Jason Holder will be back at the helm, as West Indies lock horns with Pakistan in a three-match ODI series, starting Friday with the series opener to be played at Providence Stadium, Guyana. After losing the four-match T20I series 3-1, West Indies will look to make amends and come up victorious in this format, before they head into the Test series. However, Pakistan will leave no stone unturned to continue their winning momentum and dismantle the fallible West Indies in their own den. But for that to happen, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed will have to pick his best men if they are to start the series on a winning note. Let us have a look at the likely XI for both teams. Full Cricket Scorecard: Pakistan vs West Indies, 1st ODI at Guyana
Top order: Pakistan would not tinker with their top order. Shehzad finally delivered his best in the last T20I, boasting of his stunning strokeplay. Kamran Akmal, on the other hand, had scored a resolute 48 when other batsmen failed to fire. The duo, yet again, will be expected to lay solid foundation for the batsmen to come.
Babar Azam was the highest run-scorer in the T20I series, scoring 137 runs at 34.2. With him at No. 3 followed by Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan’s top order looks even stronger now.
Middle order: The onus of keeping the scorecard ticking will be on the veterans Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed. If one of these continues till the end of the innings, keeping Pakistan at bay will be an uphill task for the hosts.
Imad Wasim could not apply himself sensibly but he will get more time, with both bat and ball, to come good. He will have to use his long handle at No. 7 if need be.
Bowlers: Leg-spinner Shadab Khan will accompany Imad in the spin department. He took as many as 10 wickets at 7.50, with an economy of 4.73. Enough said.
Mohammad Aamer will back in action. He will join the pace force with Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz.
Now to West Indies…
Top order: We might see a few changes in this line-up, as they do not feature players such as Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite, and Sunil Narine. However, the opening batsmen remain the same — Evin Lewis and Chadwick Walton.
To follow them will come Kieran Powell and Shai Hope. The duo maybe inexperienced and may as well face trouble tackling the Pakistan bowling attack, but they have enough shots in their armoury to pull off the unlikely.
Middle order: Before captain Holder takes the crease at No. 7, Jason Mohammad and Jonathan Carter will have to take the responsibility of continuing the momentum. All in all, they will have to bat out of their skin to stay on course, for the 50-over format needs more patience and resilience to continue till the last hurdle.
Bowling: Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel, along with Holder, will rock the opposition batsmen with pace. Meanwhile, spinners Devendra Bishoo and Ashley Nurse will catch the batsmen in a maze with their wily spin.
Pakistan likely XI: Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Aamer, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz
West Indies likely XI: Evin Lewis, Chadwick Walton (wk), Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Jason Mohammad, Jonathan Carter, Jason Holder (c), Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel