West Indies v India, 2nd Test, Bridgetown, 4th day July 1, 2011

Gibson seeks a competitive chase

28

Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, has said it is up to the hosts to force a result in the second Test, since India are ahead 1-0 in the series and hence may not chase a victory. India led by 240 runs with seven wickets remaining at the end of the fourth day, and though Gibson said West Indies would aim to bowl India out on the fifth day, he also had some hope that West Indies' frailties with the bat through the series may actually encourage India to make a daring declaration.

"We need to hope to bowl them out and see if there is a possibility of a run-chase," Gibson said. "The way we have batted, they might still think they can win the match and give us an opportunity.

"If they are generous, they might give us a target. It could be an interesting last day. We bowled them out for 200 in the first innings and couldn't get those runs in our innings. They might think they have enough. We tried to chase 300 in Jamaica and though we fell short by 63 runs we did well at the start of that chase. We've got to believe that our batsmen will come good at some point. If there is a chase tomorrow the batsmen might be spurred to perform."

The opener Lendl Simmons' performance has come in for criticism. In 13 innings since his Test debut in March 2009, Simmons has failed to score a half-century and averages 16.38. Ian Bishop, the former West Indies fast bowler and currently a commentator, said Simmons isn't Test material yet. Gibson, however, backed him. "He is one guy who works very hard at his cricket.

"You don't want to single out an individual in a batting order that is not performing. Everyone is encouraged to play their natural game. Simmons is an attacking batsman and has got the freedom to play that game and the liberty to smash his way through the new ball. He did that in Jamaica. We don't restrict him."

Gibson said Simmons was restraining himself against the new ball. "You've got to give credit to Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar for the way they've bowled with the new ball. Simmons needs to free himself up and have a go at it a bit more. It's difficult to single out Simmons. He has got good starts but hasn't gone on. It's the hallmark of our batsmen at the moment. They get starts but don't go on."

In a game marred by rain delays, the fourth day was largely unaffected with 83.2 overs being bowled. Though India consolidated their advantage, Gibson praised his bowlers for keeping the batsmen in check and defended the decision to opt against the second new ball when it was due.

"The plan the captain employed was the right one. We are behind the game at the moment. Every time we've taken the second new ball, in the Pakistan series and here, it's been with tired bowlers and the opposition have made quick runs against us. To not let them get away too far from us was a good job. They have to bat again tomorrow, which means we have taken some time out of the game."

For the umpteenth time, Gibson was asked why West Indies had left out Kemar Roach and, as ever, he defended the decision to go in with four bowlers and called on his batsmen to step up. "Our batsmen are not giving the bowlers enough time to rest. We have shown, with our four bowlers, we can be a potent attack. We bowled Pakistan and India out twice. We just need our batsmen to back them up.

"We have changed from being a team that never used to bowl out oppositions and lacked energy. We just need our batsmen to come good. Then we can be a competitive unit."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • intcamd on July 2, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    I guess Dhoni is the new Mike Brearly? There to provide his brilliant captaincy, since we know he cant s ore runs (in tests anyway) anymore?

  • swarzi on July 2, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    All Gibson does is try to justify himself being hired for the job that he is doing. His motto is: 'the bowlers are bowling out teams twice". Remember he is the bowling coach. He knocks his comrades (the bowling coaches) in a very subtle way, by implying in most of his statements that 'the batting department is not improving'. But who can blame him for securing himself when he is under so much fire.

  • kumarcoolbuddy on July 2, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    @VivGilchrist, I agree with what u said as India shud declare and try to win but not the way u compared with AUS. Comparision is always unhealthy and not a good spirit too. FYI..AUS were defensive sometimes. But yes India shud declare and try to win this. No DEFENSIVE approach please.

  • on July 2, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Gibson just full of excuses, and trying to bluff his way out . He need to step down and let a competent person take over. Both him and Sammy need to get back to their own profession where they are more comfortable. In this regard they will certainly do the West Indies Cricket a favor.

    JUST IMAGINE A TEAM WITHOUT SACHIN, SEWAH, AND ZAHEER God Help the West Indies Team.

  • on July 2, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    @ Sujay Kumar ..Get your facts right before you post a comment ...The team that Bangladesh defeated is not "this team".That was not even a Windis C team.The team was hurriedly assembled after the contracted players boycotted the tour after a dispute with the board. The team was led by Floyed Riefer and only Darren Sammy and Kemar Roach from the present 14 were in the team . The first test was saw 7 players namely Dale Richards,Omar Philips,Travis Dowlin,Chadwick Walton(wk),Ray Austin, Kemar Roach and Nikita Miller make their debut.

