Pakistan vs West Indies: Green Shirts Begin Quest For Glory

ICC Cricket World Cup: Pakistan vs West Indies

Pakistan team picture

ICC World Cup 2019 – Pakistan Begin Quest For World Cup Glory Today vs West Indies

Pakistan vs West Indies: Green Shirts launch their World Cup campaign against the West Indies at Trent Bridge on Friday (today). They start off their campaign as outside favorites, though not for the first time, who can go on to stun the best when on song.

Over the years, Pakistan has indeed acquired the reputation of being ‘mercurial’ and ‘unpredictable’ and for good reason. They have beaten the best in the business with considerable ease one day and have gone down without a whimper to the minnows the next, defying the laws of equilibrium and leaving the pundits scratching their heads.

Pakistan vs West Indies
Pakistan team huddle.

Pakistan vs West Indies: Pak have lost their last 10 ODIs

Sarfraz Ahmed and his men enter this 12th edition of the World Cup following an unenviable losing streak — 10 ODI defeats on the trot.

The harsh truth is that they have been guilty of playing thoughtless and unprofessional cricket since that amazing Champions Trophy win in England in 2017.

Big Picture

The World Cup has not been kind to Pakistan since that brilliant 1992 triumph and they know it. The two first-round exits in 2003 and 2007 still hurt.

Head coach Micky Arthur would be looking to turn Pakistan’s fortunes around, starting with a win vs West Indies.

Sarfraz, captaining the side in his first World Cup, is determined to make amends. Just how, even he does not seem to know.

The sole consolation for him is that the batting has shown grit and spine in the run-up to the tournament. Long ridiculed as the side’s Achilles heel, the batting has surprisingly come good thanks to inspiring performances from the top three – Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam.

The skipper, as indeed millions of Pakistanis, pin a lot of hope on the fit-again duo of Shadab and Amir. The two could hold the key to Pakistan’s campaign in this most competitive event.

ICC Cricket World Cup: Pakistan vs West Indies
Patriotic Pakistani fans. #StaniArmy

Preview

Pakistan faces the rejuvenated West Indies who are no doubt looking lethal, especially after their mauling of New Zealand in a warm-up game.

The return of some class players such as the destructive Chris Gayle, Andre Russel, Darren Bravo, allied to the talent of young guns like Shai Hope, skipper Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel, make them a daunting opposition.

It is a tough opening game by all counts for Pakistan, who face up to a challenging week where they also meet favorites England and Sri Lanka.

Without any doubt, this should be a make or break week for them.

Team News for Pakistan vs West Indies

Pakistan has a fully fit squad to choose from, with the team announcing 12 names from which the final eleven will be chosen. That list sees, Shoaib Malik, Shaheen Afridi and Abid Ali miss out, with Pakistan now needing to choose between three of Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Waism, Haris Sohail and Asif Ali.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Fakhar Zaman 3 Babar Azam, 4 Haris Sohail 5 Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt, wk), 6 Mohammad Hafeez/Imad Wasim 7 Asif Ali, 8 Shadab Khan, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Hasan Ali 11 Wahab Riaz

West Indies (possible): 1 Chris Gayle 2 Evin Lewis 3 Shai Hope (wk) 4 Shimron Hetmyer 5 Darren Bravo 6 Jason Holder (capt) 7 Andre Russell 8 Ashley Nurse 9 Kemar Roach 10 Sheldon Cottrell 11 Oshane Thomas

Pitch and conditions

The pitch is an absolute batting paradise at Trent Bridge. The highest score on this ground is 481, a world record held by England against Australia on 19 June 2018. Records suggest that the chasing team will have an upper hand if they manage to utilize the conditions properly.

Overcast skies are expected for much of the game at Nottingham, but rain should not play spoilsport. It also gives each side the chance to bowl first and pit their swing bowlers against the opposition to see if overhead conditions can be utilized to their advantage.

Humidity in Nottingham is expected to be at 81% today. Wind Speed is 13 km/h

The match will begin at 2:30 PM Pakistan Time.

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Faisal Rahat

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