West Indies in India 2013-14 November 10, 2013

Gibson demands more from batsmen


Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, was expecting to spend Sunday watching his team fight in front of a full house as the light faded at Eden Gardens, as the first Test went into the fifth day. Instead, he was overlooking a three-hour training session under a harsh sun at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The innings-and-51-run defeat in Kolkata was West Indies' first inside three days during Gibson's tenure. He was unimpressed.

"There is only so much talking any coach can do," Gibson said, after his batsmen had wasted starts in both innings of the first Test. "When you play five batsmen, and you sit down and stress the importance of those five batsmen, and you set yourself a challenge of batting a day and a half in the first innings, it is then up to those five batsmen to negotiate whatever the opposition bowlers throw at them and hang around for five days.

"(But) When you have a run-out and a couple of soft dismissals within those five batsmen then it puts pressure on everybody else. That is exactly what happened. We have to get better. We have to learn those mistakes and try not to repeat them."

Marlon Samuels scored the only half-century for West Indies in the first Test. He was also the only batsman with a valid reason for his dismissals. In the first innings, Samuels was bowled by Mohammad Shami after the ball was changed and suddenly began to reverse swing. In the second, he was hit on the pad by another reverse-swinging delivery from Shami and was given lbw by umpire Nigel Llong, though the ball appeared to be going down leg side. The other batsmen had no such excuses.

The top-order batsmen Kieran Powell, Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo paid for playing loose shots. Shivnarine Chanderpaul was ineffective in the absence of stable partners. As for Denesh Ramdin, did he even turn up in Kolkata?

"Try and bat three days," Gibson responded, when asked how the West Indies batting could improve. "We won the toss in good batting conditions and we batted 70-odd overs. That is just not good enough. We know in India you have to bat long, put runs on the board, 400 minimum in the first innings really. So the 234 that we made was pretty average.

"We were little bit rusty coming in but we are not going to use that as an excuse. We still had our opportunities to make scores - we had six or seven guys who got starts and did not carry on. Only one guy got a half-century. When India batted only one or two of those guys got starts and made hundreds. And that was the difference."

According to Gibson, the five-batsman strategy is a recent one and it has worked for West Indies. Its success, however, depended on every player sticking to the plan, Gibson said. "When you look at the result you sort of want to think that way (whether the five-batsmen plan works). That line-up is the one with which we have played the last three or four Test matches. We backed those guys and they did not perform as well as they did in the past. It is a two-match series so we have to look at the combination to make sure we still believe strongly that we can win here."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 17, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Fixing WI cricket is a huge task if certain things are not done.First,the coach Gibson needs to go.His influence on the isnt working.Regroup these very boys who have lost to India.With a little adjustments here and there,use Chanderpaul as a senior adviser to the team,especially the younger ones.Drop Sammy,he is not test material and bring Simmons and Narine.Both Simmons and Narine are players with enormous potentials.The management needs to very open minded and work with the players.Tino Best is very promising,address his bowling flaws.Overall,if we do nothing we get nothing.

  • Anoop on November 13, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    Why dont they play Kirk Edwards , Dwayne Bravo and Narsing Deonarine ?

    My team would be : 1. Gayle 2.Powell 3.Krik Edwards 4. Darren Bravo 5.Chanderpaul 6. Samuels 7. Deonarine 8. Dwayne Bravo 9. Narine 10.Rampaul 11. Roach

  • Hildreth on November 13, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    GIBSON plays 5 batsmen and bats first against India in India. He reasons that if this strategy worked recently against the 3 lowest ranked teams in test cricket (New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) it should work against India currently ranked # 3 in the world. Where is the logic? It was obvious that if the plan was to bat first on winning the toss then the conventional 6 batsmen should have been played. Then he speaks about the performance of the batsmen. My question for the coach and selectors. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE A-TEAM ? They had a perfect opportunity to select a good batting line-up based upon the results of the A-team TOUR OF INDIA but failed to do so. Kraigg Brathwaite and Deonarine were the best batsmen in the 4-day games even out-performing the Indians. Kraigg scored over 300 runs at avg over 80 including a century. Pujara scored more runs but was inconsistent and most of his runs came in one inn of over 300. WHY WASN'T BRATHWAITE OR DEONARINE OR BOTH IN THE TEAM ?

