West Indies v Pakistan 2nd Test, Preview: Pakistan look to seal first series victory in the Caribbean

West Indies v Pakistan 2nd Test, Preview: Pakistan look to seal first series victory in the Caribbean

Already 1-0 up Pakistan just needs a win in the second Test to take an unassailable lead in the three-match series.

Pakistan
Pakistan’s bowler Yasir Shah (C) celebrates with teammates. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

After a disappointing start to the Test series against Pakistan at Sabina Park, West Indies would be hoping for a change in fortune in the next test. West Indies were poor in both departments in the last test which saw them outclassed by a determined Pakistan side. But this time around Jason Holder’s men would look to get a same kind of result which they got at Sharjah in the previous three match test series.

On the other hand, Pakistan would look to create history by repeating the same kind of dominating performance which they showed in the first Test at Sabina Park. In 60 years, a Pakistan team has never won a Test series in West Indies but things could well change after the second test. Already 1-0 up Pakistan just needs a win in the second Test to take an unassailable lead in the three-match series.

Pakistan has a mighty bowling attack with Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah in terrific form. The West Indian batting line-up has clearly not been up to the mark as they have struggled against pace and spin both. Only three batsmen from the West Indies scored fifties in the first Test with the highest score being just 63. This is a genuine worry for the team but Jason Holder would like his team to build on the short glimpses of confidence their batsmen have shown on the pitch.

Toss: West Indies won the toss and opted to bat

Playing XI:

West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Vishaul Singh, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich(w), Jason Holder(c), Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel

Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq(c), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed(w), Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas

 

The focus will be on:

Misbah Ul Haq – Misbah played a wonderful inning in the last Test against the West Indies at Sabina Park and narrowly missed out on a hundred in the first inning. Misbah has been an experienced player for Pakistan and one of the main reasons Pakistan have been playing some good cricket for quite some time now. With the player retiring after the end of the series, he would look to deliver for his side as much as possible before hanging up his boots.

Mohammad Amir – Amir has always been impressive with his pace and swing and possesses the ability to dismantle any batting line up. The bowler after his comeback from suspension has been bowling really well and his good form continued in the last Test as well. Amir picked up 6 wickets for just 44 runs in the first innings as the West Indian line-up looked completely clueless against the pacer.

Shannon Gabriel – Gabriel who made his debut against England in the year 2012 bowled particularly well against the Pakistan side in the first Test. The Caribbean player bowled at an excellent economy of 3.17 and picked up 3 wickets for his side in the first innings. With his raw pace and good rhythm, the bowler will once again have the task of providing the early breakthroughs for the West Indies. He is expected to start the bowling with the new ball in the second Test as well.

Team combination

Pakistan – Pakistan did well to script a win against the Caribbean in the first Test and get the momentum in their way. So they are unlikely to make a change in their line-up as both their bowling and batting departments faired pretty well. In the bowling department, Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah showed their class whereas the batting was led by a wonderful performance from veteran Misbah Ul Haq. They would like to go into the next match with an unchanged squad and retain their winning combination.

West Indies – As far as the hosts are concerned they would like to make some alterations in their side and come up with better results this time. Jermaine Blackwood might see himself in the playing XI due to his hitting abilities in place of Shimron Hetmyer who might face the axe due to his poor performance in the first Test. Although their bowling will mostly depend upon the experience of Devendra Bishoo and the pace of Shannon Gabriel they might opt to make a change in their bowling department as well. But the change in the bowling line-up is highly unlikely as Alzarri Joseph bowled pretty well in the last game along with Shannon Gabriel.