Ahead of their ICC Champions Trophy group B clash against India at The Oval here on Tuesday, the West Indies team management is banking on quality feedback from its Indian Premier League stars.
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson told reporters here the IPL stars are expected to provide "intelligence" on the Indian players in Monday night's team meeting. The winner of Tuesday's match is guaranteed a berth in the Champions Trophy semifinals. Both India and West Indies have won the tournament once before.
The IPL connection will play a crucial factor for Team West Indies, admitted Gibson.
"Well, that's one of the key things, I think. Everybody has got video of each other now. We watch so much footage of each other, but we also have a lot of our players mixing with the Indian players in the IPL. Our players, Dwayne (Bravo), Chris (Gayle), (Kieron) Pollard especially and Sunil Narine have been starring in the IPL, so hopefully they've got a lot of information to share when we get back this evening. Â
"We'll have a really good discussion about the Indian players and stuff like that, and those guys will form the main part of that meeting," said Gibson.
Gibson ruled out chin music against the Indians. The former pacer from Barbados, who has been England's bowling coach, admitted the current squad did not have the class and caliber of the pacemen of the Eighties.
"The last time we used short pitch bowling it was Joel Garner, Colin Croft, Michael Holding and people like that. We don't have those guys, those tall guys anymore, so as we saw against Pakistan, we pitched it up, we swung it a little bit and we put it in the right areas, and I suppose that will be the strategy going forward," Gibson said.
The 44-year-old Gibson is well versed with English conditions. He signed up for Glamorgan in 2006 but next season, he played for Durham and took 10 wickets in an innings against Hampshire in July 2007. But London's cold weather conditions can be a deterrent, Gibson said.
"I'd prefer it to be 10 degrees warmer, that's for sure. I think both teams would. We are warm-blooded type creatures coming from the Caribbean and India, so we would prefer it to be a few degrees warmer for sure," Gibson said, adding the West Indian attack depended heavily on Kemar Roach, who took three for 28 against Pakistan.
"I think, over the last two years of his career, he's had a really good time. He's done very well for us. Coming into this tournament he hadn't been at his best, and he's put a lot of work in and I'm really pleased that the work that he put in has paid off. "The first two warm up games didn't go particularly well for him, but you could see that the work that he was putting in meant that at some point in time he was going to have a day like he did on Tuesday, and we hope that he can he can probably fight it.
"But Kemar is a big player for us, and we needed a performance like that from him, and we're very pleased for him, and we hope that he can do the same again tomorrow," Gibson said.