West Indies vs. Pakistan T20I Series Preview

Pakistan's tour of West Indies commences with four T20Is at the Kensington Oval and Providence Stadium.

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Pakistan and West Indies will face each other in a 4-match T20I series from the 28th of July, 2021. The first T20I of the originally planned 5-match series has been canceled in the final moments. West Indies will be led by the T20 veteran Kieron Pollard after he missed the T20I series against Australia due to an injury. Babar Azam is Pakistan’s skipper, as the side will take on West Indies for the first time since a massive loss in the 2019 ODI World Cup. Let us take a look at some of the intriguing features of the series.

Venues

The first T20I of the 4-match series will be played at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown (the home stadium of Barbados Tridents). It has hosted 17 T20Is till now, the second-most for a stadium in the Caribbean. While chasing is now considered easier in the shorter format, the idea may not apply to this venue. More than 70% of the T20Is at Kensington Oval have been won by teams batting first. The average first-innings total (in completed innings) is 157, while the overall run rate at this venue is 7.6. Teams winning the toss have won 12 of 17 times.

The winner of the series will be decided at the Guyana National Stadium, which will host the last three games. It has hosted 7 T20Is before this series. The average first-innings score in these games has been 141, while the teams batting first have won twice. The overall run rate at the venue is slightly less than 7. The team winning the toss has lost only 1 of the 7 games.

Head to Head

West Indies have not fared as poorly against any other side as they have against Pakistan in T20Is. In the 14 matches between both teams, West Indies have only won 3. Pakistan have won 9 of the last 10 encounters. Both teams will be playing against each other in a T20I after more than three years in this series.

Worst T20I record for West Indies by Opposition

Opposition

Won

Lost

W/L ratio

Pakistan

3

11

0.27

India

6

10

0.60

New Zealand

5

8

0.63

South Africa

6

9

0.67

Sri Lanka

7

7

1.00

Pakistan

Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Wasim, Arshad Iqbal

Pakistan’s squad for the England tour has traveled to the Caribbean without any changes. After winning their first three series of the year (2 vs. SA, 1 vs. Zim), Pakistan lost 1-2 to England. Pakistan’s bowling conceded 200+ twice, while their batting failed to cross 160 twice. Meanwhile, the middle-order failure continued in the series. The experiment of trying Sohaib Maqsood at #3 also is yet to prove fruitful. Haris Rauf had an economy of 11+, while Shaheen Shah Afridi & Mohammad Hasnain conceded more than 9 runs an over too.

A positive sign for Pakistan in the series against England was Shadab Khan. He finished as the top wicket-taker for the team. Shadab has also been phenomenal with the ball in West Indies. No bowler has taken more T20 wickets at a better average than him in the Caribbean. To support him, Pakistan will have the services of Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez. Imad and Shadab are among the top five bowlers with the best T20 economy in West Indies (min 50 overs). Spinners played an important role in the recent series between Australia and West Indies, taking 23 wickets, joint-most in a bilateral series in the country.

T20 Bowling Record in West Indies

Bowler

Wkts

Econ

Avg

SR

Shadab Khan

29

5.6

11.5

12.3

Imad Wasim

18

5.5

20.0

21.8

Mohammad Hafeez

27

6.2

29.4

28.3

With the increased role of spin, Pakistan might include Azam Khan in the XI, who has done pretty well against spinners in T20s. However, a big concern for Pakistan will be the poor form of Mohammad Hafeez. He has scored only 100 runs in 8 T20I innings this year with a strike rate below 115. Pakistan will be hoping that their most senior player regains his 2020 form before the World Cup. Unfortunately, Hafeez’s record with the bat in West Indies may diminish such hopes.

