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

Gibson seeks a competitive chase


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

  • vasu 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?

  • randolf 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.

  • kumar 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.

  • Dummy4 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.


  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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 !

  • am 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.

  • Basil 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.

  • suresh on July 2, 2011, 9:23 GMT

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

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