Coach: Champions Trophy chance for another WI win
West Indies’ coach Ottis Gibson believes the upcoming Champions Trophy is an opportunity for his team to claim their second ICC global trophy in the space of nine months.
The current World Twenty20 champions bowl off their Champions Trophy campaign on June 7 at The Oval against Pakistan.
Gibson is confident that this tournament is an opportunity for his side, the 2004 champions, to carry on their winning momentum.
“It is a great opportunity for us,”?he said. “We have quite a few players who have played in England and Wales before. The hardest thing will be to get used to the conditions early. But we have quite an experienced One-day outfit at the moment, so once we get there and get acclimatized early we will be OK.
“We believe we can win these big tournaments, having recently done it in Sri Lanka. So, this is something that we are really looking forward to,” added the 44-year-old Barbadian.
Gibson, speaking in an interview with the ICC, said it was always difficult in a format like the Champions Trophy with the top eight teams in the world to choose a winner.
“I think the weather is going to play a big part in the tournament, so I believe England could be listed as favourites simply because of the weather conditions and they have been in good form in this format recently. Getting acclimatized to the conditions early will be a huge factor,” admitted the former England bowling coach.
He conceded that the regional players need to improve on their performances in the one-day format.
“We haven’t done all that well in the 50-over format recently and that is something we are trying to address. We had some success against Zimbabwe recently at home and that is certainly something that we can build on as we head to England.
“We understand what it will take for us to do well in England and we recognize we will have to be able to bat out the 50 overs, absorb the pressure and be able to catch up at the back end of our innings. We will need a lot of good efforts from the top order to get us in good positions and we believe we have the bowling attack to do very well in the English conditions.”
Although reluctant to say who will be his team’s key players, Gibson said the young players in the West Indies side were the ones to take the team forward.
“The team has not been selected as yet so it’s difficult to pick out people and name them. However, we have some excellent players who can take West Indies cricket forward. Age-wise and cricket-wise people may say that Kemar Roach is not one of the ‘youngsters’ but he is one of our players who is learning all the time and we expect a lot from him.
“We also have Darren Bravo, who is starting to fulfill his promise, and we also have young Johnson Charles, who got two centuries in about 10 ODIs, and these are players who are learning from the more experienced players in the group,” he added.
Gibson admitted the Champions Trophy was an important tournament ahead of the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
“This is a good opportunity for us as a one-day team to see where we are compared to the other guys. This tournament format is similar to how the World Cup is going to be – you have to get out of the group stage to advance to the second phase.” (EZS/ICC)