Pakistan, with some faces in the squad, will take on the reigning World T20 Champions, West Indies in their backyard in the first of four-match T20 series.
Pakistan convincingly defeated West Indies in the last T20 series that the two teams played in the UAE by 3-0. However, the T20 Champions have a much stronger team this time in the likes of Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree, Marlon Samuels and Lendl Simmons.
Carlos Brathwaite’s team has the opportunity to make an immediate statement on home soil against a Pakistan side, which is going through a rough patch due the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing saga.
Five of Pakistan’s players, Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed and Shahzeb Hasan have been provisionally suspended from all forms of cricket by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan’s T20 and ODI skipper, has already said that the team will miss their attacking left-handed batsman, Sharjeel Khan, who was an integral part of the side since Asia Cup T20.
Despite of the absent players, the Men in Green seem to have a well-balanced team with a good blend of young and experienced players. Kamran Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad are making their comeback in the side after their consistent show in domestic circuit and in the PSL.
On the other hand, veteran allrounders like Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik can provide the much needed stability to the team. Moreover, youngsters like Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan can add the much needed flair in the team.
Mohammad Amir is being rested for the T20 series, however, he will play the all important three-match ODI series of the tour as Pakistan’s direct qualification to the World cup 2019 heavily depends on the outcome of the campaign.
Although Pakistan have kind of a revamped side, but they will start off the series as the favourites. On the other hand, West Indies will look to turn the fortunes in their favour.
The match will start at 9:30 PM (PST).
Pakistan (Probable): Kamran Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Hasan Ali, Rumman Raees.
West Indies (Probable): Chadwick Walton (wk), Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Jason Mohammed, Carlos Brathwaite (capt), Sunil Narine, Jason Holder, Samuel Badree, Jerome Taylor