Gibson expects tough series against depleted India

Last Updated: Jun 03, 2011, 20:19 PM IST

Port-of-Spain: West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said India, despite being a depleted side on the current tour, will pose a tough challenge in the Twenty20 and One-day cricket series.

The Indian squad for the five ODIs is being led by Suresh Raina and is without eight players from the victorious World Cup squad.

The series will take off with a Twenty20 International at the Queen`s Park Oval Saturday.

Three Indian players -- captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan -- have been rested while Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh are nursing injuries. Leg spinner Piyush Chawla and fast bowler S.Sreesath were overlooked.

"They (India) would not be coming here as any push-overs, we`ve got to take the fight to them and ensure we come out victorious," Gibson said during the team`s training session at the National Cricket Centre, Couva.

"We had mixed results against Pakistan (referring to the Test and ODI series) but we expect a tougher challenge from India, especially as they are the world (One-Day International) champions," he said.

Gibson said captain Darren Sammy is still overcoming a lower back injury and is doubtful for the Twenty20 match.

The West Indies beat Pakistan in the one-off Twenty20, lost the ODI series 2-3 and drew the Test series 1-1.

"We are trying to blend the younger players with the established ones and we hope to see the fruits of that labour in the coming months," Gibson was quoted as saying by a daily newspaper.

Asked about the team`s inconsistencies with the bat against Pakistan, Gibson said, "I know some of the batsmen have been making good strides in the nets with (batting coach) Desmond Haynes, but it`s only when they go out in the middle that they have to produce the goods."