Likely XI

  1. Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
  2. Babar Azam ©
  3. Sohaib Maqsood
  4. Fakhar Zaman
  5. Mohammad Hafeez
  6. Azam Khan
  7. Shadab Khan
  8. Imad Wasim
  9. Hasan Ali
  10. Shaheen Afridi
  11. Mohammad Hasnain

West Indies

Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Andre Fletcher, Lendl Simmons, Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Shimron Hetmyer, Dwayne Bravo, Jason Holder, Andre Russell, Fabian Allen, Akeal Hosein, Kevin Sinclair, Hayden Walsh Jr., Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Oshane Thomas, Obed McCoy

West Indies named the same squad for the three 5-match T20I series against South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan. They defeated No.5-ranked Australia 4-1 at home, after losing 2-3 to South Africa. West Indies will be playing their final T20Is against Pakistan in this series before the World Cup.

Considering the venue of the upcoming T20 World Cup, the domination of spinners in the recent series against Australia was a big positive sign for West Indies. The West Indies spinners took 17 wickets in the series, most for them in a bilateral T20I series. This momentum of their spinners will prove helpful against Pakistan’s batsmen, who struggled against English spinners in the last series.

 

Wkts

Avg

Econ

SR

WI spinners vs. Aus

17

18.5

7.1

15.6

Eng spinners vs. Pak

10

23.3

8.3

16.8

The presence of several power-hitters in the West Indies side will be a major difference between both sides. Pakistan have only one player with a 140+ T20 strike rate (min 500 balls). West Indies have six such players, and all of them will probably be a part of their XI. The following graph shows these seven players involved in this series:

Alongside in-form spinners and many power-hitters, the West Indian squad also consists of the most experienced T20 players. Eight of the top twelve players sorted by their T20 matches in this series are in the West Indian squad. These include the man with the most T20 runs (Chris Gayle), the highest T20 wicket-taker (Dwayne Bravo), and the player with the highest T20 strike rate (min 50 inns, Andre Russell).

Though they have a pretty strong squad, the poor batting record of West Indian batsmen against Pakistan may be a worry for the home side.

T20I Batting Record Against Pakistan

Player

Inns

SR

Avg

Andre Fletcher

7

82.5

13.4

Chris Gayle

3

84.6

3.7

Dwayne Bravo

6

103.3

31.7

Kieron Pollard

8

103.8

22.5

Lendl Simmons

8

107.7

16.0

Nicholas Pooran

3

113.6

8.3

Jason Holder

3

121.2

20.0

Evin Lewis

6

136.9

19.2

Likely XI

  1. Lendl Simmons
  2. Evin Lewis
  3. Chris Gayle
  4. Nicholas Pooran (wk)
  5. Shimron Hetmyer
  6. Kieron Pollard ©
  7. Andre Russell
  8. Dwayne Bravo
  9. Fabian Allen
  10. Hayden Walsh Jr.
  11. Obed McCoy

Final Words

Pakistan are looking to finalize their combination ahead of the T20 World Cup. Alongside that, they will be hoping to maintain their good record against the defending T20 champions. Meanwhile, the West Indian side would wish to continue their winning momentum after dominating Australia. Which team, in your opinion, will win the series?

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2 comments
Shazib Ali
27 Jul, 2021

Thank you, for providing us historical analysis, i hope professor will be back in his 2020 form in this series🥰..

Muhammad Zaheer
27 Jul, 2021

Thank you for providing such a historical analysis of teams records; I really appreciate this kind of work. Just at the end, we wanted to know more about the author's opinion about who going to win the series. He ended up putting this responsibility on the reader. In my opinion, it will hard-fought series, I think spinner would play the main role in this series. If Pak spinners succeed then Pakistan will win this series. Immad has to produce with a new ball, Shadab/Usman in middle overs, and Hafeez against lefties. I want to see Maqsood shows progress a bit in this series; I want to see if he has some kind of game plan. It seems he is just hacking the ball like Afridi. Not knowing Afridi's batting plan was a horrible one and only he could pull that kind of batting style. Afridi brings a lot of other tangible things to the plate; he was above average bowler and fielder plus he was good looking as well. 😛 lastly, I wanted to see Rizwan and Babar raise their game to the next level, in more specific ways, I wanted to see they start hitting sixes in power play...