File photo of veteran West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Mumbai: Shivnarine Chanderpaul will play his 150th Test when the second Test begins on Thursday, and the senior West Indies player on Tuesday said it will be a privilege to reach the milestone during a match which will also see batting great Sachin Tendulkar bring down curtains on his illustrious career after his 200th and final appearance.
"It is not everyday that someone gets to a 150th Test match, so it is a milestone for me. I am looking forward to it. Also Sachin is playing his 200th Test match, so would be honoured to be a part of it also," Chanderpaul told reporters here.
The 39-year old praised Tendulkar and said people can learn a lot from the Indian batsman. "It has been a privilege to be here and Sachin playing his 200th Test match. We have watched him over the years. There is so much [to learn] playing against him, watching from the other side," he said.
"It is always a joy to look at him bat even though he is batting against us. There is so much you can learn from a legend like him. He is a master of batting. His art, his skill and looking at him you can learn a lot."
The left-handed batsman recollected the India tour in 1994 and said that the bowlers found it difficult to bowl to Tendulkar. "In 1994 when we came here, he was batting, and in the beginning he was a little bit out of nick. He got some runs against New Zealand and then after that we couldn't figure out where to bowl to him.
"Some guys were saying that sometimes we probably need to bowl a little wider, he hit them for four. If you bowl him close, he still hit them for four. So where do we bowl to him. We couldn't work out a way to bowl to him; we were just hoping he would get out somehow," he said.
The Guyanese player said he never expected he would reach this far in international cricket. "I never thought I would get this far in the beginning. Who knows where you can go, if you keep persisting," he said.
Chanderpaul has scored 10,897 runs for West Indies in Tests, second to Brian Lara's record of 11,953 runs. When asked if he is eyeing at that record, he said: "It will be good to get there. It will be a lot of work. A 1000 runs might not look a lot but sometimes it can be a lot also. It is a lot of work to get there. If I do, I will be happy."
Asked if he should move higher in the batting order, Chanderpaul said: "I have been batting at five over the years. Our batting line-up is pretty well so far with the two openers. We have the young Bravo who has done well at number three.;Marlin Samuels who came in and has done well at number four. I have been batting at number five for a long period, for a long time. I think my position is okay but we need to bat a little longer."
He said that the biggest challenge has been to see his team lose. "It has been pretty tough, especially not winning. We started turning some corner. We started to move up the ranking and we just have to keep fighting," he said.