Shivnarine Chanderpaul prays every morning and meditates every night. The reason is simple: he is a devout Hindu.

But it’s tempting to wonder whether he offers up the occasional word for West Indies cricket.

The career of Chanderpaul, the 37-year-old Guyanese phenomenon who recently rose to the top of the world Test rankings, has generally developed along lines diametrically opposed to the fortunes of his Test team…

‘Passing 10,000 Test runs was always my dream,’ he said. ‘It was unbelievable when it happened. I was very excited and when I reached the moment, it really dawned on me – and I started thanking God.

‘I pray every morning when I get up, and meditate at night. Without God nothing is possible. Whenever I’m on the field I like to do my prayers also. Because whenever you step onto the park it’s only you and God out there.

‘Your team-mates are there too, but only God knows what’s going to happen next…’

Now, he must help them deal with England’s powerful seam attack in their own conditions. And the sun isn’t expected to shine.

‘Obviously with the experience I’ve got out here playing county cricket and a few tours here too, I know the challenges,’ he said at a function for Sport For Life, a community education and cricket programme for disadvantaged children.

‘But it’s pretty difficult.

‘Normally in the Caribbean the wickets aren’t going to do as much as they do out here, so you don’t play in the same way. You have to pass on information to the younger guys: how not to go too hard at the ball, and wait on it a little longer because it does more off the seam and it does it a bit later than back home.’

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