Take Part In Our Match Day Poll of Pakistan v West Indies here.
Pakistan will be up against an out of form and vulnerable West Indies side in Group B game at Christchurch, New Zealand. Both teams will go into this match having lost their previous encounters to India and Ireland respectively. Considering that Ireland is a minnow, West Indies suffered an upset which wasn’t an upset actually if you look at the current West Indies team and the highlights of the match. Ireland never looked out of the game. Coming to Pakistan, they lost to India, which was a one sided affair after Pakistan lost their 5th wicket. So, the team morale of both teams is low as they couldn’t start their campaign with a win and will be looking to win this one. This is an important match for both teams as this match would tell the scenario of one of the teams in the group.
After an impressive outing in the warm up games, beating Bangladesh and England both, Pakistan failed to keep the winning momentum and lost their first match against India. It was their 6th World Cup loss to India. The team which dreamed of breaking history couldn’t do it and their confidence level must be low. The batting struggled against an average bowling side like India. Ahmed Shehzad got starts but failed to build on. Only batsman and the lone fighter was Misbah ul Haq who started hitting boundaries when the match was virtually over for them. They missed out Sarfraz Ahmed and it’s time for him to come back.
The bowling looked pretty average, especially in the middle overs and Pakistan bowlers should be keen to take wickets even in the middle overs. There were lot of lose deliveries which allowed the batsman to settle in. The death bowling was better. They didn’t allow the batsman to free arms and get under the ball. Overall, the side needs to improve their batting
Once a champion of the 70’s and the 80’s, where they ruled cricket have now turned out to be a laughing stock if you compare both teams. Who is the captain? Jason Holder? Seriously? He is going to lead the team to win the World cup. He is the captain for the first time straight away at the World Cup stage. There’s no Dwayne Bravo, no Kieron Pollard and team looks completely dependent on Chris Gayle, who seems to be disinterested with the team.
Chris Gayle’s batting form is in a state of worry for a long long time and he looks as if he is taking the World Cup for granted. His attitude on field seems as if he is not here to mean business at all. The work load completely shifts from the top order to the lower middle order where Lendl Simmons is asked to bat. What about the future Brian Lara? Darren Bravo, got out for a duck against Ireland without facing a delivery. Bowling looks so weak with Kemar Roach and Jason Holder. Darren Sammy’s medium pace is not effective too under these conditions. Overall, they need to get back the team bonding back and improve in all aspects i.e. batting, bowling, fielding. I am afraid West Indies will lose to Zimbabwe too with this kind of performance.
Previous World Cup encounters:
1975- West Indies won by 1 wicket
1979- West Indies won by 43 runs
1983- West Indies won by 8 wickets
1987- Pakistan won by 1 wicket
1992- West Indies won by 10 wickets
1999- Pakistan won by 27 runs
2007- West Indies won by 54 runs
2011- Pakistan won by 10 wickets
Recently, there was a rumour that Pakistan’s fielding coach had resigned, however that wasn’t so. Pakistani players got involved in a spat against him and later the situation was in control. On the other hand, West Indies are going through a tough period with their Board regarding payment and both teams off field controversies might prove costly on the field tomorrow. The team that loses will find it very tough to be back in this World Cup as teams like Ireland and Zimbabwe are not going without a fight.
Key players to watch out for:
Who else can Pakistan rely on? Misbah ul Haq is the only player who looks in form at the moment. He is the key players for Pakistan in the entire World Cup and it is crucial for him to come up the order start finishing games for Pakistan. He has the job to get his team back in shape too for this all important match and needs to motivate his team mates. He alone cannot bring home the World Cup. Misbah-ul-Haq needs to come to bat at no.4 and put some stability in their batting line up.
West Indies: Denesh Ramdin
The under rated Wicket keeper batsman Denesh Ramdin is the Test skipper for the West Indies team. His performances after that in the Tests as well as the ODI’s were impressive and he is gradually proving out to be an important asset to the West Indies side. He failed in the game against Ireland but his exceptional batting in the middle order might prove to be the difference between the two teams. He needs to fire for the West Indies with Chris Gayle failing repeatedly.
Probable playing XI:
Ahmed Shehzad, Younis Khan, Haris Sohail, Sohaib Maqsood, Misbah Ul Haq (c), Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Irfan
Dwayne Smith, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Jason Holder (c), Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach
Time 03:30 IST