New Zealand v West Indies, 1st Test, Dunedin December 1, 2013

Gibson hopeful over bowlers' actions


Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, is optimistic that Shane Shillingford and Marlon Samuels will receive positive news on their bowling actions following tests conducted in Perth, but it is not yet certain whether Shillingford will play in the opening Test against New Zealand after what Gibson conceded had been a tough time for the pair.

Samuels is all but certain to line up in the middle order as his primary role is with bat rather than ball, but Gibson wants more time to assess Shillingford's mindset before making the final decision over which frontline spin option to go for in Dunedin.

Although both players are free to continue their international careers pending the report on their actions - which is expected in 14 days - the cloud surrounding them has taken its toll. Sunil Narine, who was a late addition to the squad, and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul are the other slow bowlers available.

"When we travelled back on the plane we spoke about it. It's tough for them, but I thought they coped with it quite well and will definitely come into the reckoning for this Test," Gibson said. "Marlon bats for us more so than bowls so it shouldn't be an issue for him, but with Shane I'll speak to him again tonight and see how he is. He'll have a good training session tomorrow and we'll judge from there which of the spinners will play."

Shillingford, Samuels and Gibson only arrived in Dunedin on Sunday morning - shortly before West Indies' first training session of the tour - having travelled directly to Perth after the one-day series in India. Both players had their actions reported during the second Test against India, in Mumbai, and the ICC regulations required them to be tested within 21 days.

"The initial feedback from the people doing the testing was positive," Gibson said. "The ICC set these rules or guidelines and the players have adhered to everything they were asked to do. We get a report in 14 days and we hope it's a positive one so the players can put the episode behind them and focus on their cricket."

West Indies will be desperate for Shillingford to be mentally ready for the Test otherwise they will have an even more threadbare attack.Tino Best will be partnered by either Shannon Gabriel (four Tests) or Sheldon Cottrell (one Test) with Darren Sammy as third seamer and Gibson has put the onus on Best to shoulder the responsibility.

"It's a good chance for Tino to show his leadership, he's been around international since 2002, and with Kemar [Roach] and Ravi [Rampaul] missing he can show his true self. He's a quality bowler and will have to step up on this trip so the young bowlers can feed off him."

The members of West Indies' squad who arrived from the one-day series in India are still struggling to shake off jetlag (and a temperature change of about 20 degrees). Coupled with the inexperience of the squad - only two, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Denesh Ramdin, have previously toured New Zealand - it has made for a haphazard build-up for a team that does not have a record of travelling well but Gibson has urged his players to not look for excuses.

"The biggest problem at the moment is getting everyone sleeping properly," Gibson admitted. "They are still up at 2-3 am. It's been a bit disjointed but it's up to us to accept that, that's all I'm asking the guys to do - forget about the flights and stuff and focus on the cricket. The easy thing to do would be to sit back and blame the fact that we didn't have much preparation but we've played a lot of cricket."

To add to the problems, Kraigg Brathwaite, the replacement for Chris Gayle, has still not arrived in New Zeland due to what is understood to be visa issues. It is hoped he will join on Monday, but with just 24 hours to prepare for a Test it seems highly unlikely he will be a viable candidate for the top order meaning that Kirk Edwards, who played his previous Test against England at Trent Bridge in May 2012, would partner Kieran Powell.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Non Bias on December 2, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    #Petra; They can include J. Charles and not drop Chanderpaul.. I think test cricket may help charles pick up some from

  • Dummy4 on December 2, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta, Rampaul and Roach were made to sit out to give a easier farewell for Sachin.

  • James on December 2, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    Once again they turn to Tino Best. I would rather see a bowling line up of youngsters than have Tino bowl his long hops or spray the ball down the leg side. Cotterel, Holder, Gabriel or Delorn Johnson would at least show some vision of the future.

  • Dummy4 on December 2, 2013, 3:18 GMT

    Saw a guy picked a test team n included charles n drop chanders, where is ur knowledge in cricket! Chris gayle will always open in any format, which other player in d squad has tripple centurys in test , 100s in odi n t20.think ppl think.

  • paul on December 2, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    With the WI just arriving in NZ a couple of days before the test starts, it would be a huge upset if they were to win. Modern day cricket....can see a three day test win to NZ.....WI will still be in the wrong time zone.

  • ESPN on December 2, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    For previous posters to give the impression that Ramdin not outperforming Dhoni or De Villers shows many don't really follow cricket . batsmen 1-6 are EXPECTED to post the majority of a teams total .

  • Dummy4 on December 2, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    Aren't these bowling rules archaic and ridiculous? Who decided that a doosra was a legal delivery, anyway? They used to bowl underhanded in the nineteeth century. And it seems that every time a dangerous West Indian bowler shows up he gets called on his delivery. Next they will be saying that Chris Gayle's bat is too big!

  • Justin on December 2, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    If New Zealand don't sweep the series then there is something wrong, although the weather might have something to say about that. The West Indies shouldn't even be playing Test cricket. They play without passion, without dedication, without pride and just when you think their performances on the field couldn't get any worse they do. They don't have any application with the bat, they are poor with the ball and they are woeful in the field. A more testing opponent for New Zealand would be Ireland who tick all the right boxes for a highly competitive cricket team. It has just been announced that Williamson has been left out of the 1st Test side along with Bracewell and that Redmond and Sodhi will line-up tomorrow instead. With the exception of Zimbabwe who shouldn't be playing Test cricket either, New Zealand will never get a better opportunity to take cheaper wickets and make easier runs than against the pathetic shambles that is West Indies cricket these days.

  • Bob on December 1, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    The ICC process on assessing bowling actions is a JOKE. This is nothing against the two WI lads, or any player in particular. Bowling actions should be analysed in match conditions, not in an artificial setting. Any player should be able to bowl with a legal action when being observed (if they can't, they must have a very suspect action indeed). But it's when they are in the middle playing against live opponents is when their action counts. And this is when it should be reviewed. Forget the laboratory, check what's happening in the middle.

  • Dummy4 on December 1, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    This tour of New Zealand will be a real stern test of the Windies' selectors, players and management. We need to really be on our A-game. New Zealand is a very tough place to play cricket given the cold weather and the fact that New Zealand got embarrassed by a fast-emerging/improving Bangladesh team.

    Are we really improving? What did our managers, selectors and players learn from the Indian tour? There more questions than answers, such as: * Are the WI selectors truly objective? Do they have a clear selection criteria? * Are our selectors/coach really picking the best team? * Why are Rampaul, D.M. Bravo, Braithwaite, and Kirk Edwards not in the test squad? Why is Chanderpaul not in the ODI and T20 Squads? * Are we too dependent on "BIG name" players? When "senior" players are out of nick why not drop or demote them? IF Sewag was a Windies player would he be dropped for Dhawan or Braithwaite? * Are the batsmen putting a high value on their wicket like Chanderpaul?

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