Pakistan cricket
Pakistan will have to be on their toes against West Indies in the T20 series.Reuters

An interesting three-match T20 series looms large as the unpredictable Pakistan team are set to face world champions of the shorter format, West Indies, in the United Arab Emirates. The T20 series, which starts with the first T20 at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday, is expected to be a cracker of a contest.

What makes the series even more fascinating is the presence of big names in both the camps. If Pakistan have Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Amir, and Umar Akmal, West Indies come with some of the biggest names in T20 cricket, including Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Carlos Brathwaite.

After a poor performance in the World T20, Pakistan played some solid cricket in the one-off T20 match against England, and defeated the Three Lions. They have the ammunition in the bag to take down any team, but playing consistent cricket has always been a problem for the Men in Green.

Pakistan will be led by Sarfaraz Ahmed in the T20 series, and he will need all his star players to shine against West Indies. The selectors also decided to bring back experienced batsman Umar Akmal, who will strengthen their batting line-up. With players like Sharjeel Khan at the top of the order for Pakistan, they have a dangerous opener, who can take the game away from opposition.

Talking about explosive players, West Indies might be without Chris Gayle, but openers like Johnson Charles and Evin Lewis showed, in the last T20 series against India, what they are capable of in the shorter format. West Indies come into this series as a confident unit after defeating India in the United States.

West Indies are world champions for a reason. Besides possessing dangerous batsmen, they have some incredible all-rounders like Pollard and Brathwaite, who can deliver with both the bat and the ball. And with spinners like Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine, they have world-class T20 bowlers, who can make life difficult for the batsmen.

Both teams have some top players in their respective sides, but they cannot depend only on their stars. Each and every player has to contribute in whatever aspect they can, and help their side emerge victorious.

Squads: Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Muhammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir, Muhammad Nawaz, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Saad Nasim, Rumaan Raees

West Indies: Carlos Brathwaite (c), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton

Pakistan vs West Indies schedule

1st T20

Date: 23 September

Venue: Dubai International Stadium

Time: 8 pm local time 9:30 pm IST, 4pm GMT

2nd T20

Date: 24 September

Venue: Dubai International Stadium

Time: 8 pm local time 9:30 pm IST, 4pm GMT

3rd T20

Date: 27 September

Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Time: 8 pm local time 9:30 pm IST, 4pm GMT

TV Listings: India: Ten 3. Pakistan: PTV Sports. US: Willow TV.