Gibson: Let’s beat the coldWest Indies coach Ottis Gibson. (FP)
Thu, May 03, 2012 - 12:03 AM
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson has challenged his players to overcome the expected cold temperatures and unfamiliar conditions when the three-Test tour of England begins later this week.
Gibson is encouraged by the recent progress shown by his team despite losing 0-2 to Australia at home in a three-match series, but acknowledged that taking on the top-ranked English would present a more difficult task.
“We have to get out there and be tough and be men and play some very hard cricket,” said Gibson, as the West Indians left the Caribbean on Tuesday. “If ever there was a case for home-court advantage, this is it. Going to England, for us especially, coming out of a very, very hot Dominica, going up there in early May, is always a challenge.
“We’re playing against the No. 1 team in the world, so, of course, we’re going to expect it to be tough."
West Indies have two warm-up matches – the first against Sussex on Saturday before the opening Test at Lord’s on May 17.
West Indies’ last Test series in England, in 2009, was also in May with temperatures that were regularly below 10°Celsius. The Caribbean side was beaten badly in both Tests.
The first was lost at Lord’s by 10 wickets inside three days; the second was by an innings and 83 runs at Chester-le-Street early on the fifth day despite an entire day being lost to the weather.
“We know it’s going to be cold, so there’s no point whingeing about it,” Gibson said. ”No one should expect that we’re going to feel cold and want to cuddle each other up or something warm.
“I believe that the team is shaping up quite nicely, heading in the right direction. Winning isn’t far away and the young guys are developing. There are some good signs for the future. I think this young team will equip itself very well and I think that our guys will rise to the challenge like we did in parts in the Australia series.”
But Gibson said he was staying out of the Chris Gayle dispute and will wait on the West Indies Cricket Board to sort out the player’s availability for the limited oves aspect of the tour.
“The whole Chris Gayle saga that ha gone on far too long for my liking. I’ve kinda kept out of it for the lat eight months or so and I intend to do so until someone calls me and tells that Chris is available,” he said.
“If Chris is available ten of course he is someone that and can add value to our team but I will wait to hear from the hierarchy what the situation is regarding that.”
SQUAD: Darren Sammy (captain), Kirk Edwards (vice captain), Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Fidel Edwards, Assad Fudadin, Shannon Gabriel, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper), Ravi Rampaul, Shane Shillingord, Marlon Samuels. Head coach: Ottis Gibson. (AP/CMC)
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