Georgetown, Guyana – West Indies Head Coach Ottis Gibson has congratulated his team on their remarkable victory in the First Digicel Test against Pakistan and has urged them to put in the same effort in the Second Digicel Test, which opens on Friday at Warner Park in St Kitts.
Speaking after the 40-run win at the Guyana National Stadium, Gibson said it was an important triumph for the team but it was also vitally important that they maintain the standards set and look to win the second match as well.
"The way we batted out the first day and the way we understood how difficult it was going to be showed me that everyone understood what was happening. In the past, given the nature of the pitch we would probably have capitulated, but to hang in there and battle all day on the first day, was what probably set us up for the fight we showed in the next three days," Gibson said.
"The contribution from the lower order was exceptional. One of the things we have changed in our nets is that ‘everybody is a batsman’. Everyone must be seen to be trying to improve in the batting department. That was a huge difference in the match."
The former West Indies all rounder was full of praise for the bowlers who limited Pakistan to below 200 in both innings. Skipper Daren Sammy won the Man-of-the-Match award for his match figures of 7-45. He received superb support from pacer Ravi Rampaul, who also took seven in the match and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who took four wickets in the first innings.
In the latest ICC Test match player rankings released on Monday, Sammy vaulted 16 places to rise to 29th position, Rampaul has jumped 36 places to the 58th spot after match figures of 7-75 while Bishoo has entered the top 100 in 81st place after figures of 4-68 and 0-56.
"For Sammy, who was under so much pressure, to perform the way he did was a credit to himself and the way he goes about his work. He’s an honest worker and a hard trier. You could not ask for more.
"Also for Ravi, who has been in and out, to come back into the team was great to see. He is a pleasure to work with and has a thirst for knowledge.
"Bishoo came in and did a great job with the ball. He’s a keen, hungry, young cricketer who just wants to get better and do great things for the West Indies. He’s an asset to have around. When he didn’t get any wickets for us in the second innings others stepped up and delivered. That is what team is all about," Gibson added.
"The contribution of the whole team, was great. Everybody worked hard and we all stuck together. We won the first match so that means we can’t lose the series, but we don’t want to stop there. Winning the series is the goal. It has always been the goal.
"Long before the Pakistanis arrived we spoke about the belief in the team that we could win the series. We want to win in St Kitts and take the series. Before Sunday’s result it was more than years since we won a Test match and over two years since we last won a series. You will have to go back a long time since the West Indies last won back-to-back Test matches.
"The team will feed off this win and we will enjoy it. In international sport you have to enjoy your success especially, in our case where our last victory was more than two years ago."
Sunday’s win meant the Windies have now gone three consecutive matches with victories over the Pakistanis on this tour. The home side lost the first three Digicel ODIs, but bounced back to win the last two Digicel ODIs and the First Digicel Test.
The two teams travel to St Kitts today for the Second Digicel Test at the scenic Warner Park. Both teams are slated to have training sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.