England news March 3, 2014

Gayle threatens England spinners - Gibson


#politeenquiries: Was the North Sound pitch bad for cricket?

Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, has warned England they will face a far tougher proposition when Chris Gayle returns to the side.

Gayle, who has been unavailable for the ODI series in Antigua due to a back injury, is due to return to the nets in Barbados over the next couple of days with a view to playing in the T20 series on the island that starts on Sunday.

West Indies' top-order have struggled in both the first two games. Wrong-footed by England's tactic of using their spinners in the opening overs - England utilised four spinners within the first 12 overs in the second ODI - West Indies slipped to 45-5 in the first match and 30-3 in the second.

While Gibson accepted that his side's top-order batting had been "pretty average", he believes there is nothing to fear in England's spin attack and that Gayle's return will force England to reconsider their approach of utilising spin bowling in the open overs.

"Chris will be back," Gibson said. "That will make a huge difference to our approach and how other teams approach us. Chris facing this spin might be a little bit different. He will be in Barbados in the next couple of days getting ready for the T20. All the reports suggest he should be ready.

"There's been some pretty average batting over the course of the two games. We got out of jail in the first game with Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo putting on 100 in 7 overs at the end, but that's not going to happen every day. We need to play better at the top of the order.

"We played the spin quite well at the World T20 in Sri Lanka two years ago and we know we can play it better than this. We just have to go out and do it.

"We've got Saqlain Mushtaq in our coaching team and our guys face him in the nets. And if you can play Saqlain, you should be able to handle Joe Root a little bit better. James Tredwell is the main spinner and he hasn't had a lot of wickets. He's bowled tight but he's not spun us out. To be losing wickets at the top of the order to Root and Moeen Ali, well, that hurts a little bit.

"On the first day, we never expected Root to open the bowling and bowl tight the way he did. So we had a good meeting and discussed it. But to come back and the same thing to happen again in the second game is disappointing for sure."

While Gibson accepted that this ODI series pitted two "tentative" teams against one another, he did celebrate the participation of Sunil Narine.

Narine has proved close to unplayable at times in the first two ODIs on the spin-friendly surface in Antigua, conceding just 61 runs in 20 overs so far and leading Gibson to hail him "the No. 1 spinner in the world."

"Every team we've played against in these conditions has struggled to pick him and score off him," Gibson said. "He's the No.1 spinner in the world and we're happy to have him in our team for sure.

"But these are just two teams seeking desperately to play some good cricket. Everybody looks very tentative. Our batsmen look tentative against their spinners up front and their batsmen look tentative also. That's what happens when you have two pretty fragile teams playing against one another."

Gibson also expressed his confusion over the dismissal of Dwayne Bravo in the second ODI. West Indies' captain was adjudged to be out stumped by a fumbling Jos Buttler despite inconclusive evidence that the ball hit the stumps or was in the keeper's hands when the bails were removed.

"I'm still confused," Gibson said. "I never saw anything that said the ball hit the stumps. But we're not allowed to discuss those things.

"The captain was in, and was getting a good score and got 80 odd in the first game. It was a turning point in the match.

"There was nothing conclusive for us upstairs. I'm sure they know why they gave it out, but it changed the game from our point of view."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • STEVEN on March 8, 2014, 22:11 GMT

    CHRISTOPHER GAYLE is a big failure in the WI team he only perform for IPL remember when he failed against Bangladesh he should step aside and gave someone else a chance

  • Nabil on March 5, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    Us as West Indian fans need to make a push for Chanderpaul to be in the ODI side. West Indies doesn't play lot of test cricket and they are supposedly saving him for tests. He absolutely has a roll to play in this current WI ODI team and I want to see as much cricket with him as possible. Anyone that says he can't play this format needs to compare his ODI stats vs the current crop of players and see how vastly better he is. Or they don't even need to go so far, just look at the last regional ODI tournament and see what he did. To deny the West Indian public of his services to me is a crime and he would instantly improve the team. Supporters can we join together in voicing our concerns!

