West Indies news September 13, 2013

India, NZ tour a tough duo - Gibson

Renaldo Matadeen

Ottis Gibson, the West Indies head coach, believes the impromptu India series will be the most stern test for his team's progress since their T20 World Cup title in Sri Lanka. Gibson admitted that he was eager for the India Tests after many pundits failed to rate the West Indies Test victories over Zimbabwe and Bangladesh as noteworthy.

"If you look at the last six Tests we played, we won them. It's been good progress but I know people aren't considering them as big wins," Gibson said. "Against India however, we can really gauge the progress. I'd never discount wins against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh though because they are upcoming and talented but India will be an immense challenge and we're looking forward to it."

He alluded to Chris Gayle as a key factor for the upcoming series as he feels the team is stronger, especially with players like Sunil Narine garnering more experience. The IPL has also bred familiarity for his players on India pitches, which he hoped would boost their chances. "We were in India a couple of years ago and played good cricket, but didn't win. Now the team dynamic is different, and with Gayle back, we'll give a tougher run.

"Then, against New Zealand, we'll be looking to move to number five in the Test rankings as that's our aim. I want to put some distance between us and them but they gave England a tough time in the Tests, so it won't be easy. India into New Zealand is a tough duo to tour."

Gibson stated that while they weren't expecting the India series, he was confident they would be sufficiently prepared with a fitness testing at month's end and a small training camp prior to departure in October. With New Zealand looming after and a January return home for his charges, Gibson did add that rest was needed, as well as family downtime, for his players.

"It's a challenge. We were preparing for New Zealand and now everything gets fast-forwarded for the India series. It just sprung up and the guys will spend a long time away from home. We have to get the balance right, but we're preparing to get the cricket aspects right first. I'd like my players to have their family time, so we'll sort this out."

Gibson also warned that the T20 laurels needed to be put to bed for the time being to focus on the other formats. "Test cricket is getting exciting. We can't forget about the T20 World Cup defense but we need to park it for now as it's a little bit away. We'll defend that because we believe we have the best T20 players in the world. Once we keep the same core and mentality from the last World Cup, we'll repeat in Bangladesh."

He was more critical of their ODI performances and added that the selectors were moving closer to formulating a core 15 for the 2015 World Cup in Australia. "We know our ODI team is hit and miss at the moment so we, and the selectors, are concerned. We've changed leaders and we have time to prep for 2015. In the next six to twelve months, we'll assess and have a core unit. We have world-class players for various situations so we'll see how it goes."

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on September 19, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    I dont understand why people want ta push Gayle as cap. he dont want it nor interesting in captan west indies. he even left the team in dirt coming in less than 24 hour before eng tour. n then showing his less interest in test matches. and then rejected a wi contract to be a free agent. when he was captain.

  • Dummy4 on September 17, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    I have nothing against Gayle who everyone knows is a destroyer of any form of bowling,but recently he seemed to be out of form and is no where close to the batsman the world knew.This series will be of tremendous challenge to him and the WI as India have a great line of bowlers.The key to the batting will be Shivnarine Chanderpaul.Chanderpaul over the last two decades has demonstrated to the world what consistency and class is.Much will be placed on his shoulders which I am confident he will be able to handle.

  • roddy on September 15, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    No big deal Jordan showed no interest in wanting to play for west indies, like pieterson etc the money he can make playing for England was his goal from the start and its not like he's pulling up any trees is it. Concentrate on the those who want to play

  • charlie on September 15, 2013, 0:44 GMT

    Has anyone notice that WI is about to lose one of the most talented pacer-batsman to the England team ? I suspect that more will follow into county cricket , if the selectors keep overlooking these talented players . This could come back to haunt WI in the future . It's nice to have so many choices ,but WI need to encourage the youngsters in order to keep them interested in playing for WI . I'll keep following the name C.Jordan to monitor his progress with the England team . I wish him well in his future endeavours .

  • Dummy4 on September 14, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    The squad for india odi should be 1 . Powell 2. Charles(wk) 3 . Gayle 4. Darren Bravo 5. Lendyl Simmons 6. Samuels 7. Dwayne Bravo 8. Sammy 9. Naraine 10 Roach 11 Ravi Rampaul 12th Best/Holder/Cummins

  • Carl on September 14, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Re: aclarity,

    Sammy has performed better than Rampaul and his leadership/people skills are underrated. I agree almost completely with your idea for the team/squad though, but must raise issue with the selection of Rampaul over Johnson or Cummins. Ravi has performed well at times but is rarely fit - he's always been overweight which doesn't help for any fast bowler. Cummins or Johnson would add youth and pace to the attack - tall aggressive left armer Johnson will also bring variety, while Cummins has already shown real pace and the crucial ability to take plenty of wickets. Get these young guys in now and we may have a fine attack in a year or two. Imagine Roach, Best, Cummins and Johnson...no respite for the batsmen :-)

    p.s. Holder and Beaton are two more young pacers with promise - they too should be in or around the test squad.

  • Jack on September 14, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    The CPL underlined how inept the WI selectors have been. The tours to India and NZ will put them directly in the world's headlights and I hope they get it right this time. It's time to select on performance rather than on personality. Objectively, the team is virtually automatic. The openers are Gayle, Powell, Simmons and Brathwaite. The middle order is Samuels, Chanderpaul and Daren with a big question mark. Pace matters and the bowling is Best, Roach, Cotereal, Rampaul with Narine as the spinner. Walton is my keeper and the two other places belong to two fast bowlers or a fast bowler and a spinner. There is no place for Dwayne Bravo and the team will be stronger if Gayle is captain and Sammy is out for a younger bowler.

  • charlie on September 14, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Yes guys this team has a bit of talent ,just that ,as compared to the great 70's teams ! Just to give a little comparison in some areas :- The openers of the 70's team teams were supremely talented ,batting and bowling and the batting from no's 3 down the middle likewise . We can only dream on for the future ,unless we address the approach to our cricket in the Caribbean ,including the selaction policies ,absent of politics .

  • Carl on September 13, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    Re: kiwicricketnut + irishhawks,

    I agree. The GREAT West Indies sides of the late 70's onward got me interested in the game - THAT is the way to play cricket!!! Mikey gliding in...Viv destroying any attack...Gees dominating from ball one...Richie hooking in a sun hat...Lara beating anybody on his own...the late, great Malcolm Marshall breaking batsmen with skill...Walsh and Ambrose taking teams apart...Chanders playing as if for his life...Patrick Patterson bowling as fast as a man can bowl...I could go on...

  • Jay on September 13, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    @SNIFFLEATHER: "Just about anybody can win a T20 or a ODI, but a test series is an entirely different matter." - Now, that's absolutely false. As much as test cricket takes skill to muster, the other two formats are equally demanding on skills, and test of talent. India are by far the BEST limited overs team in the last 2-3 years. Nobody even comes close. Now, that ain't fluke my friend, it's about how good India are as a limited overs team. The same can be said about England as a test side. But no matter how much your praise test cricket, the format can NEVER host a world cup or a competition of real substance.

  • No featured comments at the moment.