Gibson promises "better Windies"
PERTH, Australia, CMC – West Indies coach Ottis Gibson says there was no need to press the panic button despite watching his side get routed by Australia for their third lowest total in One-Day Internationals here last Friday.
Opting to bat first at the WACA Ground, the Windies were rolled over for 70 in seamer-friendly conditions with only three batsmen making it into double figures but none making it to 20.
The game ended in just over three hours with a nine-wicket defeat for the Caribbean side.
“It is not a situation where you will make wholesale changes, it’s only the first match in a five-match series so we’ve lost the first contest and there are four more to go and we’re obviously eagerly looking forward to the next four,” Gibson told a media conference on Saturday.
“I don’t expect there to be too many changes. The guys that were picked in the first game are the guys that we thought could do the job. We got knocked over [but] you have to back the guys you have in your squad.
“So we’ll back those guys, send them out tomorrow with perhaps better preparation, with perhaps a better mindset … I’m positive that you’ll see a different West Indies team.”
West Indies batsmen failed to come to grips with the prodigious movement and pace generated by the Australian seamers, and tumbled to their lowest ever score against the Aussies.
At one point, West Indies seemed en route to their lowest ever score at 39 for seven before captain Darren Sammy’s top score of 16 helped them to avoid complete embarrassment.
West Indies’ record low is 54 against South Africa nine years ago in Cape Town, followed by 61 against Bangladesh in Chittagong two years ago.
Gibson reminded that the resilience of the team over the last year had been such that the side had been able to bounce back from bad losses, and he expected no different in this scenario.
“That has been one of the hallmarks of this side over the last 12 months,” Gibson pointed out.
“We’ve had quite a few situations where we have had to bounce back but the one thing that has been there also for the last 12 months also is that we have had really good spirit in the team.
“It’s been forged through a lot of hard work and some strong discipline. The guys have been really getting together and believing in each other and getting stuck in.”
West Indies will look to make amends when they clash with Australia in the second match of the Perth doubleheader on Sunday (Saturday, 11:30 pm, Eastern Caribbean time).
Gibson said the team had recognised where they had gone wrong in the opening game and had been hard at work in the nets making the corrections.
“We’re a very talented batting side and obviously they’re a talented bowling side and they got the better of us [on Friday] but we look forward … to the challenge, that’s what international cricket does, it tests you,” Gibson said.
“Coming away from home into these conditions and especially starting the series here at Perth is always going to be a test. We had a nice pitch to bat on in Canberra [in the warm-up game] and it was obviously a lot flatter than this one, the ball didn’t swing as much.
“[On Friday], we saw pace with swing and stuff like that and we didn’t respond. We know that, we accept it that we didn’t respond quickly enough, we weren’t proactive enough in adapting our techniques.”