After a great PSL season, we are returning back to international cricket as the first T20I between West Indies and Pakistan will be underway. The match will be held at the Kensington Oval in Barbados at 12:30 ET. Both teams will look to use this to climb up in the rankings as West Indies sit fourth while Pakistan are behind at sixth. It’s possible for either team to climb all the way up to third in this four match series.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed is confident going into the match after the PSL. Under Sarfraz’s captaincy, Pakistan have won four of their last four T20Is, including a 3-0 whitewash of the West Indies. To add to that, Pakistan have added many new players after the PSL season ended. New players such as Shadab Khan from Islamabad United ave been added and we will see if he is included in today’s lineup.
On top of that, many players will be returning to the visitor’s squad including the likes of Ruman Raees, Ahmed Shehzad, and most notably, Kamran Akmal. Akmal was awarded the PSL’s best wicket keeper, batsmen, and best player of the tournament, urging the selectors to give him another chance. He will most likely not play keeper and be third man, as Sarfraz Ahmed has been the usual first choice wicket keeper.
The biggest question for today is which two batsmen will open for Pakistan? Azhar Ali has been dropped from the T20 side, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif have been suspended. Also, Muhammad Amir has been dropped from the T20 side to provide rest for the left arm quick.
Hopping over to the home side, even though they are two positions above Pakistan, they are struggling to get off their feet. They have only won one T20 in their last five, and captain Carlos Brathwaite is struggling to repeat his World T20 heroics. With that being said however, some light has been shed on the West Indies squad as some heroes will be returning after successful T20 campaigns. Sunil Narine who has had an excellent PSL season will be included in the squad and Lendl Simmons and Samuel Badree are back.
Kieron Pollard will look to perform on his best as usual after a wonderful PSL season with Karachi. Along with this, the West Indies will look to mix youth and experienced players by bringing some fresh names in. Middle order batsmen, Jason Mohammad has been really good with the bat lately and Chadwick Walton is likely to open and be behind the stumps.
In conclusion, Pakistan are hopeful to be using the PSL as a revamp to their squad, looking for a revival they desperately need, while the West Indies are in dire need to fix there limited overs game. With so many questions to be solved, this four match T20 series is one that the whole world is sure to keep eyes on.