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Gibson excited to tackle familiar foes

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West Indies coach Ottis Gibson will be making use of inside knowledge when his side go head to head with England later this month.

Gibson served as England’s bowling coach before taking the top job with his home nation just over two years ago.

Yet, such has been the consistency in Andrew Strauss’ side’s selection, Gibson still has plenty of information on the players that have ascended England to the summit of the International Cricket Council Test rankings.

Ottis Gibson & James Anderson

Ottis Gibson, left, will benefit from his knowledge of England's players, gained during his time as bowling coach, in the upcoming three-Test series

“We’ll have some pretty good plans to their batters,” he said.

“We have a lot of footage and will trawl through it to see how we can exploit weaknesses, based also on my having bowled at them in the nets and spent a lot of time with them - and understanding how they think as batters.

“People improve their technique, but their mentality stays the same sometimes. If I can add anything to our bowlers to help them gain an advantage and get them out, that’s what I’ll be trying to do.”

Gibson and captain Darren Sammy, whose team will tomorrow begin their tour against Sussex at Hove, are confident a pace attack led by Kemar Roach will give Strauss and others plenty to think about.

“We feel that our bowling attack is capable of getting 20 wickets in England,” Gibson said. “We haven’t batted well. But if we can put some runs on the board, we believe that bowling attack is good enough.”

As ‘ifs’ go, Gibson’s is sizeable - on the evidence of West Indies’ struggles, Shivnarine Chanderpaul apart, in the recent 2-0 defeat against Australia at home.

But Sammy has great faith, even in the absence of Chris Gayle and other big names who have opted for the Indian Premier League ahead of international cricket.

“We have a good coach, who has a lot of experience in England,” he said. “The guys are slowly but surely buying into what he is trying to instil.

“The experience he has gained by playing in England will be a massive asset to us.”