Despite being the reigning World T20 champions, West Indies were defeated by Pakistan twice in the ongoing bilateral series in Karachi. The Windies were all out for 60, their lowest T20I total, with only three batsmen (Samuels, Paul and Emrit) scoring over two-digits in the first T20I. The second T20I was no different although the margin of defeat was reduced to 82 from 143.
In the first bilateral series in Pakistan after 9 years, the hosts dominated and registered the second biggest win in the history of T20Is in the first T20I and sealing the series in the next. "My boys are brilliant, and they have a great understanding of the game and as a result, they have performed well," said the winning captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, post the second T20I.
In the three consecutive T20I matches happening at the National Stadium in Karachi, here are 5 reasons why Pakistan would whitewash West Indies in this series -
#1 'Depleted' West Indian team
The biggest factor affecting the Windies and the bilateral series, on the whole, is the absence of the many T20 stars who make the format as interesting as it is. With Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, regular captain Craig Braithwaite, and Jason Holder missing the series, a depleted team headed by Jason Mohammed. The issues regarding security seem to haunt the visitors more than the hosts now.
This could've been a great stage to start for Andre McCarthy and Odean Smith who received their maiden call-up for the national side. However, the former didn't play the two matches, while the latter scored 6 runs and bowling figures of 1-40.
The chairman of PCB, Najam Sethi shut down the negative news of West Indies Cricket Board sending a 'depleted' team. He believes the series to be baby steps towards having international teams willing to tour Pakistan once again.
#2 Pak's fierce bowling attack
Pakistan's bowling attack, led by Mohammad Amir, bowled out the visitors twice. Amir has the most wickets in this series (5) while Hussain Talat, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan stand second with 3 wickets each.
The inexperienced West Indian team seem unlikely to stand a chance in front of Pakistan's strong bowling line-up. They managed to bat at 6.4 run rate in the second T20I before being bowled out at 19.2 overs, much better than the 4.39 run rate in the first.
#3 Azam-Zaman's opening partnership
While the visitors weren't successful in maintaining any partnerships, the Pakistan team stood firm over the foundation laid by their openers. Despite the absence of Azhar Ali at the top of the order, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam dominated at the start.
While Fakhar Zaman scored in the first T20I, he failed in the second, and Babar failed in the first but fired in the second, while debutant Hussain Talat batted fiercely in both the games.
The opener put on 119 for the second wicket with Talat, who notched a 41-ball 63 with eight boundaries and a six, in the second T20I.
#4 Inexperience vs Experience
It all boils down to experience. The Pakistan team was full of confidence as its team consists of most of their core players - Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir.
This is Pakistan's seventh successive T20 series win, all under Sarfraz Ahmed's captaincy since September 2016.
The last time Pakistan toured West Indies, the same team, defeated the Windies in all three formats. On the other hand, Windies with 5 players who've played under five T20Is, and a new captain are struggling to put up a fight.
#5 Home conditions
With the successful attempts at getting international cricket back to Pakistan, the team will be glad to repeat yesterday's show and whitewash the Windies.
The tickets were slashed to their half value and the PCB chairman encouraged Pakistani cricket fans to ensure a full house.
There have been ample preparations regarding the security concerns of the fans as well. After conquering the series in two matches, the stadium is expected to be jam-packed for the last match today.