West Indies face tough WC test against England: Gibson

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2011, 23:43 PM IST

Chennai: With three wins in four games, West Indies are on course for a quarterfinal berth in the World Cup but coach Ottis Gibson feels the team has a tough challenge in their match against England to be played on Thursday here.

"The game against England is our next challenge and it is going to be a tough one. We are hoping to continue the momentum by winning. We got to win that game and let everybody else decide where they want to finish. We are just focusing on us. Making sure we get out of the group," Gibson told reporters after the side`s practice session at the M A Chidambaram stadium here.

The coach said the team would make it a tough one for England, who are in a do-or-die situation for ensuring the quarterfinal berth having won only two games of the five they played.

"I suppose. They have had a quite a lot of tough matches upto now. So we will...all intentions will be to make this one as tough as possible for them as well. We are not too concerned about their form. we are just focussing on us and what we are here to.”

"For us we just have to plan and prepare us for every game. The guys will have a rest day tomorrow to recharge their batteries and get to nets two days before the game. At the moment England form is a little bit different. But they still are a talented team a dangerous side so we will not be taking them for granted," Gibson said.

He declined to look beyond the coming match and talk about their last encounter against India here on March 20, saying the team`s focus was on the England game. "We are not thinking about team India as yet. We have got an important game against England in a couple of days time and thats where our focus is."

However, when pressed further, he said, "of course they (India) can be beaten. You never go into any game thinking that you cannot beat the team.

"We know India are a formidable team at home. We know every time they lose or have close games everybody else hope that if we play our best cricket then there is always a chance and that we can beat them and that is the chance we hope to take when the time comes. But like I said we are not even thinking about that now," he said.

On all-rounder Chris Gayle`s injury, who did not participate in team`s training session today, he said, "He was at the gym in the hotel. His symptoms are improving. So we felt giving him another couple of days rest and hopefully he will be fit for the game against England."

About the Chepauk strip, Gibson said, "We just looked at it. We couldn`t really see because there was no sun light. It looks very dry from what we have seen. We know in the games played here so far spin has played a part. Ball reverses at the end as well in the England and South African games." On West Indies` performance so far after coming into the tournament with not much attention, he said the team had a pretty decent run-up upto now barring the one bad performance against South Africa.

"Nobody gave us a chance. We had a lot of belief in ourselves and in the ability of guys in the team. We know that we have got a lot of guys who have had experience in the sub-continent before. We always knew we can get out of the group. Of course we are not there yet.”

"The game against England is our next challenge. We look forward to that game and playing our brand of cricket that we played upto now. It might have surprised a few people but not us. We know the talent in the team. The guys are enjoying the world cup," Gibson said.

On West Indies, known for its fiery pace attack now banking on spinners to open the attack, he said, "We have got a squad with the likes of Suleiman Benn who opens the bowling in Twenty20 cricket. So it is not new to him and he has done brilliantly."

"And we also have Nikita Miller, a young guy. We have got three spinners now in the squad and three seamers. Andre Russell played very well in that last game against Ireland. We have a lot of options."

He said the team was aware that spin would going to play a major role on these low and slow sub-continent wickets. "So we picked up two left-arm spinners. We always thought we could also rely on off-spinner Chris Gayle. Chris obviously having a little injury concern," he said.