Gibson rues replacement players not grabbing their chances
While injuries have left West Indies' squad quite depleted on their ongoing tour of New Zealand, coach Ottis Gibson puts the poor results mostly down to second-string players not grabbing the opportunities given to them. West Indies, after leading the ODIs 1-0, slipped to 2-1 down with their 58-run loss in the Nelson ODI on Saturday. In this particular game, the fielders let the team down at the death and his batsmen were unnecessarily run-out, Gibson said, resulting in the defeat.
"Yeah, another tough loss. The first 25 overs of our [bowling] innings was excellent," Gibson said. "But our fielding… Couple of dropped catches, which would've changed [things]. The way we fielded in the whole innings, particularly towards the end, New Zealand got 25, 30 runs too many. It wasn't a 280 pitch.
"Then losing a wicket through a run-out, when you need to be sensible for the first 20 [overs] - with the new balls, it's going be difficult. Losing a couple of wickets to run-outs was a tough blow. And then weather interrupted and that was that."
Two of West Indies' top three were run out in the chase of 286, and the team never sufficiently recovered - when the rains came, they were found to be 58 runs short of where they had to be via Duckworth-Lewis. Both those batsmen who were run out were replacements - Chadwick Walton and Kirk Edwards - brought in for injured players. "We're missing around six players now. Gayle, Pollard, [Darren] Bravo, Samuels, Sammy, Ravi [Rampaul], Roach … Basically, players are getting an opportunity that they wouldn't get if the above players were playing. And you have to say that these players are not taking the opportunities given to them."
While Darren Sammy, who has suffered a hamstring injury, is out for "two to three weeks", Gibson said Rampaul - finger injury - might be ready in time to play the fifth ODI on January 8, which West Indies must win to tie the series. "Ravi's [finger] was a little sore, but he's a tough guy. It's just his left hand, so his bowling won't be affected and once we get him pain-free, I'm pretty sure he will play."
"We're still waiting for the results [of the tests done on Sammy]. He's still limping around a bit. We're not sure how he's going to travel, but he's staying with us for a little longer. The injury is a two- to three-week situation. Hopefully, we can assess his situation for the T20s."
Gibson said the squad would be strengthened with the arrival of specialist T20 players from the Caribbean. "There are some guys coming in for the T20s in two days' time. Samuel Badree, Andre Russell and Andre Fletcher. We're down to bare bones, and need to look at integrating them into the mix, and try and move forward."