ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

England v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, Chennai

Gibson envies England resilience

Siddarth Ravindran at the Chidambaram Stadium

March 17, 2011

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Andre Russell produced a fine innings to keep West Indies on course, England v West Indies, World Cup, Group B, March 17, 2011
Andre Russell carried West Indies to the brink of victory © Getty Images
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England's World Cup campaign has provided enough thrills for even the most ardent adrenaline junkie, and though they lurched from terrific to terrible once again, they soaked up the blows from West Indies at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and hung on for a tight win that keeps them in the tournament.

West Indies had the game firmly in their grip on several occasions, but every time, England managed to squeeze out of trouble. At 151 for 6, England's tail was exposed but West Indies didn't bring on their spearhead, Kemar Roach, and instead chose to use the less menacing Sulieman Benn and Kieron Pollard, which allowed Luke Wright to lead a revival.

During the chase, they had England on the mat, first after the all-out-attack from Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy, and later when the Andre Russell-Ramnaresh Sarwan stand took them close, but on both occasions a clutch of wickets undermined their chances of victory. West Indies coach Ottis Gibson wants his side to grasp some of England's scrapping ability, which he feels will be vital for Caribbean cricket to rise again.

"England have been a resilient side for a long time, they don't always play their best game, but somebody stands up, today it was Tredwell, Luke Wright's been waiting for a game a while as well, he had a good game with the bat," Gibson said after the game. "They have got the resilience that we are looking for."

West Indies came out chasing 243 as though it was 343, with Gayle initially setting a scorching pace before Sammy blasted three sixes to keep the run-rate at seven an over. It was a bizarre scorecard, with the top six batsmen either going berzerk at close to two runs a ball, or dropping anchor at a strike-rate of 45 or less - as though only first gear and top gear existed.

Gibson said the power-hitting from Gayle and Sammy was part of their strategy. "The hardness of the ball made it easier for stroke-play, as the ball got softer it became a lot harder to bat," he said. "We knew the ball would stay a little bit in the pitch and that it would turn a lot more when it was softer, so the strategy was to capitalise on the early overs which we did. We were always at five an over (required rate). What we needed was somebody to see us through, and that didn't happen."

While using Sammy as a pinch-hitter was a planned move, pushing the wicketkeeper Devon Thomas to No. 4 was less so. "A toilet break," Gibson revealed as the reason behind the change. "Sarwan couldn't make it to the crease in time, that's why Thomas came."

Despite the defeat, Gibson said that the performance of the two newcomers, allrounder Russell and legspinner Devendra Bishoo, gave him cause for optimism. Russell picked up four wickets before his quickfire 49 took West Indies close to the finish line. "Great performance from Andre Russell today in only his second international game," he said, "bowling very well and then making a good 49, putting on a good partnership with Sarwan."

Bishoo impressed on debut, with three wickets including those of Jonathan Trott and Eoin Morgan. "You saw the emergence of young Devendra Bishoo, another little gem we have known about for a while, who came here and did a great job with his legspinners," Gibson said. "Roach, Russell, Dwayne Bravo, all those guys are under 25, they are going to be the nucleus of the West Indies team for a long time to come. As a coach, there is a hell of a lot to take out of this [defeat] and move forward with."

The defeat in Chennai means West Indies could face a must-win tie against India on Sunday, if Bangladesh manage to upset South Africa on Saturday. A Bangladesh defeat will almost certainly send West Indies into the quarter-finals, irrespective of the outcome against India. "We haven't beaten a top team in some 20 months," said Gibson. "We would like to do that [on Sunday], we had another opportunity today, we didn't take it but we are getting closer."

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 26 
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Posted by Michael on (March 20, 2011, 9:47 GMT)

@Jignesh Patel_007 !WI relying on one man - Pollard ???.Against the test playing nations???Look ! his av.against them is 19.94 !Pollard had 2 chances TO BAT against Eng.,and could only score 24.@Ram Jagendran !Every time Pollard fails,people like you make a lot of excuses !Look !against Eng.Pollard got out in the 28th.over,against Ireland,he came in the32nd over and scored 94.In other words if you don't understand,he had a harder ball against England.His technique is poor,playing back and down,instead of using his height to play forward,like Russell did as soon as he came in.@Paddy Rasta ! this is not hatred ! those are facts and constructive criticism !

