DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC – Defending champions West Indies remained bullish ahead of today’s crucial World Twenty20 clash against hosts Bangladesh, refusing to be daunted by Sunday’s defeat to India that triggered criticism of their running between the wickets.
Head coach Ottis Gibson told reporters here yesterday the Caribbean side was still in good spirits, and would not suddenly rearrange their entire approach to the tournament simply because of one loss.
West Indies produced a lethargic performance in their opening game to go down by seven wickets to India and with their power-hitters shackled by accurate Indian bowling, new questions are being raised about the Caribbean side’s over-dependence on boundaries.
“Some teams have players that can’t clear the rope easily so they hit the ball into spaces and run and some teams have guys that can clear the boundaries easily so it works both ways. Based on what happened [in the last game] people will start to make assumptions but the reality is that India bowled well and yes, we didn’t get a lot of singles but we don’t normally get a lot of singles, but that’s the way it goes sometimes,” Gibson contended.
“It is about playing to your strengths. We are blessed with players who can hit the ball in the stands. I’m sure most people would love to see Chris (Gayle) standing there hitting the ball in the stands than trying to take a quick single and pull a hamstring.”
He continued: “When you look back at the game, most of our best players – Chris Gayle, Marlon (Samuels), Sunil Narine, (Dwayne) Bravo, (Darren) Sammy – they’ve all played a lot of IPL cricket and the Indians know them quite well and a lot of plans they had, worked for them. They seemed to come out of the IPL.
“Bangladesh is a different opposition and we look forward to that challenge tomorrow. We know we have to begin to win from here on if we want to remain in the competition and that’s all we are focussing on tomorrow.”
West Indies struggled badly in the early overs against India’s seam attack and were then derailed by spin, as they limped to 129 for seven off their 20 overs. Gayle’s top score of 34 required 33 balls, proof of the difficulty in scoring which the Windies experienced.
Gibson, however, argued that the Windies just needed to improve on how they read situations in the middle, instead of abandoning their aggressive batting style.
“If we are aware of what an opposition is most likely to do, you need to adjust your mindset to counteract that. We’re not going to go from a team that apparently don’t run singles – and we do sometimes – to hitting the ball and running singles,” he said.