London: West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson said that he is pleased with the manner in which the senior players have stepped up in order to compensate for the inexperienced members of the unit. He was speaking after Shivnarine Chanderpaul (91) and Marlon Samuels (86), the side's two most experienced batsmen, hit half-centuries to fire West Indies to 345 on the fourth day of the opening Test at Lord's here on Sunday.
"A lot was said before the start of the series about the inexperience of the side but the experienced players did their part today, [they] did their jobs," Gibson said. Shiv [Chanderpaul] was outstanding, Marlon was good. [Denesh] Ramdin was also very good. [Darren] Sammy played a nice little cameo there, and all in all those guys are taking on more and more of the responsibility for the totals, such as today, that the team gets." said Gibson.
Ramdin scored 43 and Sammy a breezy 37, but it was the record 157-run fifth-wicket stand between Chanderpaul and Sammy that fuelled the West Indies’ fight-back. "That makes a huge difference to us when our experienced players perform. We know we have got some young players, who will come good, but the experienced players are leading from the front and that is what we need. So, everybody is very pleased with the efforts of today." said Gibson.
Gibson, who was England’s bowling coach when West Indies toured here last time, said he admired the way Samuels, especially, had warmed to the task of bolstering the lower-order. "It is just making players aware of things and Marlon as one of the few senior players in the team understands his role at number six. He was batting with Shiv and batting with Shiv is one of the easiest things in the world because he is such a good player and you can feed off of him... and Marlon has accepted that responsibility very well." said Gibson.
Gibson said that overall West Indies produced a much more disciplined display with the bat on Sunday and executed the team goals as discussed. "There's always a batting plan and there's execution of a plan. In the first innings, we didn't execute very well," Gibson said in reference to their first innings score of 243.