About the Match
It's that time of the year when the T20s become the talk of the town and this time it is beginning with Pakistan taking on West Indies. Pakistan's tour of West Indies will start with four T20s first of which will be played on 26th March 2017 at 10:00 pm IST at Kensington Oval, Barbados. Pakistan will be playing without five regular players including Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Irfan as the Spot-fixing incidents occurred in PSL continue to be investigated. West Indies will see this as an opportunity to make amends to what happened in Abu Dhabi when the two teams met last time; the World Champions were defeated 3-0 in both formats of the game, ODIs, and T20s. Mohammad Hafeez and Kieron Pollard have been selected for the T20s making this game even for important.
West Indies have been going through a lot of selection controversies with Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, and Dwayne Bravo being left out of the squad regularly. They still appear to be having a strong team, especially with the return of Kieron Pollard in the middle.
Youth and flamboyance has always been the essence of West Indies' team. Led by Carlos Brathwaite, West Indies will have the services of experienced players like Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels. Despite the absence of Chris Gayle, their top-order remains to be wary of with every batsman capable of taking the game away from the opposition. West Indies bat deep and if their top-order batsmen get the start, runs can come pretty quickly.
They have the required set of skills in the bowling department as well. Samuel Badree is one of the World's most economical bowlers and Sunil Narine always is a threat with his variations. Although this West Indies side is a little short on experience and quick bowling, their spinners and hard-hitters surely have the potential to make up for it.
Pakistani players would have drawn a lot of confidence from their performance in recently concluded Pakistan Super League. Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez make their comeback to the national squad on the basis of their performance in PSL. With Babar Azam, Ahmed Shahzad, Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Khan, this side has the much-needed bite despite the absence of a few key players.
Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, and Wahab Riaz form the backbone of their bowling lineup with Imad Waseem, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik likely to provide support with spin. Pakistan's batting has always been a little brittle and a lot will depend on their batting in this series as well.
Overall, Pakistan has strong bowling lineup with capable, but unpredictable batting lineup. Their batting can chase huge totals on their day, but can easily bundle out for a modest total on ordinary days.
This series is seen as preparation for Champions Trophy and grooming ground for Cricket World Cup '19 with lots of youngsters in both the teams. While Pakistan's bowling appears to be superior to West Indies, the hosts having a batting lineup which can thrash any bowlers on their day. Kieron Pollard looked in great touch during the back-end of the PSL and West Indies will draw confidence from them. With home advantage and hard hitters throughout coupled with the excellent history in the shortest format of the game, West Indies go in as favorites in this game