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‘This is my best century’

Calcutta: Bishan Singh Bedi proved to be prophetic at the Eden. Nothing came easy on Friday, the third day as all runs and wickets had to be earned.

As Shivnarine Chanderpaul celebrated his sixth century, five of which have come against India, with a waving of the bat followed by kissing the turf, his wife clapped in appreciation in the one of the boxes on the lower tier of the Club House.

“Everytime that happens is because of God and you’ve got to thank him for it,” said Chanderpaul.

At the end of the day, the Indians were left rueing the state of the pitch.

“It’s not easy to play shots on this sort of a wicket, but once you get in, you’ve got to graft your way. I went out and did just that,” Chanderpaul added.

The lefthander from Guyana regards this unbeaten 136 his best. “This is the first of the series and the first overseas. It’s the best,” he felt. Chanderpaul is only four runs away from overhauling his highest Test score. Along with Marlon Samuels he added 191 runs in 56.5 overs, staying at the crease for about 234 minutes, to take the pressure off the Windies after the fall of two quick wickets — those of Chris Gayle and skipper Carl Hooper — in the morning session.

Shy and introvert, Chanderpaul said there “was no secret” behind his run proficiency against the country from where his ancestors hailed.

He was full of praise for Samuels, who was unbeaten on a career-best 89 in only his first game of the series. “It’s good to have a batsman who takes a lot of pressure off you,” he said.

A man of few words, Chanderpaul answered in the positive when asked if he felt the West Indies stood a good chance in this Test. He also felt that this was the best wicket they have played on in this series.

Why were the Indian spinners unable to pick the wickets with unfailing regularity like in the previous two Tests' “The wicket was a little better to bat on.”

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