West Indies in New Zealand 2013-14 December 14, 2013

Gibson asks West Indies to 'man up'


Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, has revealed that some harsh words were spoken in the dressing room after his team's innings-and-73-run drubbing in Wellington and called on his players to "man up" as they aim to level the Test series next week.

Phrases such as "embarrassed" and "lack of fight" were at the forefront of some home truths after the Test had finished shortly after tea on the third day, with 16 wickets falling on Friday. West Indies had a behind-closed-doors training session back at Basin Reserve on Saturday, which included middle practice between the squad, as Gibson tried to repair some confidence before travelling to Hamilton on Monday.

"'Embarrassed' was mentioned. 'Lack of fight' was mentioned. Those are things you don't want to be hearing too often in your dressing room," Gibson said. "We haven't heard those things too often in our dressing room recently. We have played some pretty good cricket. India was tough for us, but we are making it tough for ourselves here.

"New Zealand are playing very well but we're not standing up to what they're offering. That's the disappointing thing. When you play away from home you expect it to be tough and we just have to man up and face up to the challenge that New Zealand present to us."

Normally coaches and captains try to "take the positives" even in defeat, but there was little that Gibson could cling to. The die was cast early when they shelled Ross Taylor at slip before he had scored. He went onto make 129 in New Zealand's 441, a dominant total on a well-grassed surface that Darren Sammy had been able to give his bowlers first use of.

"Sometimes when things are going wrong, everything goes wrong at the same time," Gibson said. "When things are going well, everything goes well together. We've always been a nation of fighters, our backs are against the wall here and we just have to ride it out."

Gibson accepted that his pace bowlers - Tino Best and Shannon Gabriel - had let their chance slip away on the opening day after taking out the New Zealand openers cheaply - albeit noting the impact of the Taylor drop - but he was not ready to lose faith in the ones at his disposal on this trip. In truth, though, he can't do much else. His options are limited with Sheldon Cottrell, the left-armer, the only other frontline quick in the squad.

West Indies were keen to play Sunil Narine in Wellington but the pitch was so green as to halt that move, and although Sammy had indicated it may be the only route left for West Indies, Gibson was more reticent to throw his lot in with a spin approach for Hamilton.

"Any time you see a wicket with grass on like we have here, especially this one where the ball swung as well, of course you expect better from your attack when you win the toss and put the opposition in. You don't expect them to make 441," Gibson said. "What it's teaching us is a certain set of skills we have to acquire, which we haven't nailed down yet. In the Caribbean the ball swings for two overs then you have to make it move off the surface. In New Zealand it swings for much longer. It's evident from what you see on the TV that we aren't getting it to swing.

"Looking at New Zealand, if I was in their camp, it would probably be another green seamer which nullifies the two spin option. The pitches haven't spun, New Zealand's spinner [Ish Sodhi] bowled three overs in the match here. They've got three seamers who are swinging it and causing us problems so I don't see why they'd change the format. Two spinners is a consideration, but we'll have to look at what is the best format to win the Test."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hildreth on December 18, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    @wirus I agree with you Sammy's comments before the 2nd test were totally unwarranted if not stupid and now Gibson has taken over. It's just pathetic. I think they should do much less talking and concentrate more on the task ahead. In my opinion there is a dire need for a complete makeover of LEADERSHIP in West Indies cricket including the selectors, head coach and captains of test & ODI teams. Here are my recommendations for replacements: (1) SELECTION PANEL(5 members):- Dujon, Lara, Ambroise, Grenidge and Richards(chairman). (2) HEAD COACH & Bowling COACH:- Desmond Haynes, Courtney Walsh; Fielding/Fitness COACH. (3) TEST & ODI CAPTAIN :- Dinesh Ramdin (he has served as vice-captain of both teams for a long time and skippered the Windies on a few occasions; he has also lead Trinidad for some time now). Ramdin has had his off-colour moments but remains a staunch member of both teams. He has served loyally as v/capt for a very long time and now deserves a chance to lead the Windies.

  • Orlando on December 16, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Gibson asks WI to man up? Someone should ask Gibson to shut up! I cannot recall anything sensible coming from his lips during the course of these two tours. But that should not be surprising. Both he and Sammy came in at a time when WI needed a change - any change - and these two did a reasonably good job for a while but they have both overstayed there time. It is so obvious that WI most glaring deficiency is mental. True they have technical problems too but that is fairly slight in comparison to their mental unpreparedness for test and ODI cricket. Again it doesn't help when the best or most in form players aren't chosen but above it's the psychological that defeats WI far more regularly than swing, spin or fine batting. Neither Gibson nor Sammy can help here.

  • RAJARAMAN on December 16, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    With Shillingford barred from bowling by ICC, Narine is the only answer for WI ... WI did show fight in first test ... they just forgot to do that during 2nd test ... may be they will come back on track in the 3rd test ...

  • Douglas on December 16, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    Gibson, swallow hard and recall Sarwan before things get worse.

  • Douglas on December 16, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    Man up is how Gibson motivates his players? No wonder they stutter in performing.

  • ramu on December 16, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    NZ will thrash WI again...West Indies have joke batsman especially Samuel, Sammy and Deonarine. Dem real look foolish when dem batting. Dem need fuh eat Snail curry with brown rice to help dem concentrate.

  • alfred on December 15, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    how can they man up when there is only one man among a bunch of boys on the team.

  • David on December 15, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    West Indian Cricket.. where do i start? a test team has to last more than 3 days of cricket. This requires patience, patience and more patience!! This is what the West Indies lack in their batting. Bowling wise they are mediocre. What did the selectors think when they picked an attack consisting of Best, Gabriel, Sammy and Deonarine? Only Shillingford comes out of this with any credit. Are we really going to see us bowling out the opposition for 150? NEVER! Where is the likes of Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo, Rampaul, Jerome Taylor, Fidel Edwards to try at least put some fear into the opposition? There is a lot of talented West Indian players at 20/20 level in which they are superb but it is time to transfer that talent into the test arena. Barath could be a good shout at the top of the order.. a batsman who has test patience and a player West Indies badly require!

  • Jon on December 15, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    So ive watched some videos on Sarwan on youtube, why isnt he on the team? He has one of the better techniques in the West Indies and a very good player of spin... This boggles my mind.

  • Dennis on December 15, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    Also in terms of Rampaul's fitness...as someone else said on here, even a chubby rampaul is better than gabriel or tino best. We need him back asap along with roach

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