Gibson confident WI can match England

Chennai, India – A confident West Indies will go in search of their fourth win on the trot and a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup when they battle old rivals England here Thursday. The Caribbean side have found themselves in a winning grove ever since losing their opening game of the campaign to South Africa three weeks ago, scoring handsome victories over the Netherlands, Bangladesh and Ireland. England, despite their miserable form, will present a stronger challenge but Head Coach Ottis Gibson said his side would be looking to sustain their impressive winning form when the two teams meet in Group B at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. First ball is 2.30 pm (5 am Eastern Caribbean Time/4 am Jamaica Time) “They’ve had quite a lot of tough matches up to now so our intention is to make this one as tough as possible for them,” Gibson told reporters. “We’re not too concerned about their form, we’re just focussing on us and what we’re here to do and if it’s another tough match with the right result for us then so be it. “I think we always knew it would be a very tough group. This is probably more difficult than the other group. We know we’ve got to play very well. We’ve won the last three games in a row, we’ve beaten all the sort of sides that we expected to beat. “The game against England is our next game, it’s going to be a tough challenge and we’re hoping to continue the winning momentum and win that game and let everybody decide where they want to end up.” West Indies are currently third in Group B on six points, behind leaders South Africa on eight and second placed India on seven. A win against England would put them into the quarter-finals even before their final preliminary game against India on Sunday. In contrast, the match is do-or-die for the English who are currently fifth on five points from as many matches and a loss to the Windies would see them dumped from the competition. Gibson said despite the importance of the result for England, West Indies would be concentrating on executing the brand of cricket that had brought them success. “We’re just focussing on us and making sure that we get out of the group. So far we’ve had – apart from one bad performance against South Africa in the first game – a pretty good run up to now,” said Gibson, a former England bowling coach. “It’s a tough situation for them. All their games have been tough games. I know quite a few of their players from my history of working with them and stuff like that but they’ve moved on a lot since I’ve been with them as a team. “They’ve had obviously a fantastic Ashes, the very high of the Ashes and obviously at the moment their form is a little bit indifferent but obviously they’re still a very talented team and a very dangerous team and we won’t be taking anything for granted as we go into that game.” Fast bowler Kemar Roach, who has taken 11 wickets, will lead the attack backed up by aggressive left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn (12 wickets), on a pitch that Gibson is eyeing curiously. “It looks very dry from what we’re seeing up to now and looking at the games that have been played here so far, spin played a part, the ball reversed at the end in the England-South Africa game,” he noted. “That’s something we will take into consideration when we decide on the make-up of our bowling attack.”
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