'Gibbs could have changed things'
"Gibbs' absence especially was a huge blow. We desperately needed him in Monday's last match in Mumbai," said SA coach Arthur.india Updated: Dec 02, 2005 15:26 IST
If Herschelle Gibbs had been allowed to play in India, the result of the one-day series that ended in a draw, might have been different, according to South African coach Mickey Arthur.
On the eve of the teams' departure for Australia, Arthur told the Afrikaans daily Beeld here that the absence Gibbs and Nicky Boje left a huge gap in the team.
Gibbs and teammate Nicky Boje, both included for the Australia tour, opted out of the Indian visit after the Indian authorities declined to provide assurances that they would not be arrested on arrival.
The two are wanted by Indian police for questioning on their role in a match-fixing row that led to a life-ban on deceased South African skipper Hansie Cronje.
"Gibbs' absence especially was a huge blow. We desperately needed him in Monday's last match in Mumbai," said Arthur.
"We effectively had just three specialist batsmen - Graeme Smith, Ashwell Prince and Jacques Kallis. With Gibbs in India, things would have been very different."
However, Arthur was positive about the exposure that the younger members of the team got in the Indian playing conditions.
"I am happy that the newer players got exposure to an international tour, especially on the subcontinent. It is never easy to go there and the experience that they have gained will be of invaluable benefit."
First Published: Dec 02, 2005 15:26 IST