West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd T20I, Preview: Troubled hosts seek turn in fortunes
Pakistan lead the 4-match series 1-0.
Published - Mar 30, 2017 9:28 pm | Updated - Mar 30, 2017 9:38 pm
World champions West Indies were seen thoroughly beaten and bruised in the first T20I against the touring Pakistan side. With the second match of the four-match series on the line, all eyes will be on the hosts as they have been succumbing to a new low in their own backyard in the recent times. In an honest acceptance anecdote, the result of the first T20I did not surprise many.
When West Indies had toured UAE to play a T20I series against Pakistan last year, they were whitewashed 0-3. Also, prior to the commencement of the ongoing tour, they faced an embarrassing 0-3 whitewash at the hands of England in the ODI series. Amidst such a backdrop, it would only have been a surprise to see West Indies overhauling the Pakistani spirit in the first game. The story of the second fixture seems to be no different, unless someone from the Caribbean side stands up to take the responsibility.
It is definitely not very late for the hosts to make necessary amends and can come back strong in the series. They have 3 more matches, including this one, to play in the series. The visitors, on the other hand, will only look to extend their dominance in the series. A win will ensure that they will get an unassailable lead in the series. They will hope for their veteran horses like Kamran Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez to make the most of the opportunity bestowed on them against a struggling opposition.
Focus will be on:
Shadab Khan – The young 18-year all-rounder made massive headlines when he excelled at the recently concluded 2017 edition of the Pakistan Super League. He went an inch better in his T20I debut in the previous match. With herculean spell of 3/7 in the game, he put the visitors in a commanding position in the match with a total strangle hold against the opposition. The Pakistani skipper Sarfraz Ahmed will defnitely have his task cut out to ensure that he uses the services of Shadab Khan to the best effect. Also, he can be a handy lower middle order batsman too, which remains to be tested at this level.
Imad Wasim – When Imad Wasim had broken into the national side, he was being tipped as a big impact player for Pakistan in the longer run. Albeit he has continued to impress with the ball, his performances with the bat in the recent past have been slightly underrated. His ability to bowl with the new ball in the powerplay has been widely successful for the Asian side and that reflects in his miserly economy of 5.67 in the T20 format of the game.
Sunil Narine – The first t20I saw a very dramatic move made by the West Indies camp. They promoted Sunil Narine ahead of the likes of Carlos Brathwaite. Clearly, the agenda was to extract the maximum benefit out of Sunil’s hard hitting abilities. In the PSL this year, his franchise had promoted him up the order as a pinch hitter. He hit as many as 11 sixes, the same number of sixes that Kieron Pollard hit. No wonder why the Windies camp are aiming to replicate the same in this series. He had a very ordinary outing with the ball in the first game and would be itching to be at his best in his comeback series for the West Indies side.
West Indies – Team combination
The West Indies side are most likely to field the same lineup as they did in the first match. They definitely did not lose out the game because of their team combinations. Their defeat could rather be accredited to some poor execution of plans by the bowlers and some rash shots by the batsmen. Hard hitting batsman Rovmann Powell could well be the unlucky man to miss out from the line up and perhaps the only player to face the axe following the defeat in the first game.
Jason Mohammed, the find of the ODI series against England, could be the ideal replacement for him. Barring this change, the line up looks quite settled. The team management might want skipper Carlos Brathwaite to bat higher in the order to get more balls under his belt for a final onslaught.
Pakistan – Team combination
While the West Indies camp has a lot to ponder about their combinations for the match, the visitors have a problem of plenty. They will most likely go in with their winning combination to ensure that they attain the unassailable lead that is there on the plate for the taking. Ahmed Shehzad and Kamran Akmal got starts in the previous game but could not capitalize. Both batsmen will get in to the game riding on prolific performances in the PSL this year.
Mohammad Hafeez, at number three, will have to shoulder more responsibility if he wishes to retain his place in the line up. Youngster Fakhar Zaman might have to wait a little longer for his turn to make an international debut. The all-rounders galore for the visitors with Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan looking in supremer touch. The pace department will see the pace trio of Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir and Hasan Ali.
West Indies have won the toss and have opted to field
West Indies XI:
West Indies XI: E Lewis, C Walton (w), M Samuels, L Simmons, K Pollard, R Powell, C Brathwaite (c), J Holder, S Narine, S Badree, K Williams
Pakistan XI: A Shehzad, K Akmal, Babar Azam, F Zaman, S Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c, w), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, S Tanvir, W Riaz, Hasan Ali
15 – Babar Azam has not been dismissed for a single digit score in the last 15 innings that he has played in limited overs cricket.
3 – The number of T20Is to be played at the venue of Queen’s Park oval in the series. The last T20I played at the venue was way back in 2011.