A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Ottis Gibson pleased to see West Indies back to winning ways

Gibson credited the entire team for the series win

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson has praised his squad after beating New Zealand 2-0 in the recent Test series, which saw Chris Gayle play his first Test for his country since December 2010.

After winning the series, Gibson stated that the West Indies had deserved it since they showed so much heart and fight.

The West Indies have struggled over the last couple of years in the Test scene, as more and more inexperienced players started to fill the vacant spots on the roster.

West Indies had gone into the Test series having lost or drawn the last nine Test matches they played, and finally during their tenth Test match, luck was shining down on them.

“Having not won in a long time and having not beaten New Zealand since 1996, we cherish [this victory], we came here wanting to win and we are very pleased we have been able to do that,” Gibson said.

Even though the West Indies beat New Zealand, Gibson noted that they wasted opportunities in their previous Test series against Australia, India and England.

In Australia, the West Indies gave it all they had despite losing 2-0 in the series, while in India they performed even better and showcased some impressive teamwork throughout the three Tests series, which they lost 2-0.

Gibson stated that even in England the West Indies did not handle the key moments of the Test match well, and the continuous breakdown of the top orders did nothing to help their cause as well.

“I think we would have won some of those games, if we had the experience, there is no substitute for experience. Having the experience of Chris [Gayle] at the top of the order makes a huge difference. When we play teams that are around us [in ICC rankings], we believe we can compete and win. We have competed with the best,” Gibson said.

However, even though Chris Gayle inflicted a lot of damage on the New Zealand bowlers, Gibson noted that the win should be attributed to the efforts of the entire team.

“I just think it was an outstanding performance, the way [Kieran] Powell batted so well with so much maturity in the first innings, of course with Chris [Gayle] being so dominating, and all the way down the line, with young Fudadin getting his first test fifty, Narsingh [Deonarine] continuing with his good form, then [Darren] Sammy coming in at the back end and scoring some runs. I thought Kemar Roach bowled a spell at the back end of the first innings that was a very aggressive spell that got us some key wickets. Ravi Rampaul was very aggressive today. Kemar was very accurate. Sunil Narine made contributions. So, it’s a whole team effort and the whole team is very happy with their work,” Gibson added.

Gibson also thought that his team did very well to keep the New Zealand batsmen under constant pressure, and this proved to be fatal for the Black Caps .

“If they [New Zealand] were scoring, that would have put us under a little bit more pressure, [The lack of early wickets] didn’t change the match really. Once we started to get a few wickets – which was always going to happen – the target we were going to have to chase wasn’t going to be so much. If they were scoring, then, it would have been a different story,” Gibson said.

Even without significant contributions by senior players like Marlon Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Gibson was extremely impressed with the way his team was able to score runs so efficiently.

“I can’t remember the last time West Indies made 600 runs in a Test match and Chanderpaul didn’t feature in the scorecard, the team is moving in the right direction. It has been moving in the right direction for a while. The players are starting to form the right sort of habits and the right attitudes. Everybody has got the sort of feel good factor about themselves. We need a few wins, here and there, to confirm what we are doing is the right thing. This win gives us that confirmation and the belief to keep doing what we are doing and keep trying to move [our] cricket forward,” he said.

Gibson also mentioned that captain Darren Sammy has had a big influence on all the squad members, and his attitude was vital to the success of the team.

“He does his job every day in day out, he plays his part in the team whether it is with the bat or the ball or whether he is taking catches or whatever. And he is the sort of leader we need right now for this team. I believe he is doing a good job and the players believe he is doing a good job too,” Gibson added.

When asked how he felt when the West Indies won the Test series, Gibson said: “My personal feelings hardly ever come in to the team stuff, we came here as a team of 13 players and eight support staff. Whatever we do, we do it as a team. If we win, it is not an individual thing. It’s a team win.”

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