West Indies in Bangladesh 2012-13 November 3, 2012

'WI targeting top five in Tests' - Gibson

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, wants his side to build on their success in 2012 by making it to the top five in the ICC Test rankings in 12 months' time. West Indies are currently at No.7, above New Zealand and bottom-placed Bangladesh, their opponents in the forthcoming two-Test tour starting November 13 in Mirpur.

West Indies lost the home series 2-0 against Australia before heading to England and conceding the Test series by the same margin. But they returned home and swept both Tests against a struggling New Zealand side, in addition to dominating the limited-overs matches. They carried forward their momentum to Sri Lanka where they lifted the World Twenty20 trophy.

"We have had a pretty solid 2012 so far so we want to finish on a winning note," Gibson said in Barbados before the team's departure for Bangladesh. "The aim is to find ways of moving up the (Test rankings) table. Because Bangladesh are below us, we will only be playing for two or three points. Our aim is to break into the top five in the next 12 months if possible."

West Indies suffered a setback when the fast bowler Kemar Roach suffered a knee injury during a club game in Barbados and had to pull out of the tour. He was replaced by Fidel Edwards. Gibson conceded that this was a blow, but was confident that Edwards, Ravi Rampaul and Tino Best would shoulder the responsibility well in foreign conditions.

Gibson said Roach's example was an eye opener for cricket boards to take steps to manage the workloads of certain players by ensuring they get enough rest as well as keep an eye on their fitness and conditioning.

"Last year during the regional tournament we took steps asking the regional boards to rest certain players who we felt needed a break. Roach's situation is unfortunate since he is on a very long break, since New Zealand," Gibson said. "He got hurt playing three weeks ago but didn't report it to anybody. In the past a lot of guys may have gone on tour with that injury, and if the injury happens in the first Test the team is a man short. We're trying to guard against that sort of stuff happening.

"You look at the amount of cricket these days, especially T20, a time will come when we need to tell a player or a regional board that this particular player needs a break. You put him in a strength and conditioning program. It's a realistic possibility that we could do stuff like that in the future."

Looking at West Indies' bowling attack, Gibson expected the spinner Sunil Narine to be a match-winner in Bangladesh, despite his inexperience in the longer formats. Narine has 12 wickets in three Tests with a five-wicket haul.

"Narine is a very fast learner. When he played his first Test it was on the back of very little first-class cricket and he had made his name in limited-overs cricket," Gibson said. "In alien conditions in England he didn't look very comfortable but when we returned to the Caribbean we saw the real Narine. Against New Zealand he started to bowl round the wicket so it shows that he is learning. We expect him to be a handful in Bangladesh and we believe he will be a match-winner in the long format as well."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hildreth on November 6, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    It's good that Coach Gibson is setting goals for Windies. I think this is achievable provided the coach and selectors make sensible decisions in selecting Windies' squads. It isn't SENSIBLE when you continue to ignore YOUNG fast bowling talent in the region and instead keep RECYCLING the same small group of fast bowlers and expect to get BETTER results. The combined bowling avg for Rampaul, Edwards & Best is almost 40. You only have to look at Australia after being drubbed by England have bounced back to #2 with some exciting young fast bowlers like Cummins and Pattinson. The coach and selectors must not forget that Windies past SUCCESS was largely due to the young, strong fast bowlers we produced and INTRODUCED to international cricket at the time. Our success waned when Walsh and Ambroise RETIRED and the cupboard run bare. We've a few good batsmen & spin bowlers but we need to build a larger pool of fast bowlers with INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE the best of whom to make test squad.

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    Check out these words of wisdom from the Australian coach.

    "I wouldn't want to disrespect any nation, but against a nation like South Africa right now, and we'd probably do the same against England and India, you want an experienced head to come in," Australia's coach Mickey Arthur said. "It's not a case of blooding a youngster. You can't blood a youngster against a team like South Africa. We want a guy who is very confident in his ability, a guy who knows his game backwards, and a guy that has got a little bit of experience. That gave Rob the nod."

    Maybe we can realize that cricket is success is achieved by experience and not youth. We write off players at 26. Australia starts them at 30.

  • Satish on November 5, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    They need two more bowlers to break into top 5. And need Chanders to continue for 2-3 years in same vein with Marlon and Gayle back in good form, they could threaten in batting department against good teams too. Gayle, Powell, Darren, Marlon, Chanders, Deo, Ramdin, Sammy, Rampaul, Narine an Roach would make a excellent team that might win many.

  • jaswant on November 5, 2012, 1:32 GMT

    It is a dream to see WI cricket towers once again.The GREAT Clive LLoyd era has left great memories of a champion side which brought tons of happiness to the region.Soon after his departure we were reduced from champion to the underdog. We saw the impeccable Richie Richardson,Alvin Kallicharran, Haynes,Greenidge,Dujohn,Holding,Roberts,Croft,Garner,but gone are those days.Today this important sport that bond the Caribbean people has been mismanaged by a handful of people who put their interest above the game.It is time they go.I am sure Gibson & Butts are good guys at heart,but we can well do without their services.

  • Jonathan on November 4, 2012, 22:51 GMT

    2 match test series really doesnt prove much anyways 2-0 in favour of west indies. my real problem is when West Indies play South Africa I wanna see Steyn vs Gayle or Kallis vs Narine

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    What ever happend to Devendra Bishoo or Shane Shillingford for that matter? Imagine if the Windies elected to play two spinners on Bangladeshi tracks, ithey would yield far more wickets, as the Bangladeshi batsmen have yet to see Narine or Bishoo fully enough to play each of them properly. If Gibson was smart, he would have put a word in for Bishoo to play along side Narine.

  • Axe on November 4, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    @ g.narsimha - dude, u comparing Pak to BD and Zim ? mind you, BD is way better than Pak.

  • narsimha on November 4, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    htc-androids- i believe u r cricketing knowledge is not up to date , IND beat wi home & way last time these 2 teams met it is PAK team which could not win in WI, infact till date no series victory to thier credit in WI where as WI HAD 3 SERIES WINS right from 1971 to recently concludede series , be convercent before posting coments on public domain like cricinfo .

  • narsimha on November 4, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    BRAVO BRAVO- WOW REALLY? remind u what was u r score line in AUS last time u r team visited 3-0, 5-0 , u r teamfailed N SL,still in the celebration mode of our last 2 white washes,those were in ENG, AUS now they are visiting,u r team is no-4 due to some un expected wins on spinner tracks in UAE but we all seen what happened once u came out even cant win iin SL , now u required to play in SA & LATER IN AUS cant emagine what will happen in those places to u team i am sure by the end of the SA TOUR u r team will comfortbl;ly placed in the company of BD, ZIM, only 3 points sepera IND & pak , at the end of ENG saries we will be either no-2 or 3 , so worry what is in store for u r team in coming moths .

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    The WI coach's target for a Top Five spot in Tests is SMART. Windies have a current crop of players who can deliver as long as they stay focused and motivated. There are no dominant Test team like the Windies or AUS of recent years.

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