West Indies in India 2013: Confidence high in our camp, says Ottis Gibson

West Indies will be playing a warm-up game against Uttar Pradesh in Kolkata commencing on Thursday © Getty Images (Representational Photo)

Kolkata: Oct 30, 2013

West Indies might have played their last Test more than six month ago, but coach Ottis Gibson says his team is high on confidence as it gets ready to take on India in two-Test series next month.

“We know we have a lot of talented players in our team. We are a spirited team. ‘One team, one goal’ is the focus of our side. The spirit and confidence in the team is high. There’s a lot of camaraderie going around in the camp. We hope that shows when we get on the field,” Gibson said while addressing the media in Kolkata on Wednesday.

The coach, however, admitted that their preparation was not ideal, although they had an intensive one-week team building exercise in Miami in the US before coming to India.

“It was not ideal obviously… We were kind of getting ready for New Zealand and when this the tour came about, we went to Miami last week for a team building. A lot of guys were playing around and the Champions League just finished,” he said.

West Indies will be playing a warm-up game against Uttar Pradesh in Kolkata commencing on Thursday.

“We have been playing cricket, not red ball cricket though. We now have the opportunity here in Kolkata and we’re looking forward to get into the mode of red ball cricket,” Gibson told reporters.

“We have a great mix of experience players and youngsters. Quite a few guys played here during the ‘A’ team’s tour only last month. We have been playing a lot of cricket all around the world. This week is an important week for us to get back into the mode,” he added.

Asked whether the facilities in US were adequate, the 44-year-old said: “There’s a brand new stadium… the pitch was under prepared when we got there. We did manage to have some practice on an arranged pitch.”

There used to be a time when the Windies boasted of the best pace attack with Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Malcom Marshall in their ranks but that’s not the case anymore and Gibson said it was due to more spin-friendly conditions these days all around the world.

“When you look at the way the pitches around the world now, they are not as fast as it used to be. The pitches in the Caribbean, do not have pace anymore. There’s a lot of spin in the wickets.

“You have to look at the conditions you’re facing and then pick the team accordingly. We have to make sure that we have players to utilise the condition on offer. We still have some quality fast bowlers in Kemar Roach and Tino Best. Also we have a surprise package in left arm pacer Sheldon Cotterrell,” he insisted.

On Ravi Rampaul, the coach said since he was suffering from an injury, he had been rested.

Asked about mystery spinner Sunil Narine‘s absence from the Test squad, Gibson said the off-spinner was yet to get ready for the grind of Test cricket.

“He’s played a couple of Tests for us and he’s been okay.

Shane [Shillingford] has been excellent. Yes, he’s done well in the one-day format. We want to give him more time before he’s used to the Test format. We want him to come back as an outstanding Test cricketer,” said Gibson.