Under-pressure Pakistan face red-hot West Indies in T20I series
An unsettled Pakistan side is ready to face an in-form West Indies team in a five-match T20I, scheduled to start from July 27 in the Caribbean.
The Men-in-Green will be low in confidence as they are heading into the series after losing the recently concluded T20I campaign against England.
In contrast, the home team seem to be in rhythm as they’ve defeated Australia 4-1 in their last assignment in the 20-over format.
The Green Caps are currently ranked at the 4th spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20I Team Rankings while the Caribbean giants hold the 8th position.
However, these rankings do not depict the true picture of the form they are currently in.
Both teams have an identical record in the T20Is in 2021 as they played 13 matches each and went on to win on eight occasions and suffered five defeats.
But the reigning world champions in the 20-over format have played all of their games in their home ground while the 2009 winners have played just three in their backyard.
With the T20 World Cup approaching, the Kieron Pollard-led unit called back all their experienced campaigners including the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell and Lendl Simmons, who have led their team to T20 glory in 2016.
Meanwhile, according to the head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, the side is still looking to find the perfect team combination ahead of their T20 World Cup campaign, which is just a couple of months away.
“We are close to finding out our final combination,” he said during a virtual press conference from Barbados on Friday.
The 47-year-old identified the team’s middle-order woes and accepted that apart from the opening batsmen — Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan — the rest of the batters also need to step up and perform.
The duo managed to collectively score 294 runs in six innings during the recently concluded T20I series against England.
Moreover, Pakistan’s bowling has been dismal in the recent past as Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf conceded runs at an economy-rate of over nine per over.
On the other hand, West Indies were impressive with the ball against Australia in the recently concluded series.
Particularly, their two new bowlers — leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr and left-arm pacer Obed McCoy — were a treat to watch.
Walsh took 12 wickets in the series with an economy rate of 7.00 while McCoy hunted five batsmen in two games with the same economy.
Talking about the head-to-head record, Pakistan have dominated the two-time World T20 champions so far with 11 wins in the 14 encounters between them.
The last time when both teams faced off in a T20I series, it was the Green Caps who came out on top with a convincing margin of 3-0.
1st T20I, July 27, Bridgetown, Barbados, 8pm PST
2nd T20I, July 28, Bridgetown, Barbados, 8pm PST
3rd T20I, July 31, Providence Stadium, Guyana, 8pm PST
4th T20I, August 1, Providence Stadium, Guyana, 8pm PST
5th T20I, August 3, Providence Stadium, Guyana, 8pm PST
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