England have been clinical in their approach to the ongoing test series against the West Indies. If anything, the islanders have only looked good in parts. The first two tests have left them scampering around with just a few players showing some character. Their bowling has been good though and yet lacks the spirit an international bowling side needs. The threat a batsman must feel when padding up to face a bowling attack should be real. That is something that is missing from this West Indian side. Even their coach Ottis Gibson admits that his team has a lot to learn from the English side.
The West Indies have already lost the three match test series and have only the final test to play and try and win at least for pride. Coach Gibson is hoping from his boys to understand that in both games, England hasn’t been in complete control always. There have been sessions where the West Indies have ruled sessions, but have ended up making a mess of it. England have gone on to wrest the control from the Caribbean visitors and eventually winning both games.
Speaking to the ECB website, Gibson said, “It's what I tell our young guys, this what you have to learn.” Gibson continued by saying, “When you are standing in the field, this is part of your learning, watching these guys and learning from them, not just admiring the good shots they play but watch how they go about building an innings, how they leave balls in the first hour and how they start after lunch. This is something that plagues us as well. We have a good session, we have a break and then as soon as the break ends we lose a wicket.”
He was England’s bowling coach back in 2007 and remained in the position till 2010, when he took over as the West Indian head coach. Having worked closely with the English side and also having played county cricket for Glamorgan and Leicestershire and Durham, Gibson knows how the English team operates. “I think they are a very well-oiled machine,” Gibson said. He further added, “They've always been a very tight-knit bunch, even when I was there. They know what they can expect from the guy next to them and they go out and deliver. If Broad doesn't get you, then Jimmy Anderson will or Tim Bresnan will.” Speaking about the English batting, Gibson said, “When you look at Strauss and Cook at the top of the order they just don't give their wicket away.”
Ottis Gibson debuted for the West Indies in 1995, against England and had a very short playing career. Even though his career lasted four years, Gibson played just 2 tests and 15 one day matches. He picked up 3 wickets in his two tests and has a better ODI record with 34 wickets and a half-century. Having been known as a one day specialist, it is no surprise that Gibson feels that his team’s best chance of making a mark in England would be in the one day series. Gibson said, “We believe we have an ODI team that is more than capable of winning that series. The ODI series is where I think the success is more likely to happen.”
According to the AFP, Gibson reportedly urged people from the Caribbean to to keep faith with his youthful side after their latest defeat; admitting criticism from “your own people” was tough to take.
Expressing hope in his team, Gibson signed off by saying, “We’ve still got another Test match, we are a proud people, we are very proud of our history and that we were once the number one team in the world and that's something we take a lot of pride in. We’ll go to Edgbaston in a week's time and put our pride before our performance and see how we come out.”