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Gibson: Batsmen failed to deliver

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Gibson: Batsmen failed to deliver

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MUMBAI – Shake off the rust and occupy the crease for long periods.
That’s the warning from head coach Ottis Gibson to the West Indies’ batsmen ahead of the second Test against India which starts on Thursday at the Wankhede Stadium.
The West Indies crashed to an innings and 51-run defeat in the first Test, which ended last Friday at Eden Gardens, falling for modest totals of 234 and 168 while India recovered from 83 for five to make 453.
“There is only so much talking any coach can do,” said Gibson. “When you play five batsmen, and you sit down and stress the importance of those five batsmen batting long, and you set yourself a challenge of batting a day and a half in the first innings, it is then up to those five batsmen to negotiate whatever the opposition bowlers throw at them and hang around for five days.
“When you have a run-out and a couple of soft dismissals within those five batsmen then it puts pressure on everybody else. That is exactly what happened. We have to get better. We have to learn from those mistakes and try not to repeat them – but we were a bit rusty coming and I expect to see a much better showing from this West Indies team in the next Test,” added Gibson.
While admitting the West Indies were a “little bit rusty” coming in to the series, Gibson made it clear that shouldn’t be used as an excuse.
“We won the toss in good batting conditions and we batted 70-odd overs in the first innings. That is just not good enough. We know in India you have to bat long, put runs on the board, 400 minimum in the first innings really.
“We still had our opportunities to make scores – we had six or seven guys who got starts and did not carry on. Only one guy got a half-century. When India batted only one or two of those guys got starts and made hundreds. And that was the difference,” he said.
On the decision to pick just five top-order batsmen, Gibson said: “When you look at the result, you will tend to want to think that way, but this is the combination that has won us our last few Tests and we back those guys.
“They did not perform as we expect and this is something we have to consider going into the next Test. It is a two-Test series and we have to look at the best combination to put out to make sure we win here. It is the way this team goes out and play that will make the difference.”
Gibson said they were using yesterday’s full training session to knock some more of the rust off their game and get into the right frame of mind to put up a stronger challenge the second time around.
“We’ve come out [on Sunday], since we were supposed to be playing the final day of the first Test and we will work harder in our preparation, and we will try to correct the things that went wrong.”
On the question of off-spinner Shane Shillingford being over-bowled, Gibson said the other bowlers need to be more effective.
“Darren Sammy did not play the role with the ball that he should have, and Veerasammy Permaul was our most economical bowler, but he was not as threatening as we would have liked.
“Those two were a little bit ineffective and so it puts a lot of pressure on other bowlers. Shane was our most effective bowler and your most effective bowler will normally bowl the most overs.”
He continued: “Tino Best and Sheldon Cottrell have a role to play when they come in for their short, sharp spells and have to be more accurate.
“We didn’t hit our straps, our lines and lengths for the seamers, and the spinners were not as accurate as they could be. But if you look at the first session on the second day, there were signs that if we get it right and can sustain it, we can be a threat.” (EZS/PR)