WI making use of Ottis Gibson knowledge
LONDON, ENGLAND - West Indies may be hoping to drop in under the radar this summer as they embark on a mission improbable against Test world-beaters England - but the tourists do have one especially handy weapon on their side.
Coach Ottis Gibson's inside knowledge of the men who have taken England to the top of the International Cricket Council rankings is more than two years old now.
Such has been the consistency of selection, though, for a team who - until their awkward Asian winter - made a habit of winning, there is no doubt in the mind of England's former bowling coach that he retains plenty of useful information.
Gibson's West Indies will not get sucked into obsessing about the perceived vulnerability of England captain Andrew Strauss and his vain quest for his 20th Test century.
But he will be raiding his memory bank not only to keep Strauss on the back foot but to give his and Darren Sammy's young team the best possible chance of confounding those world rankings.
'You always hear teams - the Aussies are good at it - targeting the captain,' Gibson said.
'But we need to target everybody; we need to get 20 wickets.
'Strauss is just one of them. He's at the top of the order, so he'll be the first.'
Gibson still has a good handle on the minds, if not the fine-tuned methods, of plenty of the opposition players.
'We'll have some pretty good plans to their batters,' he said.
'We have a lot of footage and will trawl through it to see how we can exploit weaknesses, based also on my having bowled at them in the nets and spent a lot of time with them - and understanding how they think as batters.
'People improve their technique, but their mentality stays the same sometimes. If I can add anything to our bowlers to help them gain an advantage and get them out, that's what I'll be trying to do.'
Gibson and captain Sammy, whose team will tomorrow begin their tour against Sussex at Hove, are confident a pace attack led by Kemar Roach will give Strauss and others plenty to think about.
'We feel that bowling attack is capable of getting 20 wickets in England,' Gibson said.
'We haven't batted well. But if we can put some runs on the board, we believe that bowling attack is good enough.'
As 'ifs' go, Gibson's is sizeable - on the evidence of West Indies' struggles, Shivnarine Chanderpaul apart, in defeat against Australia at home.
But Sammy has great faith, even in the absence of Chris Gayle and other big names who have opted for the Indian Premier League ahead of international cricket.
'We have a good coach, who has a lot of experience in England,' he said.
'The guys are slowly but surely buying into what he is trying to instil.
'The experience he has gained by playing in England will be a massive asset to us.'