Gibson says WI will be formidable
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - West Indies coach Ottis Gibson believes the team he is building will be a force to be reckoned with in as they face higher ranked opponents in the coming months.
Speaking ahead of the Windies training session at Kensington Oval, Gibson said the forthcoming Digicel Test Series against Australia will be a major event in the long-term development of several young players.
The regional team will take on the Aussies in the opening Test starting tomorrow in Barbados.
Gibson revealed that the players are confident and eager to play for the coveted Frank Worrell trophy which has been in the Aussies grasp for over a decade. “Everybody’s full of confidence.
“There’s an air of confidence as well when you walk around the streets of the Caribbean at the moment, where two years ago or probably even 12 months ago the average man in the street was not so enthusiastic about the performances of the team,” said Gibson, who took over the job in March 2010.
“We’re playing a Test series against Australia and we have to believe that we can win. When they go into the series, they have to believe that they can. We can win once we play the type of cricket which we believe that we can play, and looking at the way that we performed in India in our last Test series, it is very possible.”
Gibson continued, “We’ve been growing as a group of players for the last 12 months. We won in Bangladesh, we got beaten in India but the brand of cricket that we played, there were occasions that we dominated India in India which has not happened for a very long time.
I don’t believe that many teams go there and do that, even though we weren’t strong enough to win that series.”
The West Indies defeated Bangladesh 1-0 in the two-match Test Series last October, but fell 2-0 to India in November, with the third match ending in draw with the score dead level.
“We’ve just had a fantastic One-Day and Twenty20 series against them [Australia], one that we look back now and believe we should have won. In the last month or so there’s a lot being said and there’s an energy that I can remember as a child growing up.”
Gibson added, “People are starting to want to watch the team again and it is because the team is starting to be competitive. You can see a togetherness on the field and if we can maintain that sort of focus and keep that togetherness going, this would be a good series for us.”
West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Kirk Edwards, Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh (wicketkeeper), Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Fidel Edwards, Kieran Powell, Ravi Rampaul and Kemar Roach.