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We'll have a good discussion about India: Ottis Gibson

We'll look to bowl in the right areas and swing it around, says the West Indies coach

We'll have a good discussion about India: Ottis Gibson - Cricket News
Coach Ottis Gibson of West Indies watches on during West Indies nets session.
What are you expecting in terms of the weather tomorrow because if it's as cloudy as this, India has a couple of handy swing bowlers?  What would you prefer? 
I'd prefer it to be 10 degrees warmer, that's for sure. I think both teams would. We are warm‑blooded type creatures coming from the Caribbean and India, so we would prefer it to be a few degrees warmer for sure.   

Why do you think scoring runs was difficult in the last match? 
Well, I think you had two good bowling attacks. I thought we bowled very well and then we always knew that Pakistan's strength was in their bowling; they've got three quality left‑handed fast bowlers bowling at 140‑plus, and they've got two excellent spinners, as well, in Akmal and Hafeez, so we knew that ‑‑ I thought it was good bowling. Obviously the pitch assisted a little bit. There was a little more bounce than perhaps we expected, but all in all I thought it was good bowling on the day from both teams.   

With so many players coming from the IPL, your players, anything that the bowlers or batsmen shared about the Indian batsmen? 
Yeah, well, that's one of the key things, I think. We have so many ‑‑ everybody has got video of each other now. We watch so much footage of each other, but we also have a lot of our players mixing with the Indian players in the IPL, our players, Dwayne, Chris, Pollard especially, Sunil Narine has been starring in the IPL, so hopefully they've got a lot of information to share when we get back this evening.  We'll have a really good discussion about the Indian players and stuff like that, and those guys will form part of the ‑‑ the main part of that discussion.   

Yeah, I agree the bowling was excellent the other day, Kemar Roach particularly, that first spell particularly was great.  He must be as fast as anyone. 
He is, and he, I think, over the last two years of his career, he's had a really good time. He's done very well for us. Coming into this tournament he hadn't been at his best, and he's put a lot of work in and I'm really pleased for him that the work that he put in has paid off. The first two warm‑up games didn't go particularly well for him, but you could see that the work that he was putting in meant that at some point in time he was going to have a day like he did on Tuesday, and we hope that he can ‑‑ he can probably fight it. 

But he's a big player for us, and we needed a performance like that from him, and we're very pleased for him, and we hope that he can do the same again tomorrow.   

West Indies in the past have really adopted the short ball strategy, short pitch bowling at India successfully.  Will that be an option even in these conditions? 
You know, I think we'll ‑‑ look, the last time we used short pitch bowling it was Joel Garner, Colin Croft, Michael Holding and people like that. We don't have those guys, those tall guys anymore, so as we saw against Pakistan, we pitched it up, we swung it a little bit and we put it in the right areas, and I suppose that will be the strategy going forward.   

And this is the same pitch that was used in the first game, as well, so do you think it will behave in a similar manner or maybe deteriorate a bit more? 
Yeah, the groundsman said it won't change much. He's put a little bit more preparation into it and stuff like that. I mean, I don't think ‑‑ in an ideal world you want to play on a fresh pitch, but the groundsman has said he don't expect the pitch to behave any different. He said he thinks it'll probably behave better than it did in the Pakistan game, so hopefully ‑‑ we'll wait to see what happens.   

You recognized that Narine has been a star of the IPL.  Do you think tomorrow's game adds a little more pressure on him to perform in West Indies colors? 
No, look, we tend to try and take pressure off people. Of course we know what he can do for us, but he's got a part to play in the game as well as the other five bowlers that we picked, so we expect everybody to play their part, the captain and the fielders around him to take the pressure off him. Generally if you're playing and you feel like you're under pressure you don't perform to your best, so we want him to try and be as relaxed and comfortable as he can and back his skills and his ability to get the job done for us.   

