In the wake of contrasting fortunes as compared to their opponents, Pakistan cricket team will commence their World Cup campaign against West Indies on Friday with the aim to amend their unnerved state. The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side have lost all of their previous ten completed One Day Internationals (ODI) matches. On the other hand, Jason Holder’s Windies have been labeled as the dark horses of the tournament.
Despite their recent form, both the teams are being looked at as ‘unpredictable’ by fans and critics alike. They can either be mediocre or world beaters, one can’t simply say. It is this element about the fixture which elevates the excitement quotient among fans.
Pakistan fans will take solace from the fact that their side have traditionally picked up the ante in ICC tournaments, which they previously proved at the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. However, the team’s run of form has been worrying. To make matters worse, they also lost their World Cup warm-up match against Afghanistan and did not have the opportunity to set that right in their second as the match against Bangladesh was washed out.
Ahead of their opening clash at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge Stadium, Pakistan’s bowling line-up has been bolstered by the availability of pacer Mohammad Amir, who has been declared fit.
West Indies have been in flying form. The Carribean side trounced New Zealand by 91 runs in their warm-up match after setting a mammoth target of 422 runs. Glimpses of the side’s power-hitter were reflected as Shai Hope displayed a commendable performance with a century while Andre Russell, who lit the recently concluded IPL in spectacular fashion hit a half-century. Earlier this year, Windies also held tournament favourites and World Number One England to a stalemate at home.
While Pakistan’s weak spot comes in fielding, West Indies’ bowlers have not been able to make a mark. However, they can overturn their weak side if the batsmen display their brilliant best.
For spectators, this fixture promises to be an absolute entertainer in the ongoing quadrennial ODI championship.
Nottingham is expected to be cloudy for the most part, with some sunny intervals in between. Rain is expected to stay away, but the overcast conditions could make Gayle against Amir and Wahab Riaz an intriguing contest, ICC reported.
West Indies v Pakistan
Trent Bridge, Nottingham
2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Match 2
Friday, 31 May; 3:00 PM IST
Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi, Wahab Riaz
West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas