Gibson backs fast bowlers to challenge India
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson is banking on his pace bowlers to challenge India's strong batting line-up during the three-Test series starting at Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday. West Indies arrived in the country following a short tour of Bangladesh, where they won the Test series 1-0.
Gibson said the team is high on confidence after that win and are suitably warmed-up to subcontinental conditions.
"Over the last six to 12 months our fast bowlers, Ravi Rampaul, Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach and Darren Sammy have done well and won us matches," Gibson said. "We know that India obviously will be heavy on spin but we believe in the quality of our fast bowlers.
"We have Fidel bowling quick at the moment and we hope we can cause some problems to the formidable Indian batting line-up. We believe that we have the quality to back ourselves. We know that the ball doesn't swing very long. You need to have added skills and we pay a lot of attention to that. We are skilled enough to reverse it and get wickets as well."
India are playing their first Test series since their poor tour of England where they were whitewashed 4-0. The injury-ravaged team struggled against the fast bowlers, and as a result, lost their No.1 ranking in Tests. Gibson said India were still a formidable side despite their recent setback.
"Against this Indian batting line-up, you probably need to play seven bowlers," Gibson said. "We will look at that over the course of the next few days and work on our combination."
Edwards and legspinner Davendra Bishoo took five-wicket hauls in the second Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur, which the visitors won comfortably by 229 runs. Gibson praised Bishoo's performance in Bangladesh and was confident he would be a threat in India as well.
"Bishoo is a talented bowler and has got 32 wickets in seven games. He never hesitates to ask questions and his capacity for learning is showing. Coming to India, he understands that he can really come into his game in these conditions.
Commenting on India's bowling combination Gibson said felt that India may not feel the absence of offspinner Harbhajan Singh, who was overlooked in favour of the rising R Ashwin.
"Somebody like Harbhajan has taken a lot of wickets and you might look at that (his absence) as a negative but Ashwin has been outstanding in one-day cricket. When a player makes his debut, people tend to think 'oh he may not be ready' but obviously the selectors believe that he is ready and that makes him very dangerous."