I was talking to Gordon Greenidge, who's an advisor to the Pakistanis’ batting, and I said to him would Chris Gayle have gotten into the side of the '80s and '90s, and he said no, he wouldn't have taken my place, maybe Desmond. Do you think he would have a chance at getting into that side? 
For sure, I think so. I think when you look at his career over the last 10 years, I saw what he's done. In all conditions against all opposition. You have to say that he's been outstanding. Of course that was a great era and a great team, but Chris is a great player, too.  It's difficult to say whether he ‑‑ he's not obviously facing the bowlers back then, but I'm sure there's some of the bowlers back then that wouldn't want to be bowling to him, either. Look, I would back him to get into any team.   

If conditions tend to be the same as in the Pakistan game, is there a possibility of throwing on Tino Best? 
There's always a possibility, yes (laughing).   

West Indies, especially after the T20 success, have been seen as a T20 sort of team. How difficult is it to get them out of that mind frame and adjust them to a 50‑over cricketing mindset? 
Look, over the last couple of years we've become a more experienced team. I think you saw against Pakistan, the Pollards, the Marlon Samuels, even Chris to a certain extent, curbed their natural attacking instincts, and Pollard played outstandingly well for us until he got a good ball, but you didn't see the sort of big hitting that you might see in the IPL. Most of Pollard's international hundreds, I think he's got three or four now, most of his international hundreds were hundreds where he occupied the crease, batted probably 30 or 40 overs for us but he came in everywhere and batted properly. We're finding out that a lot of our players, especially the IPL players, are also able to adapt and play along when the situation requires, and that's one of the things that we've worked really hard on over the last couple of years, and it's starting to bear fruit now, as well.   

This is the last Champions Trophy, and I'm wondering since this is the last time, over the last four years, there are so many Twenty20s around. As a West Indian and representing the West Indies, do you think that's good for the West Indies because you are good at Twenty20 cricket, but Twenty20 is the least skill‑oriented sport in professional cricket. 
Look, I think when you look at the style of play that we have as a nation, Twenty20 lends itself to the way we play, the way we like to play. Having said that, Twenty20 to me is always about entertainment. The 50‑over format and more importantly for me the Test format are where the real skills of cricket need to be applied, and that's where certainly ‑‑ Test cricket especially, and it's only my opinion, that's what I prefer. The ICC needs to do whatever it can to preserve the 50‑over format by taking out the Champions Trophy. I'm not sure that's the best thing. 

But whatever format it is, we won the T20 and we're here to try and win this one.  It's the last one like you said of its kind in this country.  The last time it was played in this country, we won it, and we're hoping that we can do the same thing again this year.   

What's with West Indies at The Oval -- very close finishes, 2004, the Final, and the last game, as well? Obviously makes for good viewing. 
Of course, and like I said just then about entertainment value, that's the one thing you will get when you come into the stadium to watch West Indies play, you will be entertained. 

There was a time not long ago where we entertained you and ended up on the wrong side of the result, and we're hoping to change that. We saw against Pakistan a very close entertaining match, low scoring but very entertaining, and we actually got the right result, and we're looking to do the same again. 

I think The Oval has always been a good place for West Indies. Going back to the history of West Indies cricket it's always been a good place for us. We're very comfortable here. Our guys enjoy coming here and the history and everything else. We play some really good cricket here, and we're hoping to do that tomorrow, as well.   

You were part of the World T20 campaign. Is the level of belief different this time around, especially having won your first match? 
Yeah, I believe so. I think we ‑‑ in the past, we've had this group of players together, and we've gone to major tournaments with high expectations and we didn't do as well as we could have done or should have done. Sri Lanka winning the tournament there gave us obviously huge belief that yes, we can win, we know we have the superstars, we know we have the players, the talent and the ability came into it, but we never really got the job done. Sri Lanka gave us a huge belief that we can, and you'll see a sort of renewed attitude within the team that when we come to major tournaments we're not just here to make the numbers up anymore. The rankings says that we are now eighth in the world. We know that on our day we're capable of beating the number 1 team, we're capable of beating any team in a format like this where it's so short and every game matters, then we have to bring our A game, and that is why we put in all the time in the nets and stuff like that to make sure that every game we are on top of our game and looking to win. 

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