Champions Trophy 2013 May 28, 2013

Gibson picks England as favourites

ESPNcricinfo staff

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson has picked out hosts England as the team to beat in this year's Champions Trophy because of their familiarity with conditions in the early summer.

"England would be the best team to play in England in these conditions at this time of the year" Gibson said. The tournament will be played between June 6 and 23, and James Anderson and Stuart Broad have found form in the on-going Test series against New Zealand. "To my mind, they are the favourites and for the rest of the seven teams, it is who gets settled and used to the conditions quickly enough.

"And that's what our aim is - to get there and get ourselves acclimatised as quickly as possible," Gibson said. "We know that we have a lot of guys who have played in England before in those conditions but it is all about gelling as soon as we can and making sure that when the main event comes on June 7, we are ready for that."

West Indies, who had won the Champions Trophy the last time it was held in England in 2004, square off against Pakistan in their first match at The Oval.

Gibson's prediction and wariness of English conditions were not unfounded. At almost the same time last year when West Indies toured England, their sole victory was in a one-day game against Middlesex. Though Marlon Samuels racked up a century and three fifties, England won the three Test series 2-0 and then wrapped up the three-ODI series 2-0 and lone T20 as well.

West Indies, however, rounded off 2012 by becoming the T20 world champions, beating the hosts Sri Lanka in the final. "Winning major events gives the confidence" Gibson said. "There will be some pressure of course, but the fact that we have won the last major event means that we get confidence from it also, and there is a lot of belief among the players."

Gibson said the conditions might also impact the playing eleven. "It might be that we think when we are playing subcontinental teams that play spin very well, we might want to play an extra fast bowler or whatever the case may be. We don't know that yet."

West Indies, who had their first training session in Cardiff on Monday, targeted repeating their 2004 victory despite being in a group featuring India, South Africa and Pakistan. "Getting out of the group is our first challenge and getting to the quarter-finals and semi-finals, and then our aim is to be playing on the 23rd, in the finals. I think we have a pretty good record in finals."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kent on June 1, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Very disappointed in Gibson's comments about England being favourites. Seems he has already given up on WI. What message is he sending to the players on the squad? Even if he may feel that the English conditions are best suited to England, there is no reason to go public on this. Gibson what are you trying to prove your knowledge of the game? Your ability to predict results? That is not your job, refrain from being a cricket pundit and be a coach to this team. They need all the encouragement they can get. With your knowledge of English conditions lets plot a way to win this thing for the WI. Use your time and energy to get the boys in shape for this, and leave your public relations gimmicks in your backpocket.

  • ADARSH on May 31, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    According to the conditions- Englard, Australia, Newzealand and South Africa have clear edge above the rest.

    According to the batting line-up- England, India, West Indies, South Africa and Srilanka have an edge.

    According to the bowling line-up- England, Pakistan and South Africa are favourites.

    According to the fielding excellency- India, Australia, West Indies and Srilanka are good.

    England are the favorites at all aspects. South Africa and West Indies are 2nd favorites bt still they have to perform well and must see how they handle pressure situation.

    Newzealand and Pakistan are unpredictable and must see how they perform this time.

    India and Australia are weak in team composition as most of the players lack experience but are dynamic in field. But both the teams can find new talents for future eventhough if they couldnt perform well this time :)

  • ADARSH on May 31, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    England is clearly the favourite tis time and have a good team with experience and fresh talent.

    Team should be 1) Cook 2) Buttler 3) Trott 4) Morgan 5) Root 6) Bopara 7) Tredwell 8) Anderson 9) Broad 10) Swann 11 ) Woakes.

  • Parthiban on May 30, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    I can't believe that such a poor reader of the game is the Windies coach. How cqn anybody remotely interested in the game predict that England are the favourites for ODI tournament. Hello Otis... The 80s called...They want you back.

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    Brave pick by Gibson frankly I see a South Africa being a threat along with Unpredictable Pakistan ( despite the fact that they are in the toughest group! but that's a good thing one win against a tough foe and you know you will be in ). South Africa has remarkable bowling skills for English conditions and Pakistan are always a handful on their day, something tell me England will be there for sure but whoever wins the India-Pakistan match will be second and go through! excitement at its best.

  • Narabavi on May 29, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    I don't see any chance for India this time. South Africa & Pakistan will qualify for semi finals along with Sri Lanka & New Zealand.

  • Prbath on May 29, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    in ICC Main Events, No team perform Better than Sri Lanka and Australia, this time will not be any deference, mark my words

  • Alex on May 29, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    After this statement by Coach Otis Gibson , I will be looking closely at the relationship between BRAVO/GIBSON for the series . WI are in England to WIN , if not why make the trip . It seems to me that the Coach think that we (WI) are dead and bury before a ball bowl .

  • Rajkumar on May 29, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks--had just laughed my heart out reading your comment about SL 'greats' in England and unknown machinery Kusal Perera.just now spilled the evening coffee all over my laptop reading your joke of a comment-SL Vs Eng final...wonder what follows...really cant laugh more than this yaar..give me a break..

  • Michael on May 29, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    It may be hard to decide who is going to win this competition,one thing is for sure:-it will not be Bangladesh unless something weird happens. Of the rest I wouild discount Sri Lanka at first and India who have quality except for these conditions. Kiwis have the bowlers minus Boult but the batting is weak.;they are mostly acclimatised though. Windies look okay but need confidence to play well. Pakistan are an interesting bet having come over early to play a few games and couild do well-certainly semis,I think. South Africa probably would get another semi spot because of seamer quality and runs at the top. Australia will enjoy the challenge and if the wickets favour seam would do well, but lack batting class. England should reach the finals even without KP but we know what they are like on paper. I would suggest though E v Pak/SA in Final. I would rather SA than Pak as an Englishman.