West Indies and Pakistan will begin their World Cup 2019 campaign against each other on Friday at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The rebooted West Indies squad has all the capabilities to clinch the title and could be a big threat for their rivals. While Pakistan will take in some confidence from their 2017 Champions Trophy triumph, they will be eyeing a positive start to their Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign.
Date: 31st May 2019 (Friday)
Time: 05:30 AM (West Indies -AST), 10:00 AM (Pakistan), 10:30 AM (England) and 03:00 PM (IST)
Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
The Nottingham weather is expected to be ranging between 18-21 degree celsius with a 70 percent cloud cover and no possibility of rain.
The flat pitch at Nottingham tends to be idle for batting and is expected to remain same throughout the course of the game. Hence, one should expect a high scoring contest with 340 plus target on the cards.
Overall: West Indies and Pakistan have faced each other in 133 ODI games, with the West Indies holding the advantage with a scoreline at 70-60.
In World Cup: In their ten World Cup meetings, the Windies have secured the honours on seven occasions with Pakistan settling on three.
In England: The West Indies hold the upper hand with just a solitary loss from six matches in clashes that have taken place in England.
At Trent Bridge: Both teams have never faced each other at this venue. West Indies boast of a strong overall record at this venue with five wins in their six games while on the other hand, Pakistan have managed six wins from their 13 overall fixtures.
The Windies have won four and lost five out of the nine ODI fixtures played in 2019. But they have been bolstered by the return of their key players ahead of the World Cup, and they have already warned their opponents after hammering the Kiwis in the warm-up game by 91 runs.
Key Batsmen - Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer & Shai Hope
The Caribbean batsmen have already showed their intentions after breaking the 400-run barrier in the warm-up game against New Zealand. Shai Hope is already having a tremendous run since the tri-series in Ireland and is coming off another century from the warm-up match. Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis are all big-hitters and are the other key strikers in the team who can make their opponents sweat.
Key Bowlers - Sheldon Cottrell, Kemar Roach & Jason Holder
Shannon Gabriel was found struggling with the knee during the warm-up game, and the management may decide to rest him for the campaign opener. In his absence, Sheldon Cottrell, Kemar Roach and Jason Holder will be seen sharing the pace duties, and will be expected to provide few early jolts to the Pakistani lineup.
Allrounder - Andre Russell
Andre Russell will be team's X-factor in this World Cup. The all-rounder has already shown his abilities during the IPL and could be no less than a nemesis, if in full swing.
Expected Playing XI
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Andre Russell, Jason Holder (c), Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cottrell/Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach.
On the flipside, Pakistan has been struggling in the ODI format with just two wins in their 13 fixtures this year. Meanwhile, they have lost their last 10 matches on the trot and also faced a three-wicket defeat to Afghanistan in the warm-up game.
Key Batsmen - Babar Azam, Imam ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman
Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman will form the backbone of team's batting lineup and it will mostly depend on these three to get them to a good total. Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik will be seen serving the middle order duties, and will also be expected to apply the finishing touches.
Key Bowlers - Hasan Ali & Shaheen Afridi
Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi will be their skipper's go-to bowlers against the West Indies and will be expected to pick few early scalps on Friday while Mohammad Amir's searing pace could also have a massive impact. The pacer has been found struggling since his comeback, but has been included on the basis of his experience and could be expected to shine.
Expected Playing XI
Imam Ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babaz Azam, Mohammaz Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir.
Also Read - Cricket world cup recordsPublished 30 May 2019, 21:16 IST