The legendary Sir Garfield Sobers managed to score 26 centuries for the West Indies, a figure which has just been reached by Shivnarine Chanderpaul during the course of the opening Test against Bangladesh.
Chanderpaul equalled his previous best Test score of 203 not out when Darren Sammy declared with his team on an imposing 527 for four.
At stumps, Bangladesh closed on 164 for three after blazing away at the beginning of their innings, leading bet365 to make West Indies 4/9 favourites to win the match.
Ever modest and humble, Chanderpaul played down any comparisons between himself and the greatest all-rounder the West Indies has ever produced.
"Sir Garry is Sir Garry," he said. "Being level on centuries with Sir Garry is good, but I cannot be Sir Garry. I have played a lot more games than Sir Garry, but it’s still a great honour to be mentioned in the same sentence with Sir Garry.
"In my career, I have not scored too many Test double hundreds, so it was truly satisfying to get past that landmark.
"The team comes first [so I am not concerned about passing my highest Test score]. No matter what is the individual’s score. Whatever is the team plan, we have to stick to it. I was just happy to get past 200."
Despite making his debut as far back as 1994 and now being one of the most senior players in the side, Chanderpaul says his desire to keep on improving and work on his game is one of the reasons he is still scoring runs.
"It is something that I have tried very hard over the years to do," he said. "I’ve tried hard to improve and tried hard to get better at everything I do. I’m happy that I am still able to score hundreds and batting well at this stage.
"Where I bat could be one of the reasons why I have not scored many more double hundreds. But I had many opportunities to get big scores and I didn’t. It’s unfortunate, but it’s how the game is played at times, so I was thankful that I was able to cross the double-hundred mark this time."
He also had some interesting words for opener Kieran Powell, who set the West Indies on their way with 117, saying:
"Powell played a fantastic innings. Unfortunately, he got out when he did. I had a quiet chat with him about the way he got out.
"I’ve seen him score two Test hundreds already and I do not see anybody getting him out. He’s the one giving his wicket away. This is something about which I have spoken to him. I feel West Indies cricket looks very bright for the future. We have some really good, young players."
The future may be bright for the West Indies but their immediate sights are set on making Bangladesh again, and with the home side needing another 164 runs to avoid the follow-on, the cards are stacked heavily in the visitor's favour.
© Cricket World 2012
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