways to try to help each other. We are down. We are not the team we had in the past. We do not have the big names. We are not dominating. We are ranked at No.8.

"We need help and we need the public to support us, and help us all the way. There are a few who will say negative things, but there is nothing we can do about it.

"We just have to go out there and play as hard as we can, and hopefully, we can start winning a few games, and the same ones who are saying these things will come jumping on board."

The two sides face each other in a Twenty20 International on Friday at the same venue before beginning a five-match One-day International series on Tuesday June 24.

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