  • Robin on March 4, 2014, 18:18 GMT

    England must be shaking in their boots, Ha Ha!!. He is just going to fend it to slips/keeper off the fast stuff, don't thing C Broad is too worried. The WI 4 day tournament is on also, a breeding ground to groom some test players. However, only two teams played into the 4th day, leeward islands and the college team. No wonder the WI keep loosing test in 3 days. Why is Colin Croft not the WICB president [because he is a rebel]? one of the few people in the Caribbean who can read and analyzed the situation, he would break out the broom and clean house, too many players who are not committed to their development and blaming other. EXUMA

  • jaswant on March 4, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    I think Gibson has defeated the wisdom of the Caribbean people.Why would this guy speak of Gayle who has not been in form for more than six months,while ready to play, is Shivnarine Chanderpaul who has scored two fifties in the recently concluded 50 overs competition.From day one playing for the WI and until today,he remains one of the world's top batsmen.With over 8,500 runs in ODI, an avg of 41, a strike rate of 70,11 centuries,59 fifties,it is baffling to think that he is not playing.He has the 4th fastest test hundred,and that is against Australia.He hit Steve Harmimnson for 5 fours and a six in a ODI.Why Gibson Why? Do you have something against this West Indian great?

  • cricfan23284213 on March 4, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    Before Gayle can threaten England spin he first have to get past there fast bowlers and the way he is playing right now I don't see that happening. Bring back Shiv to teach the youngsters. Gibson must go!!

  • Android on March 4, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    narine is a GOOD SPIN BOWLER give him his due, yea he ain't from india or pakistan like some of the best but the fact of the matter is he is someone who gives the best the most trouble....and yea he hasn't proved himself as yet with the red ball but whether you want to agree or not he would always get that respect from the batsman at the crease!!

  • Ian on March 4, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    Was Bravo done by Erasmus, the random decision generating machine? I wasn't impressed with him in the Eng v Aus Ashes in England last year.

    Bowling Joe Root is a risk, but if he's part of a six man attack it's a risk you can take. I reckon he has the talent to become an allrounder, but isn't one right now.

    As for Narine being the world's best spinner, I just split my sides laughing and lost a kidney. So far, he's proved to be a decent bowler in the limited overs stuff but pretty average in longer games. He might prove to be in the future, but right now? Nah!

    Gayle is in need of a new decent non-IPL performances. The only thing in his favour is that the World Twenty20 is on the subcontinent, where he's recently done quite well.

  • Derek on March 4, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    At least Gibson unlike the other 20000 coaches and armchair selectors of that regions cricket is waking up to the fact that this game is not just about bowling quickly. He now new need to turn his attention to realise that all it takes to finish off WI is one ball. If all his hopes are pinned on Gayle. I shocked that a coach would publicly make this declaration.

  • adit on March 4, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    Gibson is playing the psychological scare tactics well. This can drive fear into the opposition similar to sledging tactics but whether it works is debatable. The proof of the pudding lies in the middle, so let's see what the boys will do. He is laying too much emphasis on one player rather than the team. He should listen to Croft. Why is Chanderpaul not in this team????? If Sarwan is fit why is he still sidelined????

  • John on March 4, 2014, 3:49 GMT

    It is true that the return of Gayle at the top of the order should improve WI but the same could be said of the return of Morgan for England. In fact, while Gayle's T20 stats are a bit better than Morgan's, the reverse is true for their ODI stats.

    With regards to Bravo's dismissal in game 2, as an England fan I want to believe that it was out but I think that the consensus is that, while it may have been out, most people would not have given it out based on the evidence available. That said, WI players and fans shouldn't pin too much on that one event because there's really nothing specific to suggest that the game would have gone much differently had that decision gone the other way. Also, it's not like he was given out stumped when his foot was still behind the crease. He was well and truly beaten and deserved to be out so, if he'd survived, it would have been a huge stroke of luck. To rely on that sort of luck to win games is not a sound strategy.

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