Windies coach targets top-five ICC test ranking


Head coach Ottis Gibson says West Indies are targeting a top five spot in the International Cricket Council Test rankings within the next year. The regional side is currently ranked seventh and have languished in the lower half of the nine-team rankings for most of the last decade.
Gibson’s ambitious objective comes as West Indies prepares to face bottom ranked Bangladesh in a two-Test series starting later this month.
“We go to Bangladesh looking to win. We’ve had a pretty solid 2012 so far and we just want to finish 2012 on a winning note … the aim is to keep trying to find ways to move up the table,” said Gibson.
“There are not a lot of points at stake in Bangladesh because they are below us. We’re playing for about two or three points but our aim is to try and move ourselves up the rankings and break into the top five if we can within the next sort of 12 months, if possible.” South Africa head the Test table with 120 rating points, followed by England on 117, with Australia another point behind in third. Pakistan lie fourth on 109 while India are fifth on 106.
Sri Lanka are sixth on 98 points, with West Indies eight points adrift in seventh.
The regional side will have ample opportunity for movement in the rankings next year as they are set to host Sri Lanka and Pakistan next year in two-Test series, and also travel to New Zealand for three Tests.
Gibson said he had made improvement in the rankings a central part of his planning since taking charge of the team.
“We know as a team, everybody knows, I’ve been preaching for the last two-and-a-half years since I’ve been here is moving up the rankings. When we play, we don’t just play for wins but we play for rankings points as well,” he reiterated.
“Moving up the rankings of course [means] batsmen take responsibility for runs, bowlers take responsibility for wickets and the team in the end benefits in terms of achieving our goals.”
Gibson said he expected a professional approach from his charges in Bangladesh, pointing out that the necessary preparation had been done to ensure success.
“Everybody has a role to play. Everybody will be made aware of their role again when we get to Bangladesh. The success that we had there last year will be good for us,” Gibson noted.
“Certainly as a support staff – myself as a coach – you try to cover all bases [in terms of preparation]. You make sure you get as much information as possible and then give it to the guys if and when they need it so they can go out and win the match.