West Indies v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Preview: History on the cards for hosts in the final ODI

West Indies v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Preview: History on the cards for hosts in the final ODI

The three-match series stands leveled at 1-1.

Pakistan. (Photo credit: RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)

The resurgent West Indies team will be hoping for a rare series win in their own backyard. Over the last few years, the Caribbean side has struggled a lot in the ODIs and that has put them in a precarious situation. They are under the threat of failing to automatically qualify for the ICC World Cup 2009. Well, to be fair, the Pakistan team also sees itself in a similar situation. They, too, have been languishing at the bottom part of the ODI rankings for quite some time now.

With the series leveled 1-1, the stage is all set for the all-important decider. Both teams will be keen on registering a win to secure a rare series win. When these two sides had last met in an ODI series, the Pakistani team had thumped them 3-0. However, the times have changed and so have the venues. Windies look much better in the outfit at the moment and might well spring a surprise for the visitors. In the series, the first match saw West Indies come up with herculean record run chase.

The speculations had started that the new look side is perhaps the revamped version of the aggressive brand of cricket the Windies play in the shortest format. However, the second ODI saw them get back to the same low as they bundled out for a mere 208. Now, the third ODI comes to the fore with a lot of uncertainties at hand. Both teams have a huge reputation of choking at the peak times. It will be interesting to see who bags the accolade in the all-important game with no favorites to name at the moment.

Focus will be on

Sarfraz Ahmed

The Pakistani skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has not been in the best of the forms in the recent times. Having said that, it needs to be noted that it is the batting that remains untested for the skipper. Hence, it will not be wrong to say that he is yet to be tested on the tour. He has got his share of batting but that has largely been towards the ends. A couple of 20s is not what will test his mettle. In addition to that, his captaincy has not been spot on either. In the first ODI, he was seen wanting for options towards the end when the opposition batsmen took charge against them.

Jason Mohammed

Jason Mohammed has been a revelation for the West Indies team this season. He was the top performer for the team against the England team in recent series. Also, he was the man who singlehandedly took the West Indies team to a historic win in the first ODI of the series. In a very short career thus far, he has been very impressive. If West Indies hope to overhaul the Pakistan spirit, they need a strong middle order batsman. Mohammed seems to be the right man.

Shadab Khan

The young Pakistani leggie Shadab Khan has been the find of the tour for the Pakistan team thus far. He was phenomenal in the T20I series. He had a brilliant start to his international career when he bagged 3/7 on his T20I debut. He had followed up that performance with another four-wicket haul that showed he had some serious talent. However, the ODI series has not been that fruitful for him. This is the reason why he might be under some pressure to perform in the final ODI of the series.

Team Combination – West Indies

Pacer Shannon Gabriel was seen struggling during the second ODI. Apparently, it was his hamstring that seemed to be disturbing him. He had walked off the field after having finished his quota of 10 overs. The team management has added left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul to the squad as a cover for the injured Gabriel. Well, it does not look to be a big concern for them though and also the left arm spinner is unlikely to be drafted in the playing eleven.

There is Miguel Cummins already in the squad. Cummins is a good young fast bowler who can make the ball talk on his day. Barring this, the team is likely to remain unchanged. The hosts would hope that their top order clicks well with Evin Lewis and Chadwick Walton at the top order. They are due for some runs in the series thus far.

Team Combination – Pakistan

Pakistani team is likely to field the same eleven that played the second ODI. Wahab Riaz might still not make it to the squad and Junaid Khan will retain his place. It will only come as a surprise if the visitors tinker with their winning combination. Ahmed Shehzad and Kamran Akmal have been decent openers on the tour. Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez have been the top scorers for the team in the first two matches.

Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed have got starts too. Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan – the two spinners – need to step up to the occasion and make a name for themselves in the lineup. Among the pacers, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali and Junaid Khan bowled well in the second ODI and the trio seems set for the final match as well.

West Indies Probable XI:

Evin Lewis, Chadwick Walton, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Jason Mohammad, Jonathan Carter, Jason Holder (c), Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Miguel Cummins.

Pakistan Probable XI:

Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Babar Azam, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan.

StatAttack

0 – The number of ODI series won by West Indies since August 2014. They last beat Bangladesh in 2014.

26 – The last time West Indies beat Pakistan in a bilateral ODI series was 26 years ago in 1991.

3 – Number of times Jason Mohammed has scored less than 50 in his last 8 innings.

1306 – Number of runs scored by Babar Azam after 25 innings – the most by any batsman after 25 innings in ODIs.

– Number of series decided matches won by Pakistan in 14 series since 2003.