Image courtesy of: The Hindustan Times
Gibson is looking for retribution against India
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson has admitted that his side’s tour of India in November and New Zealand in December will be “an immense challenge”.
Gibson stated that he was eagerly looking forward to the Test series against India, especially after many cricket pundits refused to rule the West Indies’ wins over Zimbabwe and Bangladesh as noteworthy.
“If you look at the last six Tests we played, we won them,” Gibson said. “It’s been good progress but I know people aren’t considering them as big wins.
“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.”
Gibson added that flamboyant opening batsman Chris Gayle and spinner Sunil Narine would both play a crucial role during the tour of India, given their experience of playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“We were in India a couple of years ago and played good cricket, but didn’t win,” Gibson said. “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.”
Despite conceding that he wasn’t expecting a tour of India to creep up just like that, Gibson noted that he wouldn’t use it as an excuse as his side will be better prepared this time round.
“It’s a challenge,” Gibson said. “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 his players that it was time to shift their concentration from Twenty20 cricket to Test cricket.
“Test cricket is getting exciting,” he said. “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.”
The West Indies coach also had a few choice words for the ODI squad, stating that he and the national selectors were working on formulating a permanent 15-man team in preparation for the 2015 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.
“We know our ODI team is hit and miss at the moment so we, and the selectors, are concerned,” Gibson added. “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.”