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Gibson calls on batsmen to step up against England


THE West Indies left the Caribbean on Tuesday to face England in what is going to be a gruelling series against the world’s number one cricketing nation.

Windies coach Ottis Gibson, never one to mince words, is calling on the batsmen to step up their game if the regional side is going to have a chance of winning matches against the English. Gibson, who spoke to the press prior to the team’s departure from the Grantley Adams International Airport, praised Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the outstanding way he has led the batting, and wants the other batsmen to do the same.

“If we can get some runs from anybody in our batting line-up, in our top six, I think the top six should make the bulk of the runs every time we go out there to bat. So if we can get some runs from our top six, then I know we have the bowling attack that is capable of making some inroads against and doing some real damage to the England batting,” said Gibson.

Along with Chanderpaul, Gibson also singled out Darren Bravo and Kirk Edwards as two other batsmen capable of doing well for the West Indies.

“Darren Bravo has done a lot of good work in recent series. He did very well in India and he did reasonably well against Australia. Kirk Edwards is somebody that has been to England on a few contracts and I think he made 147 in a one-day game with an ‘A’ team in England, so he’s got some experience of England as well.

He is somebody that when he comes back in our batting line-up at number three he gives it a little bit of solidity, so hopefully he will have a good series as well,” said Gibson.

Gibson is a former bowling coach for England, and gave up that job to become the West Indies head coach in January 2010 and he knows that his charges will be facing very stiff opposition. Along with that, the regional side will have to face the chilly weather of England, which some of them have never experienced before.

“We know it is going to be tough, but we would like to think we could be competitive like we were against India and in the last series against Australia just recently and winning certainly is never out of our minds. We know it is going to be difficult, but we are going to try to win as much as possible. The one-day series might present us with the best opportunity to win. That said, in Test cricket we intend to be very, very competitive,” said Gibson.

The West Indies will face Sussex at Hove in a three-day tour game scheduled for May 5-7, while the first Test will begin at Lord’s on May 17. (PG)

Squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Kirk Edwards (vice-captain), Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Fidel Edwards, Assad Fudadin, Shannon Gabriel, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford.

Full tour schedule
5-7: Sussex vs. West Indies – Hove
10-13: England Lions vs. West Indies – Northampton
17-21: 1st Test – Lord’s
25-29: 2nd Test – Trent Bridge
2-3: Leicestershire vs. West Indies – Grace Road
7-11: 3rd Test – Edgbaston
13: Middlesex vs. West Indies – Lord’s
16: 1st One-day International – The Rose Bowl
19: 2nd One-day Interna-tional – The Oval
22: 3rd One-day International – Leeds
24: Twenty20 International – Nottingham

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