  • on July 2, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    India to get a lead of 300 quickly and then have a go at WI. If India wins this test, they can rest the likes of Ishant for the last test.

  • on July 2, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    India can still WIN. They batted patiently yesterday. What's the problem? WI team has been unable to play even 70 overs. So, what was the hurry ?? Pitch & conditions are not easy for batting. Hitting madly you guys call Attitude ! huh ! Good to see that Kohli spent some time at the crease. At the end of the day no. 1 team i.e. Team India is looking for a Win & they are playing sensibly to achieve the goal. They must have asked the bowlers about how much time they need to bowl out WI. Good Luck Team India !

  • iamgroot on July 2, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    everyone seems to be obsessed with aggression and is completely oblivious to the fact that indian without many first choice players have been playing some fighting cricket and is being very competitive and WI on the other hand is struggling even against our 2nd string or 3rd string test team. Along with it .. the umpiring decisions have been horrendous to say the least..Captain Dhoni has been at receiving end with 2 of his dismissals out of 3 being NOT OUT and Virat kohli, bhajji and raina too have been at receiving end. So looking at everything Indian team is doing very well to keep WI out of series. On a tricky pitch where batting is difficult you cant expect them to be flashy and get out cheaply. you have to play sensible cricket and if they bat for another 100 runs and put a target of 350 or so in say 65 overs that will be competitive target. I think indian team is aggressive enough and WI coach is begging Indian team to be generous and declare bcoz they cant get us out.

  • VivGilchrist on July 2, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    If India are truly the no1 team then they should go all out for a win. When the Aussies were champions they often set sporting declarations in order to force a positive result. Let's see if India are in that champion mentality or are they too scared to lose? Gotta love Test cricket.

  • sharidas on July 2, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    Setting West Indies a target of 301 to Win looks fair to me.

  • intcamd on July 2, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    I guess Dhoni is the new Mike Brearly? There to provide his brilliant captaincy, since we know he cant s ore runs (in tests anyway) anymore?

  • swarzi on July 2, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    All Gibson does is try to justify himself being hired for the job that he is doing. His motto is: 'the bowlers are bowling out teams twice". Remember he is the bowling coach. He knocks his comrades (the bowling coaches) in a very subtle way, by implying in most of his statements that 'the batting department is not improving'. But who can blame him for securing himself when he is under so much fire.

  • kumarcoolbuddy on July 2, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    @VivGilchrist, I agree with what u said as India shud declare and try to win but not the way u compared with AUS. Comparision is always unhealthy and not a good spirit too. FYI..AUS were defensive sometimes. But yes India shud declare and try to win this. No DEFENSIVE approach please.

  • on July 2, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Gibson just full of excuses, and trying to bluff his way out . He need to step down and let a competent person take over. Both him and Sammy need to get back to their own profession where they are more comfortable. In this regard they will certainly do the West Indies Cricket a favor.

    JUST IMAGINE A TEAM WITHOUT SACHIN, SEWAH, AND ZAHEER God Help the West Indies Team.

  • on July 2, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    @ Sujay Kumar ..Get your facts right before you post a comment ...The team that Bangladesh defeated is not "this team".That was not even a Windis C team.The team was hurriedly assembled after the contracted players boycotted the tour after a dispute with the board. The team was led by Floyed Riefer and only Darren Sammy and Kemar Roach from the present 14 were in the team . The first test was saw 7 players namely Dale Richards,Omar Philips,Travis Dowlin,Chadwick Walton(wk),Ray Austin, Kemar Roach and Nikita Miller make their debut.

  • on July 2, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    India to get a lead of 300 quickly and then have a go at WI. If India wins this test, they can rest the likes of Ishant for the last test.

  • on July 2, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    India can still WIN. They batted patiently yesterday. What's the problem? WI team has been unable to play even 70 overs. So, what was the hurry ?? Pitch & conditions are not easy for batting. Hitting madly you guys call Attitude ! huh ! Good to see that Kohli spent some time at the crease. At the end of the day no. 1 team i.e. Team India is looking for a Win & they are playing sensibly to achieve the goal. They must have asked the bowlers about how much time they need to bowl out WI. Good Luck Team India !

  • iamgroot on July 2, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    everyone seems to be obsessed with aggression and is completely oblivious to the fact that indian without many first choice players have been playing some fighting cricket and is being very competitive and WI on the other hand is struggling even against our 2nd string or 3rd string test team. Along with it .. the umpiring decisions have been horrendous to say the least..Captain Dhoni has been at receiving end with 2 of his dismissals out of 3 being NOT OUT and Virat kohli, bhajji and raina too have been at receiving end. So looking at everything Indian team is doing very well to keep WI out of series. On a tricky pitch where batting is difficult you cant expect them to be flashy and get out cheaply. you have to play sensible cricket and if they bat for another 100 runs and put a target of 350 or so in say 65 overs that will be competitive target. I think indian team is aggressive enough and WI coach is begging Indian team to be generous and declare bcoz they cant get us out.

