Gibson: No slip up against Dutch

NEW DELHI, India, CMC – West Indies Head Coach Ottis Gibson said on Saturday that his can ill afford to slip-up against the Netherlands in the ICC Cricket World Cup on Monday.

The West Indies coach refused to describe the Dutch as “minnows”, and recognised this opponent had proved a point with a solid performance in their opening match against England, when all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate led them to 292-6 from their 50 overs, and Andrew Strauss’ side overhauled the total with just eight deliveries remaining.

“This is the World Cup, and every game is going to be tough. A lot has been said this week and also last week about the minnows, ICC deciding to have 10 teams for 2014 World Cup. I don't like to call them minnows, they are a sort of lesser team if you like it. They are here to prove a point, and they did prove a point against England,” Gibson told reporters at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

“They beat England in World Twenty20 [in England, 2009], and I was working with England at that time, and I remember the feeling in our dressing room and jubilation in their camp. Those guys, when they come into an event like this, bring in lot of energy and with an expectation of upsetting a big team. Our fortunes of late do not suggest that we are a big team. But we still believe that we are a big team and we are here to prove this.”

West Indies suffered a seven-wicket defeat in their World Cup opener last Thursday against South Africa at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, where they will also tackle the Dutch.

The Windies will be without vice captain and key all-rounder Dwayne Bravo hurt his knee in the match, and is flying home to start rehab work. Gibson acknowledged that plans would have to seriously change in the light of Bravo’s injury.

“It’s a setback obviously,” he said. “Our strategy was built around three all-rounders – our captain Darren Sammy, Bravo, and Kieron Pollard. It gives us an opportunity to, may be, rethink our strategy.  With him (Bravo) missing, it has made us think whether we a need a batsman at number six and perhaps an extra bowler.”

“We all saw on TV what happened to (Dwayne),” he said. “Bravo has been a key member of our team for a long time. He is a sort of the energizer in the team. He brings in a lot of energy into the side with his fielding, bowling, and batting, and also with his presence in the dressing room.”

Speaking after Saturday’s training session, Gibson added: ”People will say whatever they want, but we know what we can do. West Indies have won two World Cups in the past, and we were in the 1983 final and in the semi-finals in 1996, so we have got history in this competition. Our players have got a lot belief that they can prove to the World that we are still a more than capable nation, and that cricket is still very much alive in the Caribbean.”

First ball in the day/night match on Monday is 2.30 pm (5 am Eastern Caribbean Time/4 am Jamaica Time).