West Indies in India 2011-12 November 4, 2011

Gibson backs fast bowlers to challenge India

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

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  • Dummy4 on November 6, 2011, 2:12 GMT

    India sent an A/B team to WI and had WI on d backfoot throughout. I expect a serious cutarse will be handed out but i hope the tour brings forth some new stars as WI is barely worth looking at currently. WI cant even half fill a small local stadium. Are we witnessing the final rites for cricket in WI?

  • Randolph on November 6, 2011, 1:37 GMT

    India's pop gun attack will get smashed to all parts by Edwards and Chanders. India is gonna come with their tail between their legs to Oz and get resoundly thumped. It won't matter though because the greedy stats hungry dead rubber specialist Sachin will get his hundred and all will be fine.

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    I don't think that Otis was actually contemplating 7 bowlers. I think he meant that it will take a lot of bowling to get India out. Naturally, he hopes to win. But how many of us WI supporters, really expect to beat India in India? Aren't we all looking forward to a decent fight from our team? If they draw all, I'd be happy

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    I just want to say to all the Gayle, Bravo, Polard and Taylor haters just remember these guys are getting oversea contracts because other clubs see there talents, just like in the sixties ,seventies ,eighties and early nineties most if not all our test players were playing club cricket in England and Australia. Mr Gibson and Mr Clive Lloyd even used the oppertunity to became residents of England. I also want to let Mr Bernard Liburd know that when these young batsman mature like Gayle and company they will be offered oversea contract then what get rid of them because they are not WI. The one thing WICB and there Staff do not have to worrier about is loosing there Captian because he is not good enouhg to go any where.

  • charlie on November 5, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    Is it possible for some of us to change the topic from the bashing of Sammy and Otis ,to something more insightful ? Every day it seems ,that the same people keep saying the same negative ,hateful things about these gentlemen ,while singing the praises of those whom they adore whether they are right or wrong . West Indies are on the right track towards their rebuilding process despite what some of you think ;and regardless of the outcome of the Indian tour ,I still believe this to be true .

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    As west indies hit the ground in India it is generally expect that India will clap- hand- roti on them. but as is often quoted and highlighted that this is a developing team and I am sure that there are specifics that the team will be targeting as they face India.The West indies knew of the strength of the Indians before they left the Caribbean therefore it is safe to understand that they came to India with a different plan than that for Bangladesh. I think at this stage it is not if India will beat the West indies but for us, is how well west indies play the mighty Indians? how long can west indies occupy the wicket? how focus is the team on its specific session by session strategy? the strength of our bowlers and their understanding of the effective use of the short ball is critical. Every cricket games provides an opportunity for learning from the opposition. At the end of the tour can we measure where we are as it relates to our overall goal of 2013 and 2015

  • Peter on November 5, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    West Indies have a better balanced side than India. No way would the West Indies lose 4-0 in England!

  • P on November 5, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    Mathematically, India has to not only win the series but win comprehensively because WI is a low ranked team in ICC rankings table. A loss or draw would be terrible for India and best for WI. India stands to loss more in a loss than WI in a loss. A win for India will give less point gain and a win for WI will give them high point gain because for India a win will be on home turf and for WI the win will be on foreign turf. I think WI can afford to take changes because it has more to gain and less to lose. India has to come full force against the WI. This series may not be very popular in terms of international viewership, but the octcome of the series will have a great impact on international cricket rankings.

  • Ashok on November 5, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    Some of the commenters here are sold on pace attack will do the trick.The real attack will come from the leg spinner, Young Bishoo. Pace attack will not work on the Indian pitches unless batsmen make mistakes.If Sehwag gets going, he will demolish the pace bowlers. Only saving feature is Sehwag has not played cricket for a while. So his form is questionable.The pace attack led by Finn (145-150 KPH) failed on the Indian pitches in the recent ODI series. WI does not have a bowler of the calibre of Finn. So you can draw your own conclusions.Gibson should review the Indian pitches before drawing his conclusions that pace will do the trick.He can go with 7 bowlers - who is going to bat? Also do not underestimate the Indian bowling. England did in the recent ODI's and got mauled 5-0.Ashwin, Ojha & Rahul present an excellent trio spinners backed by 2 young fast bowlers capable of bowling at 145 KPH. India also has first 4 batsmen who have scored an average of 55 in last 60 Tests since 2008.

  • lion on November 5, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    all the pitches in this series should be relatively quick tracks for indian standards so we can have a better practice to adjust to pace which will be handy for aussie tour.

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