World Cup 2019: West Indies vs Pakistan - Key players and probable playing XI
The performances of both these teams have not been too great in recent times. Pakistan lost their recent ODI series against England by a margin of 4-0 while West Indies lost to Bangladesh in the final of the tri-series that also included Ireland.
In warm-up matches, Pakistan lost their match against Afghanistan by 3 wickets while Windies defeated New Zealand by a margin of 91 runs. Both teams would be hoping to get their World Cup campaign off on the right track with a win in the first match.
Shai Hope will be the key batsman for Windies. He has been the most consistent performer for them in recent years, averaging 67.31 and 65.00 in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Hope will either open the batting along with Chris Gayle, or bat at No: 3.
Windies will also expect Andre Russell to contribute with both ball and bat, especially after his excellent performance in the recent IPL.
For Pakistan, Babar Azam is expected to be the key batsman in the lineup. The team's journey in this World Cup will depend on how consistently Azam delivers with the bat.
In the bowling department, Pakistan will expect a solid performance from Wahab Riaz, who has made his comeback to the ODI team after almost two years.
Either Nicholas Pooran or Darren Bravo is likely to miss out from the playing XI. Shimron Hetmyer will bat at No: 4, while Ashley Nurse is expected to be the only spinner in the lineup.
Probable XI: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran / Darren Bravo, Andre Russell, Jason Holder (c), Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Ashley Nurse.
With his performance in the practice match, Wahab Riaz has all but booked his place in the playing XI. It will be interesting to see whether Pakistan will go with Shaheen Afridi's raw talent or Mohammed Amir's experience.
In the batting, Haris Sohail could get an edge over Shoaib Malik.
Probable XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik / Haris Sohail, Mohammed Hafeez, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi / Mohammed Amir.
West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Shai Hope (wk), Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Ashley Nurse.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammed Amir, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammed Hasnain