Hove, England: West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson is backing his bowlers to win him the three-Test series against England and says the tourists will do their homework on the World No. 1 side's batsmen. The Caribbean side meets England in the series starting May 17, with many pundits suggesting the Windies will struggle in unfamiliar wintry conditions. However, Gibson said he believed his bowling attack possessed enough quality to turn the screws on England's much-vaunted batting juggernaut. "We feel that our bowling attack is capable of getting 20 wickets in England," Gibson said Friday. "We haven't batted well. But if we can put some runs on the board, we believe that bowling attack is good enough."
England's settled batting line-up has been one of the reasons behind their success in recent years, piling up huge totals to provide their bowlers with targets to bowl at. And with West Indies boasting an inexperienced attack, England's batting stats make for daunting reading. Their top five batsmen all average over 40, with Jonathan Trott averaging 52, Kevin Pietersen 49, and opener Alistair Cook 48. Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior has been good enough to average 43.
Gibson said the Windies would be carefully drafting plans to counter the opposing side's powerful top order. "We will have some pretty good plans to their batters," he said. "We have a lot of footage and will trawl through it to see how we can exploit weaknesses, based also on my having bowled at them in the nets and spent a lot of time with them - and understanding how they think as batters." He added: "People improve their technique but their mentality stays the same sometimes. If I can add anything to our bowlers to help them gain an advantage and get them out, that is what I will be trying to do."
West Indies lost their last series here heavily three years ago, losing the first Test by 10 wickets and the second by an innings and 83 runs.