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April 1, 2008
Lance Gibbs, the former world record holder, is concerned West Indies' newest spin talent does not have enough variety to be a long-term force at international level. While Gibbs is pleased Sulieman Benn was picked for his debut against Sri Lanka last month, he said the left-armer had work to do to become a success.
Benn, who is from Barbados, picked up three second-innings wickets during West Indies' opening-Test loss in Guyana and is in the squad for the final match of the series starting in Port of Spain on Thursday. However Gibbs, the former offspinner who took 309 Test wickets, said Benn would have to improve.
"He has got to bowl six different balls because on that type of track [in the first Test] batsman could get accustomed to you," Gibbs said. "I would say he has got the ability but he's got work to do.
"He could become a success story but it is all in his hands, he's got to learn the strengths and weaknesses as far as batsmen are concerned and use that effectively. In Guyana, Benn fought the wicket too much. As a spinner you've got to vary your pace, he was particularly flat and this is why he didn't get any wickets in the first innings."
Amit Jaggernauth, the Trinidad and Tobago offspinner, is also part of West Indies' squad and Gibbs said both should be in the side to face Sri Lanka. "I told Amit in Guyana not to be too disappointed," Gibbs said. "It is best to start your Test career on wickets that you know and I'm sure he will be given a chance here."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Graeme Smith was the last of South Africa's old guard. The roots of the new one need to grow deeper