Posted by JIGNESH on (March 19, 2011, 7:21 GMT)

West Indies has proved what they can do in this world cup. The whole team depend on only one batsman-Pollard. If Pollard would have made half century like last time, they sure would have won. 243 runs was not a big score, but like I said they cannot go further without Pollard's contribution. Some bunch of morons think they could have world cup like Lloyd and his company had twice. By the way, the big guns like Gayle and Sarwan proved that they are only and only chumps. And of course, Chanderpaul is worse than chumps. Have anybody seen how he stands-up on the crease in this world cup? Only the hard hitters can stand like that, so they can hit the ball very hard towards leg side, but this idiot was standing like that and played every shot towards off-side and mostly defended. Sarwan, Chanderpaul, and Gayle should retire or start to play like they used to.

Posted by Douglas on (March 19, 2011, 1:46 GMT)

Keep the same team for the India game, except Chanderpaul for Smith to foil Windies batting weakness against spin.

Posted by John on (March 18, 2011, 22:22 GMT)

Roach and Russell looked pretty good and hopefully WI will give them a chance to mature into an effective opening pair. Bishoo bowled well, too. WI still need a good 3rd seamer and a genuine wicket-taking all-rounder would help; Pollard looks no more than a one-day fill-in. The batting is more of a problem. Gayle is 31 now and hasn't that much time left. Chanderpaul is at the end of his career. Sarwan is no more than steady. Apart from Darren Bravo, there doesn't seem to be much young talent coming up. Pollard could be useful, but he needs to learn to play a long innings. My memory goes back to the great West Indian team of the 1960s, with Frank Worrell, Hunte, Hall, Griffith, Gibbs and the best player of all time, Gary Sobers. Then there were the teams of the 80s and 90s, with Richards, Greenidge, Haynes and all the great fast bowlers. Cricket needs the WI to bounce back and produce players like that again.

Posted by Edgar on (March 18, 2011, 20:57 GMT)

All the post mortems from WI about not having killer instinct, having them on the ropes, etc etc. The question is-who is accountable? The man in charge on the field that is who. I share the view that the captain does not make the first 13; when do WI pick a player for his fielding or leadership abilities? If this was the case Ganga would have been Captain ages ago. If it is not good for one it cannot be good for the other; there are at least four players not even in the squad who make the team before Sammy- Lendl Simmons/Gavin Tonge/Dave Mohammed/Marlon Samuels (he even declined to come over). If you cannot or will not put your best 11 on the field, then you will be always making excuses.

Posted by Mark on (March 18, 2011, 17:21 GMT)

Being a huge west indies cricket fan. Wishing them all success. I was sad that they lost. However I think the west indies have group of good talented athlete cricketers, that can build for the future. I think the WI should continue the way they are going, I think things are looking up for their cricket. This team WI team has been hugely entertaining. The cricket world desperately wants a strong WI side because it is so good for the sport when they do. Wishing West Indies cricket team and their fans all the best for the future.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 18, 2011, 13:56 GMT)

hey chris the batting line up against india should be: Chris Gayle chanderpaul darren bravo Sammy Sarwan Pollard Russell Thomas Benn Bishoo Roach ie. chander needs to bat through the whole innings, rotate the strike while the other guys strike the ball..... thats is the winning receipt against the indians.. good luck

Posted by Len on (March 18, 2011, 8:33 GMT)

That the WIndies fail when the pressure was on against England was not a surprise. What I find laughable was the comments by WIndies players before the England game. Pollard was bigging himself up, all because he scored runs against a weak Irish attack and Sammy was writing England off, implying they were a tired outfit and would not be up for a fight. This WIndies team WILL NEVER move forward until they stop bigging themselves up when they have achieved nothing and start to PUBLICLY talk about their bowling batting, fielding and team preparation. In finishing, THEY WILL LOSE TO INDIA.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 18, 2011, 8:31 GMT)

The only thing required now is belief we can win.West Indies are playing like a top team finally, all these results have come even though the batting has not performed as expected,amazing.This is our World Cup,Sammy has proven himself to be an excellent captain leading from the front.He was not my first choice but i am happy to see how wrong i was. The bowling is top class with good guys on the bench if needed.Fix the batting now guys its the quarter finals after this. I don't think both chanderpaul and smith should play in the same game given how they are performing, its either or ,with my vote going to chanders to open. Sarwan needs to come through this should be his last chance,it probably is not totally his fault he is under-performing given his shoddy treatment by the board in the past but its do or die time. Pollard should bat at No.5 with one caveat, if the openers do their job he should come in before Sarwan at No.4 to finish. India and then Australia guys,we are winners

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 18, 2011, 7:32 GMT)

K Pollard loves to hit the harder ball and he does not get his chance to do so. Sammy came at 3 and enjoyed hitting and if Pollard had followed him England would not have had a hance.

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