Chandigarh, India – West Indies Head Coach Ottis Gibson has hailed fast bowler Kemar Roach for his excellent bowling in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 so far. Speaking on Sunday, Gibson said he was very impressed with Roach’s performances and his ability to lead the team’s bowling attack.
Roach has been one of the stars of the tournament thus far and has won two Player-of-the-Match awards. The 22-year-old has taken 10 wickets at a strike rate of 13.5. On several occasions he topped 150 kph speed mark. He had a career-best 6-27 against Netherlands including an amazing solo hat-trick – the first by a West Indian in the Cricket World Cup.
"He has been excellent. He has been world-class," Gibson told reporters at the official media briefing on Sunday.
"Everyone in the Caribbean knew from when he was very young that he has the ability to be world-class and here he’s proving it with every performance. he’s showing it on the biggest stage – the Cricket World Cup."
Gibson added: "He has taken on the challenge very well. We hope he stays healthy and continues to deliver for us. He is leading our attack and has done a really great job for the team and for the people of the West Indies. The way he came back [second spell] against Holland and beat batsmen for pace, the way he attacked the stumps and got the ball to reverse swing, was great to watch. He’s very skilful and is bowling very well for us at the moment and I want him to continue what he’s doing."
Roach also played a pivotal role in the win on Friday’s over Bangladesh in Dhaka. He took three wickets as the hosts fell for 58. Gibson also hailed the efforts of skipper Darren Sammy and the other members of the team in that remarkable victory.
"The team is well led by Darren Sammy and he made some very good decisions on that day which led to us taking the advantage from the start and maintaining it throughout the match," said Gibson, a former Barbados and West Indies allrounder.
"It is how we won the two matches which is most pleasing for me. We made 300 against Holland and then rolled them over. Then to go to Bangladesh and bowl them out for 58 and beat them in their own yard was an outstanding performance by everyone in the team."
Gibson added: "We beat two teams – Holland and Bangladesh – and these were two teams most people would have expected us to beat. Let’s not go starting any parties as yet. We still have a long way to go in this World Cup and we are confident of doing well. The players have been preparing well and they have earned their success.
"Everyone is aware of the incident in Dhaka on Friday night. We got everyone together, we spoke about it as a team, and we have moved on. We are back in India and we are focussing on the job at hand which is face the Irish."
The West Indies will have a full training session on Monday as they prepare for their fourth Group B match against Ireland on Friday at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. First ball is 9.30 am (12 midnight Eastern Caribbean Time/11 pm Thursday Jamaica Time).