  • VivGilchrist on July 2, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    If India are truly the no1 team then they should go all out for a win. When the Aussies were champions they often set sporting declarations in order to force a positive result. Let's see if India are in that champion mentality or are they too scared to lose? Gotta love Test cricket.

  • sharidas on July 2, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    Setting West Indies a target of 301 to Win looks fair to me.

  • on July 2, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    When Laxman settles down then it is nightmare to the opposition. I do not understand why Gibson wants Indian team to be generous and give a target which is chase-able for them. India will give a target which West Indies have to play outstanding cricket to achieve it. I think India is planning to settle for a draw, I guess or if any plans to win the game then they have to declare by reaching a lead of 300 runs as soon as possible may be before lunch and no further interruption of rain and loss of play.

  • the_blue_android on July 2, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    @ Sujay Kumar - Just want to remind you that the WI team which played against Bangladesh and lost 2 test matches was a second string WI team. Remember the whole team boycotted the series? Only player to play both these series is Sammy.

  • ChuckyDoll on July 2, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    It is PERFECTLY OK for India to let this test go to a draw. The onus is not on India to get a result, the onus is on WI to win it. Let Kohli, Raina and everyone else have batting practice before England !! It was an AWESOME performance by India on the 4th day; one of the very best. The beauty is in how the hostile bowling was gradually brought into submission, ball-after-ball, over-after-over. Congratulations to the batsmen who laid it out there. This was similar to the Steelers-Ravens where you win the game by winning a yard at a time.

  • pratit on July 2, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    @kaito shion-i would not mind if india lost in the absence of 4 players.losses are part of the game.but india is settling for a draw(although they still may secure an unlikely win) instead of pushing for victory.that is what bothers me.this attitude is befitting of lesser teams but not the champions.

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on July 2, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    @rpatit so you want india to show aggression and loosing last 6-7 wickets for 46 runs, no buddy pitch is not an easy one to bat on so it is better to save first rather than falling in a pit

  • on July 2, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    Just to remind all those who think that India have sent their second choice team and are still doing better than expected, this West Indies team was defeated by Bangladesh at home not too long ago.

  • pratit on July 2, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    @jimbond-decisions like these are taken on the immediate past and not what somebody has done in the past one year.i know kohli is possibly a better player than raina.but in this test series kohli has struggled throughout while raina has got runs in all the innings.also since kohli was playing for his place in the team he was likely to play slowly.given that quick runs were needed 25 off 100 deliveries is hardly "what the doctor ordered".so,first understand the context in which something is being said.

  • on July 2, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    @pratit This is test match not an ODI that you need result. Had Kohli been out going for runs, people would have said he is not test material, he played sensibly (I was surprised) showed the patience required for test cricket. I was up watching India bat and was delighted and enjoyed the match. People should understand test matches and more for testing character of player. Test match is batsman saying to bowler if you don't bowl in my area I won't hit it (that needs lots of patience and skill from batsman) , and bowler for their part should stick to what works for them and not try new stuff. I have seen batman frustrating the bowler enuf that they loose their cool and start being erratic and give more scoring opportunity to the batsman. Other way around the over in which Ishant's bouncer hit Samuels. The fifth ball from Ishant in that over, feets of Samuels were moving out of line of ball, that showed the bowler had penetrated into Samuels psyche and he was vulnerable

  • NBRADEE on July 2, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Will this goat of a coach bleat at the end of the series that the senior players let him down? Why not drop Sarwan, Chanderpaul and Samuels and bring in other youth players to play India NOW, especially if the series is lost at the end of this game????

  • CandidIndian on July 2, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    India is getting the advantage of playing against strong teams like SA,Aus and SL. Thanks to some tough cricket against those teams because of which India realized the importance of giving respect to opposition.Glamorous shots in this innings would have led to their downfall on this tough pitch.Anyways thanks to WI that they provided bouncy wickets with swing ,which in turn will give valuable experience to young batsman of India.

  • on July 2, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    Hope India Wins 111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

  • on July 2, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    @pratit: Do not forget that the team is without the 3 of the pillars for achieving number 1 position Sehwag, Sachin, Zaheer, with whom, this and the previous match would have been probably big innings victories..

