Pakistan and West Indies have faced one another in the recently concluded T20 series, where the Men in Green dominated the team from Caribbean. Now, the action shits to the three-match ODI series, which starts with the first ODI in Sharjah on Friday.
This ODI series is going to be of huge importance to both teams, who are struggling in the ODI format. West Indies and Pakistan are currently ranked eighth and ninth place in the ICC ODI rankings respectively, hence there is a serious fight for the 2019 World Cup automatic berth. Only eight teams are given automatic berth, and the cut-off date for the same remains September 30, 2017.
With both teams aware of the need to win the series, they will give it their all. Pakistan will need to carry their T20 form into ODIs as well. They were poor in their last ODI series against England, who defeated them 4-1.
Pakistan have made some changes from the ODI squad, which lost to England. Umar Akmal and Asad Shafiq have returned while Sami Aslam and Umar Gul have been ignored. With Akmal back in the team, they have strengthened their batting-line up.
Batsmen like Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed, they are an experienced batting side, which can help Pakistan come out of difficult situations. Add to it, the aggressive opener – Sharjeel Khan, they can destroy West Indies if they get their game going. Not only their batsmen, Pakistan had wonderful bowlers in the form of Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir to trouble West Indies.
West Indies will be captained by Jason Holder in the ODI series, and he needs to get his top order striking with the willow. They were way below par in the T20 series. With the inclusion of Denesh Ramdin and Darren Bravo, they have quality players, who can shine against Pakistan with the bat.
Holder believes that his batsmen will have more balls to play in the ODI as compared to T20s, which will help them. He wants his batsmen to build a good total.
"You have more time. It's 300 balls in one-day cricket whereas in T20s there are less balls. It's obviously an opportunity for our guys to have a longer look. In terms of our opening batsmen they can have a longer look and not have to run the game down. I just think it's important that we lay that foundation and as we always speak about in the dressing room, it's always important for one of our top four batsmen to bat as deep as possible and get a big score," Jamaica Observer quoted Holder as saying.
"I think once we do that, more often than not we get a very, very good total and that's just the way we go about planning our cricket."
All in all, the West Indies players have to get their act together. Not only their batsmen, also spinners like Sulieman Benn, Sunil Narine and Shannon Gabriel will have to excel with the ball to have any hope of defeating upbeat Pakistan side.
Where to watch Pakistan vs West Indies 1st ODI live
Pakistan vs West Indies 1st ODI is scheduled for 3 pm local time (11 am GMT, 4:30 pm IST, 4 pm Pakistan time ) start. TV options and live streaming options can be found below.
India: TV: Ten 3: Live Streaming: Ten Sports Live
Pakistan – TV: PTV Sports. Live streaming: PTV Sports live
US: Willow TV