Pakistan are set to cross swords with West Indies in the opening game of the two-match Test series to be played from Thursday, August 12 at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica.
The two teams didn’t get to play much in the T20I series after rain washed away four out of the five T20Is, with the visitors winning one match. Pakistan are currently placed fifth in ICC’s rankings for Test teams while the Caribbean team is languishing in seventh.
Both teams will be looking to start their campaign in the 2021-23 World Test Championship on a positive note. Earlier this year, West Indies beat Bangladesh in the away series and then drew the Test series at home against Sri Lanka. However, South Africa slapped them with a 2-0 defeat.
Pakistan, on the other hand, started the year with a hefty defeat against New Zealand in Christchurch. From there on, they have won all four of their matches. Babar Azam and Co. defeated South Africa and Zimbabwe without breaking much sweat.
Match: West Indies vs Pakistan, 1st Test
Date and Time: August 12, 8:30 PM IST
Venue: Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica
The weather forecast has predictions for rain on Saturday and Sunday. There will be occasional thunderstorms, but the sun will also be out. The temperature will mostly be around 31 degrees Celsius.
Out of the last 19 Tests in Jamaica, 18 have produced results. 7.76 wickets go down per innings in Test cricket at the venue. It suggests that the batters may not have a highway waiting for them. Batting first and then exerting pressure on the opposition should be the way forward.
Predicted Playing XIs
The focus will be on Shai Hope, who’s yet to fire after making his comeback against the Proteas. Kyle Mayers scored a double ton earlier this year, but has been inconsistent since.
Jayden Seales bowled with venom on Test debut and he’ll look to carry on from where he left off. Kraigg Braithwaite, Jason Holder and others need to be on top of their games as well.
Playing XI: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Nkrumah Bonner, Shai Hope, Kyle Mayers, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Alzarri Joseph
Pakistan have power-packed batting in store for the game. Babar and Rizwan have been among the runs throughout the year and need to deliver. Fawad Alam needs to bring all his experience to the fore. Yasir Shah’s role in the game will also be critical. Mohammad Abbas and Shaheen Afridi should share the new ball.
Playing XI: Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Faheem Ashraf/Nauman Ali, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi
In Test cricket, Pakistan have been far superior to the West Indies over the last few years. There’s no reason why Pakistan can’t win the upcoming contest at Sabina Park.
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