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Windies coach gets a boost

NICHE: Ottis Gibson

BELEAGUERED WEST Indies coach Ottis Gibson has received a boost from an unexpected quarter. India coach Duncan Fletcher has praised the development of the West Indies team under Gibson.

His praise came in the wake of India’s 1-0 win over the hosts in the three-match series which concluded with a drawn game at Windsor Park in Dominica on Sunday.

“Under Ottis Gibson, the team is improving all the time. I have been with England here, I have seen them in England but the way they put it together here, they are moving up,” said Fletcher. “If that improvement continues, I wouldn’t like to be part of another touring side and play them.”

Gibson, 42, played just two Tests and 15 one-day internationals for the West Indies. However, in recent years he has carved out a niche for himself in the coaching world.

He spent more than two years with England as their bowling coach before giving up the job to become the West Indies coach in January 2010.

Slowly but surely, and against a backdrop of politics between the West Indies Cricket Board and certain players, Gibson would appear to be getting his message across.

West Indies lost the first Test by 63 runs at Sabina Park in Jamaica last month but managed to hang on to draw the second Test in Bridgetown a fortnight ago.

Centuries from debutant Kirk Edwards and Shiv Chanderpaul also helped the Windies earn a stalemate in the final Test against India who are rated the world’s top side.

“They bowled very well. Their batters slowly got better,” he pointed out. “It’s not only on the field, the way they move off the field, their warm ups, I take note of it. They looked a very professional unit.”

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