Preview 1st T20I West Indies Vs Pakistan : The Kensington Oval bathing in glorious sunshine dancing to calypso beats will host the first of the 4 T20Is between West Indies and Pakistan before the teams move to Queen”s Park Oval, Trinidad for an action-packed 3 T20I weekend. The men from Caribbean, looking to seek redemption after a 3-0 drubbing in UAE against Pakistan
last September are boosted by return of some senior pros. Pakistan on the other hand are looking to get things back on track after a catastrophic tour down under.
Since the winning of WT20 the lows have outweighed highs for men from Caribbean as they have only 1 series in all formats of the game, that too beating India in one T20 game in Florida last August. The series win was followed by a calamitous tour to UAE where West Indies lost 8 out of 9 games. If this was not enough, West Indies were knocked out of tri-series in Zimbabwe in November and already they had a bad start to the season as they were whitewashed by England in 3-match ODI series played earlier this month.
Things were going pretty well for Pakistan untill the tour down under in December. After a dismal show in T20WC they went back to the drawing board. They came back strongly to level the series against England and held the No.1 test ranking for a brief time. The black days started from New Zealand tour in November where they were whitewashed 2-0 and after the ruinous tour down under Pakistan cricket has hit the rock bottom.
Azhar Ali has resigned from ODI captaincy making Sarfaraz take the reigns of limited over formats. More recently few of their players were charged with match fixing in PSL. Their form in T20 Cricket however has been phenomenal. They haven”t lost a T20I since the World Cup. A comprehensive win against England in Manchester and 3-0 win vs West Indies helped Pakistan make it 4 T20I wins out of 4.
Last five head-to-head-results
2016 Third T20I: Pakistan won by 8 wickets in Abu Dhabi
2016 Second T20I: Pakistan won by 16 runs in Dubai
2016 First T20I: Pakistan won by 9 wickets in Dubai
2014 World T20: West Indies won by 84 runs in Dhaka
2013 Second T20I: Pakistan won by 11 runs in Kingstown
Focus will be on
Carlos Brathwaite – Carlos Brathwaite won West Indies the T20 WC. However things have not gone well for him since then. His performances with bat and ball have been questionable. Its high time he leads from the front.
Imad Wasim – The left arm spinner has been the biggest plus for Pakistan in recent times. He picked 5-14 against West Indies last September. He is certainly the one to watch out for in future
Kieron Pollard – The big man is back to WI colours. All eyes will be on him to deliver the goods especially when series moves to his home ground.
Babar Azam – The batting sensation brought up 1000 ODI runs in just 21 innings. Last time when he played ODIs against WI he scored a hattrick of ODI hundreds.
West Indies have a strong top order in form of Lewis, Simmons, Walton. Jason Mohammed after a good ODI series is also included. The return of Samuels is a boost. Rovman Powell can be called the trump card in this line up. He is another big lad who can muscle the ball a long way. All rounders Pollard and Brathwaite give stability to the side. Kesrick Williams was the find of last CPL. Narine and Badree make bowling attack as threatening as it can get.
Predicted WI XI
Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Evin Lewis, Chadwick Walton (WK), Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jason Mohammed, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree.
For Pakistan, Shehzad is back in scheme of things. Kamran Akmal has been rewarded call up after being leading run scorer in PSL. Senior pros Hafeez, Malik, Sarfraz have big task on their hands. Pakistan have gone with 2 left arm offies Mohd Nawaz and Imad Wasim. Wahab Riaz will be the spearhead of the attack containing Rumman Raees and Hasan Ali.
Predicted PAK XI
Sarfraz Ahmed (C/WK), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Sohail Tanvir, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz.
– by Atharva Apte