West Indies Full Of Confidence - Gibson
Head coach Ottis Gibson says the West Indies are 'full of confidence' after battling back to draw the opening Test against New Zealand in Dunedin.
After a poor first three days, which Gibson admits is partly down to virtually no preparation time, a Darren Bravo double-century and some timely rain which wiped out the final session enabled the West Indies to draw the match despite having followed on.
Rain in Wellington also forced them to train indoor ahead of the seccond Test, which gets underway on 11th December, but Gibson remains upbeat.
"The great golfer Gary Player once said that the harder he worked, the luckier he got," Gibson said.
"We worked hard on the fourth day of the first Test and we felt we earned our bit of good fortune on the final day.
"If we had capitulated on the fourth day like we did in the first innings and didn’t take it into the final day, we would not have had that luck.
"It works both ways. New Zealand would have felt unlucky, but they know the conditions better than us. They knew when the rain would have been coming or not."
With the West Indies heading to India at relatively short notice to play two Tests and three One-Day Internationals in November, it meant the majority of Gibson's players did not arrive in New Zealand in time to feature in the one warm-up game that was arranged.
That impacted on their performance as they allowed New Zealand to post 609 for nine and were then bowled out for just 213 in reply.
"The lack of prepartion showed in our first two innings – our bowling first and first innings batting – where to be fair to New Zealand, they played well over the first two or three days and then we fought back really well which was very pleasing.
"It gives us more confidence going into the second Test and we are a more settled group – a few guys still have sniffles and colds – but we’re full of confidence from the way we fought from the second innings in Dunedin.
"The New Zealanders played very well for no reward, but they now know if they are going to beat us, they will have to play as good as they did or better. If they have got it within them, we will have to wait and see."
Nevertheless, Gibson still wants to see improvement from his own team as they look to end 2013 on a high.
"As a bowling group, we need to improve, and as a batting group, we need to improve on our first innings performance," he said.
"I don’t think you can always bat from behind in a Test. This is something that has been happening for a long time, and even during our spell where we won six straight Tests, the first innings totals were inadequate.
"It’s about discipline of doing the same thing over and over and that is what Test matches require. It is, sometimes, about mind over matter...getting the ball, for instance as a bowler, in the right place and being patient.
"If you look at the way they bowled to us, they bowled with great discipline especially in that first innings and we just have to learn from them. We have to learn patience. It is a skill that we certainly need to work on as a bowling group."
Gibson also revealed that he may consider playing two spinners in Wellington. Shane Shillingford's quickfire four wickets in New Zealand's second innings and a dry pitch could hand Sunil Narine a start as well.
"That’s a strong possibility," Gibson said when asked whether he would pick two spinners.
"We have to look at the pitch first. We’ve heard some things about it, that we won’t be able to tell the pitch from the outfield, so that will make us think for sure about two spinners or not.
"Shannon Gabriel did not have a good Test, he did not bowl very well, but we believe in him – that's why we picked him – he’s shown he can be a quality performer, but we have to give him and Sheldon Cottrell all the support and give them the confidence they need to perform for us."
Narine was brought into the squad after Shillingford's doosra was reported in India and he, along with Marlon Samuels, whose faster ball was reported, underwent tests on his action prior to the first Test.
Gibson hopes that the results of his test is positive and that it does not interfere with the upcoming match.
"We have not heard anything from theI ICC," Gibson said. "We have left it up to them. They are the ones that have to digest the reports and give us the results. Hopefully, the results will be favourable for us and he can get on with his career.
"If nothing is said before the Test starts on Wednesday, I don’t believe we will know until after the game. I don’t think it would be fair to him to issue the results in the middle of the game.
"We would prefer it to take place before the game starts on Wednesday or after."
© Cricket World 2013