  • jimbond on July 2, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    @pratit: On evidence over the past one year, it is hard to see Raina as a better (or more aggressive) player than Kohli.

  • Vindaliew on July 2, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    I can only imagine how the batsmen will feel with Roach at one end, Edwards at the other. It'll be like the 1980s! Even if they don't win it'll be a torrid time for all opponents, helmets or not.

  • on July 2, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Ottis Gibson is too optimistic. Considering Indian history, an Indian Captain wont give WI a chance to chase a competitive target. India will outplayed WI & then & then Dhoni will declare. You might see a Laxman's ton!!!!!!.

  • Bajcloony on July 2, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    I don't agree with Gibson that there bowlers are doing a very good job it is because the nature of wickets that are helping the bowlers a lot and even india without Zaheer Khan are bowling out West Indies cheaply

  • KAIRAVA on July 2, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    As an die hard Indian fan, I hope Laxman gets to his 100, Kohli to his maiden 50, Dhoni & Raina throwing the bat around & getting some quick runs and India scoring 120 runs in the first session tomorrow morning. West Indies should be given a target of 360 with two full sessions available (60 overs) & weather permitting, Ishant, Praveen & Bhajji exploiting the 5th day wicket, destroying the West Indies batting to give India 2-0 lead in the test series.

  • pratit on July 2, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    watching yesterday's play it seemed like india were playing to save the game.yes,the pitch is not the easiest to bat on but the seam movement had stopped in the later stages and the w.i bowlers were tiring.but instead of cashing in on it through in-form raina they sent kohli.instead of forcing the issue from a dominant position they steered the match to a situation where the match is likely to be a draw.the overcautious tactics baffled me as well as studio commentators.really, despite being an indian,as a cricket-lover,i will say that if this is the type of insipid cricket that the current no.1 team plays,then i would prefer someone else to be no1.the hallmark of great teams is aggression and that is missing.

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  • pratit on July 2, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    watching yesterday's play it seemed like india were playing to save the game.yes,the pitch is not the easiest to bat on but the seam movement had stopped in the later stages and the w.i bowlers were tiring.but instead of cashing in on it through in-form raina they sent kohli.instead of forcing the issue from a dominant position they steered the match to a situation where the match is likely to be a draw.the overcautious tactics baffled me as well as studio commentators.really, despite being an indian,as a cricket-lover,i will say that if this is the type of insipid cricket that the current no.1 team plays,then i would prefer someone else to be no1.the hallmark of great teams is aggression and that is missing.

  • KAIRAVA on July 2, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    As an die hard Indian fan, I hope Laxman gets to his 100, Kohli to his maiden 50, Dhoni & Raina throwing the bat around & getting some quick runs and India scoring 120 runs in the first session tomorrow morning. West Indies should be given a target of 360 with two full sessions available (60 overs) & weather permitting, Ishant, Praveen & Bhajji exploiting the 5th day wicket, destroying the West Indies batting to give India 2-0 lead in the test series.

  • Bajcloony on July 2, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    I don't agree with Gibson that there bowlers are doing a very good job it is because the nature of wickets that are helping the bowlers a lot and even india without Zaheer Khan are bowling out West Indies cheaply

  • on July 2, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Ottis Gibson is too optimistic. Considering Indian history, an Indian Captain wont give WI a chance to chase a competitive target. India will outplayed WI & then & then Dhoni will declare. You might see a Laxman's ton!!!!!!.

  • Vindaliew on July 2, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    I can only imagine how the batsmen will feel with Roach at one end, Edwards at the other. It'll be like the 1980s! Even if they don't win it'll be a torrid time for all opponents, helmets or not.

  • jimbond on July 2, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    @pratit: On evidence over the past one year, it is hard to see Raina as a better (or more aggressive) player than Kohli.

  • on July 2, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    @pratit: Do not forget that the team is without the 3 of the pillars for achieving number 1 position Sehwag, Sachin, Zaheer, with whom, this and the previous match would have been probably big innings victories..

  • on July 2, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    Hope India Wins 111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

  • CandidIndian on July 2, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    India is getting the advantage of playing against strong teams like SA,Aus and SL. Thanks to some tough cricket against those teams because of which India realized the importance of giving respect to opposition.Glamorous shots in this innings would have led to their downfall on this tough pitch.Anyways thanks to WI that they provided bouncy wickets with swing ,which in turn will give valuable experience to young batsman of India.

  • NBRADEE on July 2, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Will this goat of a coach bleat at the end of the series that the senior players let him down? Why not drop Sarwan, Chanderpaul and Samuels and bring in other youth players to play India NOW, especially if the series is lost at the end of this game????