Pakistan hope dominant performance against Windies in 1st ODI today
SHARJAH (92 News) – West Indies will look to put its 3-0 drubbing in the Twenty20 Internationals behind it and battle to recover battered pride when it begins its three-match One-Day International series against Pakistan on Friday at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in Sharjah.
Both Pakistan, ranked No. 9 in the International Cricket Council ODI rankings and West Indies, ranked No. 8, will look to clinch this series in dominating fashion to strengthen their case for automatic qualification to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
The visiting side was completely outclassed in all departments in the T20Is and Jason Holder, the ODI captain, will hope for a better performance, especially from his batsmen, on a pitch which is expected to assist spinners. The entire line-up struggled against the Pakistani spinners and could not live up to its reputation as a free-flowing, hard-hitting batting group.
Coming into the ODI series, West Indies will again be without Chris Gayle, who was not available for selection. Also among the absentees are Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell. While Simmons has been ruled out on medical grounds, Russell decided to pull out of the tour due to personal reasons.
In the absence of quite a few top players, West Indies has called up Kraigg Brathwaite, who has featured in 31 Tests and could be in line to play his first limited-overs game for his country. Alzarri Joseph, the 19-year-old Antiguan pacer who made an impressive Test debut against India, has also been included. Also in the squad is Evin Lewis, the powerful opening batsman who blasted a blistering century against India in the first T20I in Lauderhill, Florida.
West Indies will heavily rely on the experienced quartet of Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin and Marlon Samuels to come good against the strong Pakistani bowling attack. The side has never been comfortable with rotating strike, and that is what came back to haunt it in the T20I series.
Meanwhile, Pakistan will be hoping to continue its dominant performance, but this time under the captaincy of Azhar Ali. The series will also be crucial for Azhar, who will have a point to prove after the 4-1 series loss in England.
Sami Aslam and Umar Gul are the only players dropped from the squad that played in England. The team will be without Mohammad Hafeez and Mohammad Irfan, who were unavailable for selection due to injuries.
Making a return to the ODI side will be Umar Akmal, who was also recalled to the T20I squad earlier this month after being ignored for five months for disciplinary reasons. Pakistan has also brought back Asad Shafiq, Sohail Khan and Rahat Ali. Shafiq and Sohail have not featured in the ODI side since last year, while Rahat was part of the squad that toured New Zealand in January.
Pakistan will expect Imad Wasim, the left-arm spinner who claimed nine wickets in the 20-over series, to continue his form and make life more difficult for the opposition. On the other hand, the Pakistani batting, bolstered by the experience of Shafiq, Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed, the T20I skipper, will look to preside over an inexperienced West Indian bowling attack led by Shannon Gabriel, but which includes the crafty Sunil Narine.
Even though Pakistan has the upper hand, it will be wary of the threat West Indies can pose.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sohail Khan.
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Marlon Samuels.