Gibson: Windies attack has depth
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Head coach Ottis Gibson believes West Indies boasts a bowling attack that will thrive in whatever conditions the team meets during the ICC World Twenty20 Championship starting later this month in Sri Lanka.
Conditions in the Asian subcontinent usually favour spin but Gibson said the 15-man squad comprised a well balanced bowling unit that would be prepared to face the challenges of the surfaces during the September 18 to October 7 tournament.
He said that though the line up comprised just two specialist spinners, Chris Gayle could be called upon to provide his off-breaks.
“I think we’ve got a squad to suit any conditions. We’ve got two quality spinners in [Samuel] Badree and Sunil Narine, we’ve got some spin from Marlon Samuels … and Chris also bowls,” Gibson said here Thursday.
“If we get there and the wicket is spinning and the captain feels that spin is the better option than pace then of course Chris then becomes a very good option. He’s done well all across the world in this format bowling his off-breaks so I’m sure if he’s called on he’ll do that for us as well.”
In a practice match against a UWI Select XI on Thursday, Gayle claimed three for 28 as West Indies won by 77 runs at 3W’s Oval.
Gibson said he was confident about his seam attack which will be led by fast bowlers Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul, and also includes Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell. All-rounder Dwayne Smith also bowls sharp medium pace.
“We’ve got quality seam and we’ve got quality spin as well so we’ve got certainly a bowling attack that we believe will be able to strive in any conditions,” Gibson stressed.
West Indies have been in camp at the High Performance Centre since last Saturday in preparation for the WT20.
They played warm-up matches against the HPC and a UWI Select XI on Thursday and will play a final practice game on Saturday, before leaving for Colombo on Sunday.
The Windies will clash with Sri Lanka in their first official warm-up fixture on Thursday before facing Afghanistan in the second and final warm-up on September 17. They will then do battle with Australia and Ireland in Group B, as they chase a spot in the all-important Super Eight second round.
“We know that we have got a very strong unit in this format and we are not really focusing on what other people think of us,” said Gibson.
“We’re getting together every day and training hard in the gym, working hard in the nets and making sure that we have all our bases covered.”