MIND OVER MATTER
Gibson wants more discipline from batsmen, bowlers in 2nd Test
The West Indies had a little luck when rain ensured a draw against New Zealand on the fifth day of the first Test on Saturday at University Oval in Dunedin, New Zealand, following their resolute second innings fightback engineered in chief by Darren Bravo’s 218.
Now he is hoping to cash in on the confidence boost when the Windies face the hosts this evening from 5.30 p.m. (TT time) at Wellington.
“The great golfer Gary Player once said that the harder he worked, the luckier he got,” said Gibson on the eve of the match. “We worked hard on the fourth day of the first Test and we felt we earned our bit of good fortune on the final day.
“If we had capitulated on the fourth day like we did in the first innings and didn’t take it into the final day, we would not have had that luck. It works both ways. New Zealand would have felt unlucky, but they know the conditions better than us. They knew when the rain would have been coming or not.”
As for team selections for the match, Gibson threw his faith behind inconsistent pace Shannon Gabriel, and also said there is a possibility both Shane Shillingford and mystery spinner Sunil Narine could appear in the final XI.
The two-spinner option...that’s a strong possibility,” he said. “We have to look at the pitch first. We’ve heard some things about it, that we won’t be able to tell the pitch from the outfield, so that will make us think for sure about two spinners or not.
“Shannon Gabriel did not have a good Test, he did not bowl very well, but we believe in him – that’s why we picked him – he’s shown he can be a quality performer, but we have to give him and Sheldon Cottrell all the support and give them the confidence they need to perform for us.”
Gibson felt West Indies preparation for the first Test was not “ideal”, with some players arriving in New Zealand just a few days before the match after their tour of India, where they endured a 2-0 Test shut out, and lost the three-One Day International series 2-1.
“The lack of preparation showed in our first two innings – our bowling first and first innings batting – where to be fair to New Zealand, they played well over the first two or three days and then we fought back really well which was very pleasing,” the coach said.
“It gives us more confidence going into the second Test and we are a more settled group – a few guys still have sniffles and colds – but we’re full of confidence from the way we fought from the second innings in Dunedin.”
What was even more encouraging for the former West Indies all-rounder was the fact that veteran player Shivnarine Chanderpaul and the experienced Marlon Samuels did not contribute much to the Windies’s second innings total of 507.
“It’s satisfying that we drew, but we still want our best players to be making contributions,” he said. “We know Shiv passed 11,000 runs during the match and Marlon has had a good couple of years since his return to the side, but he is now going through a down period. They are our key players and we support them through their ups and downs, but it’s good to see performances coming from other places in the team.
“The New Zealanders played very well for no reward, but they now know if they are going to beat us, they will have to play as good as they did or better. If they have got it within them, we will have to wait and see.”
To win, Gibson said, West Indies have to step up in both the batting and bowling departments, particularly in the first innings.
“I don’t think you can always bat from behind in a Test. This is something that has been happening for a long time, and even during our spell where we won six straight Tests, the first innings totals were inadequate.
“It’s about discipline of doing the same thing over and over and that is what Test matches require. It is, sometimes, about mind over matter...getting the ball, for instance as a bowler, in the right place and being patient.”
WEST INDIES (from): Darren Sammy (captain), Tino Best, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sheldon Cottrell, Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards, Shannon Gabriel, Sunil Narine, Veersammy Permaul, Kieron Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Chadwick Walton
NEW ZEALAND (from): Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Peter Fulton, Aaron Redmond, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Bradley-John Watling, Kane Williamson