West Indies played a peculiar game against India on Sunday as their vaunted hitters were tied down and for a while -- after 10 overs they had reached 46 for the loss of Dwayne Smith who took 29 balls to score 11 -- it was doubtful whether they would cross 120. True to the perception about their batsmen, West Indies seemed unable to manoeuvre the singles when the boundaries were not forthcoming against the spinners. Spin dominated the conversation ahead of today's World Twenty20 Super 10s match against Bangladesh, a team reliant on spin bowlers.
"Some teams have players who can't clear the ropes easily so they hit the ball in the spaces and some teams can clear the boundary easily so it works both ways," said West Indies coach Ottis Gibson in defence of his batsmen at a pre-match press briefing in Mirpur yesterday. "People will make assumptions based on what happened last [Sunday] night. India bowled well. We didn't get singles but we don't normally get singles."
Gibson also believed that there was a difference between night games and day games at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. "The ball swung more at night as the Indian bowlers got the ball to swing a lot more than it did in the day. We have to look at it when we form the 11. We have [Ravi] Rampaul and [Sheldon] Cottrell in our side, both are excellent."
About negotiating Bangladesh's spinners, Gibson suggested that greater awareness may be the key. "Today [during practice] gives us an opportunity to look at what happened last night and make adjustments to our mindset to play spin better. We have to be aware of what the opposition is trying to do. We need to adjust our mindset to counteract that. We can't just start taking singles, but take those that are there. I wouldn't want them to be run out, like Gayle was last night. That sort of changed the game. If Chris had batted all the way to the end we could have gotten another 30, 40 runs.
"Our focus now is getting ready for Bangladesh, we know that they are going to come up with spin and we just have to get ourselves in a position to play spin perhaps better than we did."