Shiv the new star

Shivnarine Chanderpaul has scored consecutive hundreds against Australia (REUTERS)

Shivnarine Chanderpaul has revealed that hour upon hour of extra practise have helped his capability to bat long periods in Test cricket.

The 33-year-old Chanderpaul said spending excessively long hours in the nets at the mercy of a bowling machine was part of the reason why he has emerged from the shadow of Brian Lara in the last 18 months to become the leading West Indies batsman in recent years.

"It's all part of my preparation," said Chanderpaul, after another marathon innings this week helped West Indies draw the second Test against Australia at the Viv Richards Cricket Ground.

"You never know what will happen in the middle and what the bowlers will bowl to you, so you have to prepare yourself and get your mind adjusted to being able to bat for long hours."

A West Indies team spokesman indicated that he has seen Chanderpaul bat for as long as three hours with a bowling machine, and then still take deliveries from a net bowler for another hour.

"A session of Test cricket lasts two hours – sometimes two-and-a-half hours, so you have to prepare yourself to do this or go longer, and trying not to make too many mistakes when batting," said Chanderpaul.

Chanderpaul is not the typically flamboyant West Indies batsman, but he has improved his consistency over the last three years and maintains a healthy average of 48.59 in his 111 Tests.

He earned the man-of-the-match award in the second Test. He top-scored with an undefeated 107 – his 19th Test hundred – in the West Indies' first innings total of 352, in response to Australia's 479-7 declared.

He followed this up with his match-saving knock of 77 not out in the second innings. (AFP) all square at lunch England reached 84-2 at lunch on the first day of the third and final test against New Zealand yesterday after the dismissals of Alastair Cook and Michael Vaughan. Earlier, New Zealand made one change from the second test, dropping James Marshall and giving wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins a test debut, with a back injury forcing keeper Brendon McCullum to play solely as a batsman. England need only to avoid defeat to claim a series victory.

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