West Indies will appear in their final T20 assignment of the home season when they face Pakistan in the opening T20I tonight.
Match Timings: July 28, 7:30 PM IST
Pakistan and West Indies will kick off the T20I series with the first game tonight. Both teams are coming off a good T20 practice. West Indies overcame Australia 4-1 in the T20I series but lost the ODIs 2-1. They were also beaten by South Africa 3-2. It’s a mixed season for West Indies with just one series win so far but the best thing is, their T20 players are coming together ahead of T20 WC. They got match-winners from this home season and regular match practice is giving them a boost for the T20 WC preparation.
The backup plan is pretty strong for West Indies. Lewis and Simmons are two strong options in the opening, followed by Gayle’s experience. They can try Hetmyer and Pooran in middle-order. Pollard and Russell are taking charge in the finishing end. Fabian Allen has the x-factor with his spin and batting. Jason Holder is also an experienced guy. Dwayne Bravo also did a wonderful job. Bowling might be a concern for them as they are not consistent but West Indies have so many bowlers in their squad so they can fix out this.
Meanwhile, Pakistan is coming off a series defeat against England. They won just one game out of six in a white-ball tour to the UK. They played good competitive cricket in 2021 including Pak T20 League but they failed to deliver against the top team. One victory in the T20 series came out after the batting brilliance of Babar and Rizwan. They rely on these two players. If they perform, Pakistan survives, and if they don’t. they collapse. Middle-order has also struggled specially Hafeez who was in top form in 2020. Bowling hasn’t been so powerful and they are not delivering much success. Spin combination is a concern. Shadab is no more a wicket-taking bowler and Usman Qadir is not effective. Pakistan will try to fix its issues in West Indies. They are one of the top contenders in T20 WC but with these issues, they might suffer.
Barbados’s surface is slightly a slower surface but it’s a competitive track for T20 matches. Chasing would be a tricky call and 160 would be a strong total.
Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard (C), Dwayne Bravo, Hayden Walsh, Sheldon Cottrell, Obed McCoy
Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Sohaib Maqsood, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Azam Khan, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain