Late wickets will help us restrict India: Ottis Gibson

Ottis Gibson said bowlers hung in there and got the five wickets in what was a tough day for the West Indies Getty Images AFP

Kolkata: Nov 14, 2011

India may be poised for huge score in their first innings in the second cricket Test on Monday, but West Indies coach Ottis Gibson feels his wards did a decent job by dismissing half of the rival team and hoped to restrict the hosts to a manageable total on Tuesday.

Electing to bat, India rode on Rahul Dravid’s fluent 119, his 36th Test century, and VVS Laxman’s unbeaten 73 to score 346 runs for the loss of five wickets at stumps on the opening day.

But Gibson said two quick wickets of Dravid and night watchman Ishant Sharma towards the closing stages today gave West Indies something to cheer about in an otherwise uneventful day for the visitors.

“Our guys toiled hard but credit to them. They hung in there and got the five wickets in what was a tough day for us,” the West Indies coach said at the post day’s press conference.

“We have seen over the years that they (Indian batsmen) are good combination. But even then we hung in there and got the five wickets. It’s not at all a bad day for us.

“It’s only day one and both the teams are capable of a collapse as we saw in Delhi. We hope to regroup and make sure we recover well. Tomorrow is a new day and anything can happen. We have to go out there with a positive mindset. We will try to restrict them,” Gibson added.

Gibson also did not complain about the batting-friendly Eden strip.

“The nature of subcontinent wickets have always been like that. It’s not spun either for the spinners. But credit to Kemar Roach, good to see him get a wicket at the end of the day. Hope he get more wickets tomorrow,” he said.

Before the start of the match, there were talks that West Indies might opt for an extra spinner in Shane Shillingford in place injured Ravi Rampaul, but Gibson said the tourists chose Roach instead keeping in mind India’s weakness for pace.

“It was a tough decision but we saw historical evidence. The Indians play spin well so we went for Kemar (Roach) because of his extra pace. With Ravi (Rampaul) missing, he filled in the spot quite well,” Gibson said.

He also praised Dravid for his classy century but said they were happy to see the return of the right-hander, who played on a Kraigg Brathwaite delivery to miss his 13,000-run mark by just 21 runs.

“He (Dravid) is obviously a class batsman. He is batting well for about 20 years. He has been in great form this year.

He has great appetite for runs. I am sure he will make runs in Australia as well. But it was nice to get him with young Kraigg Brathwaite taking the wicket,” the West Indies coach said.

Gibson also justified West Indies decision not to take the new ball, saying, “Dravid was batting well. We thought we can come fresh tomorrow. But without taking a new ball we got a wicket. So it’s a good thing for us.”

Asked whether young leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo has been finding it tough to manage his workload, Gibson said, “The great Shane Warne came to India and was not that successful here. Bishoo is doing a great job for us, picking up key wickets.

“We have spoken about the workload on Bishoo. He has been our main spinner for nearly 10 months. But you got to take into account the fact that he is bowling to top quality batsmen.”

The coach further added that the Caribbean side was doing well in the recent past with lot of youngsters trying to prove themselves ahead of their series against Australia in March next year.

“If you see the last 12 months, we have made some strides. We have introduced a lot of youngsters into international cricket. We have seen Kraigg Brathwaite coming in, then Kemar (Roach), (Devendra) Bishoo all doing well.

“Shiv (Shivnarine Chanderpaul) is the only senior player (in the team). He has been doing a great job leading the batting,” Gibson said.(PTI)