Babar Azam-led Pakistan will face Kraigg Brathwaite’s West Indies in the first Test today at Sabina Park, Jamaica. Time for long training sessions have come to an end with both teams lined up to lock horns in ICC Test Championship contests.
The last time both teams met in the Test series was back in 2017 when Misbah-ul-Haq was a player and captained the side in West Indies. The Green caps had won three-matches series 2-1 then.
Things are changed now, two young captains will lead their teams in the ground with an aim to hunt victory. The then player, Misbah will be the head coach of Pakistan’s team which is a blend of youngsters and experienced players.
Pakistani players to watch out for
Azhar Ali: Experienced Azhar will be the leading batter for Pakistan as he had a good record with two centuries when Pakistan last toured West Indies back in 2017. Azhar’s only triple-century is also against West Indies but that was scored in the United Arab Emirates.
The only difference will be Azhar’s batting number as Abid Ali and Imran Butt are most likely to open the innings for Pakistan. But, Azhar’s role will be crucial at number 3 as well.
Babar Azam: The captain Babar Azam will be the force to reckon as he is considered the backbone of this batting line. The young captain has so far five 100s and 16 50s in Tests to his credit.
His highest score against West Indies is 72 but his current form can let him lead the batting line from the front.
Fawad Alam: Fawad has had a phenomenal record since his comeback in international cricket. He has so far scored three centuries in eight matches he played against England, New Zealand, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
His resounding comeback has left many opinions aside and Fawad has cemented a permanent position in the playing XI. He is a handy option for Pakistan in middle-order.
Mohammad Abbas: Abbas’s comeback will be crucial for Pakistan as the right-arm medium pacer has a phenomenal record against West Indies. He had taken 15 wickets in three Tests he played against West Indies in 2017.
Yasir Shah: This series will also be a comeback series for seasonal spinner Yasir who has been the sixth-highest wicket-taker for Pakistan in Tests with 235 wickets. The leggie had taken 46 wickets in six matches he played against West Indies. It proves that the leg-spinner will be a key bowling weapon for Pakistan.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: It will be Afridi’s Test debut against West Indies as his Test debut was in 2018 and Pakistan last played against them in 2017. But, the left-arm pacer is leading the pace battery of the national team since gaining rhythm in international cricket. He has 58 wickets in 17 Tests he has played so far.
Both teams have played 52 Tests against each other. Pakistan won 20 whereas West Indies made the ground in 17 contests. 15 matches were drawn against both teams.