West Indies Losing Mental Battle Against England: Gibson

Nottingham (England), May 30 (IANS/CMC): West Indies cricket head coach Ottis Gibson says the team is losing the mental battle, after crashing to a nine-wicket loss in the second Test inside four days here Monday.

The Trent Bridge loss, coming on the heels of the five-wicket defeat in the first Test at Lord's last week, has left West Indies 0-2 down in the three-match series with the final Test scheduled to start June 7 at Edgbaston.

In both games, the West Indies have played brilliantly in patches only to let themselves down with especially horrendous batting collapses.

Gibson said while some of the West Indies' poor performances could be explained by technical flaws, he pointed out that it was the mental aspects that were causing the Windies' repeated downfalls.

"At Lord's, (Adrian) Barath played really well. (Jimmy) Anderson is a world class swing bowler, when the ball is swinging he's probably the best in the world at it," Gibson explained.

"Barath played really well to get through two hours of him (at Lord's) and then straight after lunch played at a ball outside off-stump that he would have left in that first two hours.

He continued: "So it's not a technical thing. It's being able to repeat your skill over and over again and that's what the top teams in the world do: they test your technique, they test your character, they test your mental strength and that's perhaps where we're falling short.

"They are doing the hard work but they're not doing it for long enough."

The West Indies rallied from 136 for six in the first innings at Trent Bridge to reach 370 all out and then bowled brilliantly to restrict England to 428, after the hosts had raced to 259 for two at the end of day two.

However, the Windies then collapsed in a heap at 61 for six at the close of Sunday's third day before rallying to 165 all out.

The West Indies will face English county Leicestershire in a two-day game at the weekend before the final Test bowls off on June 7 at Edgbaston and Gibson said his side would use the time to regroup and examine their options.

He said consideration would be given to reshuffling the batting to push the in-form Marlon Samuels and the promising Darren Bravo higher up the order.

"We've got a good week off to go back and reflect on where we are at the moment and what we can salvage out from the rest of the series with one Test match to go and look at all the different options that we have available and that is certainly one of them: maybe moving Marlon to (number three) or Darren," Gibson told reporters.

"Leading up to this two-day game (this weekend) we'll sit down as a team management and look at what we think is best and how best we can manage the resources that we have available to us to make the best out of the last Test."

Gibson said the Leicestershire fixture would be used to allow batsmen to "regain their confidence".

"The top order needs more time in the middle it seems so we'll give them every opportunity in that game," he noted.


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