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Gibson backs West Indies top order

IANS
Jun 07, 2012 at 01:51pm IST

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Birmingham: Head coach Ottis Gibson continues to back the struggling West Indies top order despite its repeated failures in the first two Tests against England. None of the West Indies top fours have managed a half-century on tour, leaving the bulk of runs to come from the middle and lower order. The visitors play the third and final test of the series here Thursday.

On the test-eve, Gibson said half-centuries for opener Adrian Barath and Darren Bravo against Leicestershire last week showed the players were in good form but admitted that vice-captain Kirk Edwards was having a crisis of confidence. Edwards has managed just 20 runs in eight innings on tour and his three-ball "duck" against Leicestershire at the weekend was the fourth time he had failed to score.

Gibson said the English conditions had posed a massive challenge to Edwards' technique. "It's tough for him. He's beginning to get a little bit frustrated. Obviously again he just can't get a start," Gibson said.

Gibson backs West Indies top order

Ottis Gibson, however, admitted that West Indies vice-captain Kirk Edwards was having a crisis of confidence.

"In these conditions early on there are certain things you have to do as a top order batsman - watching the ball closely, playing the ball late and stuff like that - and at the moment he can't get a start and that's his problem.

"He's working very hard in the nets … but it's all about performance and making runs at a crucial time. He's done very well for us at number three since he's come into Test cricket.

"Just last year he got two Test centuries so obviously he can play but he's just having a tough time at the minute and that's what English conditions can do to you. It examines your technique and it challenges your technique and if your technique isn't up to it, those flaws will be exposed."

Bravo arrived on tour with a huge reputation but has failed to deliver with just 75 runs in four Test innings.

Gibson hailed his shot-filled 66 against Leicestershire last Saturday, again stressing that the left-hander needed to now transfer the form to match day.

"He's been in good form. He hasn't got the scores to show for it but he's been in good form. He's been hitting a lot of balls and hitting the ball very well in the nets," Gibson explained.

"It's just transferring what you do in the nets into the middle and putting some scores together but he's in a good place. He's still enjoying his cricket even though he hasn't got the runs to show for it. Hopefully Edgbaston will be another opportunity for him to show the English fans his ability."

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