  • Zeus on November 12, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    Well...what can I say...most other teams when they perform consistently badly, the board either sacks the coach or the captain, or in Pakistan's case, sack the entire team....West Indies continue to perform dismally without any change...heads don't roll so nobody sees the need to perform...I say sack somebody or persons and see how they improve...

  • o on November 12, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    @bajan0123 That would be my 11 also

  • matt on November 12, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    So for the point of placing chanderpaul high. U'll seem to miss how long this guy been playing and don't have respect for an aging cricketer. Its either He play as a stabilizer lower down or he doesn't play at all.5 is the highest he should bat in my opinion. If you bring him out too early in a 1st innings game you place you most secure player at risk of injury for 2nd innings. The only reason he is still playing is because the gap he will leave in the team. Ask your honestly If he decided to retire were would west Indies be in test match? Gibson needs to go along with Sammy.. and yes i targeting that Island. ps they should focus on developing a good wicket keeper batsman that can score at least 30 each match.

  • Dummy4 on November 12, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    Playing five batsmen, five bowlers and a keeper is a positive move in India. The problem is that the pressure is on the top order to deliver because if they don't, the tail is exposed with 4 wickets down. Besides Chanders, Gayle is the most experienced batsman and since his return from exile, he's only scored one century against NZ. We need him to take more responsibility at the top. Darren Bravo has also been a disappointment, for a man of his ability, he hasn't progressed the way i hoped. Samuels has been our best batsmen in the last 18 months and the aging Chanders is still the player we turn to in a crisis. Playing a Keeper at six has to be a batsman that can keep and not the other way round. So in hindsight Johnson Charles, Lendl Simmons or Andre Fletcher would've been better suited. Ramdin has the capability with two centuries against England's bowlers, but his consistancy is too poor to risk at six. I just hope the boyz can show more discipline and application in the 2nd test.

  • trevor on November 12, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    IT is to make drastic changes in WINDIES cricket-The coach must be more innovative in selecting the team with the selectors.Denish Ramdin looks unsure of himself with the bat,he didn't look good as the top keeper either.[3 drop catches] On this tour play Walton; Sammy is not a test batsman, neither is he a good captain.Watch the match again, see MS Dhoni in the field.No apologies here,Drop Sammy out of the test side;Move Chris Gayle down the order-oh yes! Open with Powell & Edwards-I am keeping Bravo-he needs to keep his focus always on winning. Chaderpaul will come in 1 down,then Samuels followed by GAYLE. Simmons replaces Sammy as the all-rounder,no need to bring Narine at this juncture;Allow Samuels to partner Shillingford-Holder,Rampaul [fitness] allowed.Powell captains this team along with Kirk Edwards.lETS PLAY WINNING CRICKET.

  • Bhanoo on November 12, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    Where do you start with Windies? Batsmen cannot bat 2 sessions, Chanders still refuses to take charge with the tail yet they continue to bat him late, with Sammy in the team you either lose a batsman or bowler, Permaul is not a test bowler yet, Narine is the best wicket taker and should be given more chances in tests, Tino is Tino, goodbye Ramdin talk nah. I hear calls for Deonarine but he is a 35 avg player at best. Useful but not a long term solution. Try a Kirk or Braithwaite even though Sarwan would have been better if he was mentally tougher. And again, one final but obvious thought on Sammy...an allrounder in TESTS (and ODIs if possible) must be able to hold his place in the team as either a pure batsman or bowler as opposed to 20/20. Sammy is neither and his record over many years confirms this yet he is persisted with. WHY??