Gibson expects West Indies to fight to avoid clean sweep

Leeds, England – Ottis Gibson said West Indies will be keen to avoid a clean sweep, when they face England in the final match of their series of three One-day Internationals on Friday at Headingley-Carnegie here.


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The Windies coach said his side were a group of proud players and would not want to lose all the matches in the series, so he expected them to play impressively to defy the previous results.

The visitors trail 0-2 in the series, following a 114-run defeat under the Duckworth-Lewis Method in the first ODI last Saturday at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton and an eight-wicket loss in the second ODI at the Kia Oval in London.

"We’re playing cricket in England against a very good English side," said Gibson.

"We keep saying, on paper, we have the makings of a great side with Chris coming back, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, with the form those guys had in the IPL."

He added: "But it’s difficult to put into words how things shaped up so far in the series.

"We’ve shown that we can play, but England have just been that little step ahead of us all the time."

Gibson said West Indies will be looking to find the right balance for the final game, as they try to restrict England’s batting, which has flourished in the previous two matches.

"It’s difficult with the make-up of the side – with so many all-rounders in – and trying to fit them all in," he said.

"You look at it and you might think you’ve got all the bases covered…With us, this [structure] has proven to be successful in the past – and the all-rounders have managed to get through a few overs."

He said: "But I agree to a point that England have got four or five specialist bowlers.

"They’ve got specialist batsmen, they’ve got a keeper and then they’ve got specialist bowlers and everyone knows their role."

Gibson said England have used home advantage in the series wisely, but it was up to his side to understand home team’s tactics and find ways of counteracting them.

"They have a pretty clear strategy of playing four fast bowlers – and they are banging the ball hard into the pitch – and a number of our guys have got out playing shots against the short ball," he said.

"They have a clear strategy and it is something at which we have to look and come up with a way how we are going to play against it.

"We can’t let the same thing happen game-after-game. It is one of the things we have discussed and we will try to rectify."

West Indies were restricted to indoor training on the eve of the match, as heavy rains drenched the match venue and kept the covers on the field throughout the day.

More rain was forecast in the weather outlook for match day. Interestingly, two years ago, when West Indies were previously in Leeds, the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled, following torrential overnight rain.

Play is scheduled to start at 10:45 a.m. British Standard Time (5:45 a.m. East Caribbean Time – Jamaica minus another hour).