West Indies confident of playing competitive game: GibsonNovember 4th, 2011 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Riding high on a Test series win after eight years, the West Indies hope to give India a tough competition in the three Tests and five One-Day Internationals starting here Sunday with the first Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
The West Indies are touring India for a full series after 17 years and coach Ottis Gibson said the series in Bangladesh have helped them well to acclimatise with the Indian conditions.
“We had a good series against Bangladesh. The series helped us to acclimatise with the sub-continent conditions. We now know what to expect here. We have played outstanding cricket in the last 12 months and hopefully we will carry on the good work,” said Gibson, after a practice session at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
The 42-year-old lauded the youngsters in his team and said the challenge for the West Indies team will be to bowl out the top-six in Indian batting line-up.
“We have a good pace attack. India also have a comparatively young bowling unit but the batting order is heavily loaded. Their top six batsmen are experienced and the challenge for us will be to bowl against them. Kemar Roach, Fidel (Edwards) and Ravi (Rampaul) have been bowling well and we also have a good spinner in (Devendra) Bishoo,” said Gibson.
Asked if his pace bowlers could replicate their Bangladesh performance in India, Gibson said: “We played on similar wickets in Bangladesh and our fast bowlers are capable of doing that again. We have to rely on our skills. We have got better with every match.”
Gibson also backed Bishoo, whose maiden five-wicket haul earned the West Indies the series win in Bangladesh, to do well on turning tracks in India.
“We have to stand up to the challenge the Indian (batting) line-up will pose and Bishoo has a major role to play. He just has to back his ability, believe in himself. Obviously he is a very talented bowler. He has already got 32 wickets in seven games in Test cricket and he started playing Test cricket in May this year,” Gibson said.
“He (Bishoo) is still very new to international cricket and is learning all the time. The good thing about him is that he is always prepared to learn. If he sees somebody he thinks he can pass on some information that would benefit him, he’s not afraid to ask questions. That’s all you ask really from young cricketers,” Gibson said.
“He has retained the passion to learn. He is improving all the time, he loves the game. We are very happy to have someone of his ability and hopefully he will play a major part in this series,” he added.
Gibson said the mood in the dressing room has also changed after the series win in Bangladesh.
“The talk in our dressing room has been that of development. We have started to build. We are a developing side, a young side and the atmosphere is positive. A lot of young players are doing well. We expect a tough fight but we are ready for it,” he said.
Gibson also said the absence of experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh might hurt the Indian team.
“Harbhajan is such an experienced bowler. He has taken so many wickets. But (Ravichandran) Ashwin has done well in ODIs so he can be dangerous. When a youngster is picked, many think that he may not be ready, but the selectors must have felt that he is ready. Since it could be his first Test match, he would look to prove himself,” Gibson said.
Meanwhile, Rampaul said that he doesn’t see any reason why the West Indies can’t win in India.
“We are quite confident after the series in Bangladesh. And I don’t see any reason why we can’t win here. We came here to win the series, we are looking forward to it, and hopefully, we can chalk out a victory. Conditions here are pretty similar to Bangladesh. We have done well there so that will help us here,” he said.
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Tags: 12 months, 17 years, bangladesh, continent, fidel edwards, first test, gibson, New Delhi, pace attack, practice session, ravi rampaul, roach, seven games, spinner, test cricket, test series, west indies team, wicket haul, wickets, youngsters