Pakistan had not won the first Test of the series against West Indies in the Caribbean since 1987-88. But they broke that record at Sabina Park defeating Jason Holder’s men by 7 wickets. The victory wasn’t an accomplished one as chasing 32, Pakistan lost 3 wickets. But in the end, a victory is a victory and with that, they have gone one-up in the three-game Test series. Now when Team Misbah will take on West Indies at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados – the visitors will have another record on their mind – series victory and also a golden opportunity to shatter the record of never winning a Test series against West Indies at the latter’s backyard. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs West Indies 2017, 2nd Test at Barbados
Pakistan toured West Indies 7 times before this – 1957-58, 1976-77, 1987-88, 1992-93, 1999-20, 2004-05 and 2010-11. Out of these 7, West Indies have managed to win 4 times. Pakistan did come close to winning on a few occasions but the West Indian hurdle was too steep to cross. But coming into this series, the game is different for Team Misbah.
At Sabina Park, Younis Khan’s 10,000 runs were on the radar. But the veteran batsman surpassed the milestone easily. So now the only sight in front of Pakistan would be a historic victory. Misbah-ul-Haq warns Pak of complacency ahead of 2nd Test vs WI
Even though they are one up in the series and in the pole position to seal it, things are pretty uneven for the visitors especially the opening pair issue. Openers Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad both struggled against West Indies pace attack throwing away the starts. But the fiery spell from Mohammad Aamer in the first innings followed by Misbah’s unbeaten 99 and then the Yasir Shah’s guile did the job of hiding the flaws. But the question is for how long can it be hidden. The management will be looking for the answers as a misfiring top-order can falter the entire batting line up in foreign conditions.
As for West Indies, things are very uneven. They saw their entire top-order faltering against Aamer in the first innings and then against Yasir in the second. Kieran Powell displayed a glimpse of good batting despite the opposition dominance. But to win a Test you need much more than just a glimpse of good batting. Moreover, they included 2 debutants – Shimron Hetmyer and Vishaul Singh in the starting XI based on their performances in the only warm-up game. ‘Could have batted better’, says Holder after defeat in 1st Test
The move backfired terribly on West Indies as both could not provide any strength to their batting and they got out quickly.The hosts’ only respite is Roston Chase – who in a short career has shown great deal of maturity to tackle pressure situations. Moreover, Holder too showed sternness with the bat defying Team Misbah with the tail-enders. But this respite cannot be something which they can rely on given the importance of this second Test.
Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph and Holder were excellent with the new ball getting breakthroughs, but with only one full time spinner at their service, Devendra Bishoo, West Indies found themselves in a tight spot with limited bowling variations.
The hosts are in for a stern Test with inconsistency looming large. But one cannot also exclude the possibility of them pulling out astonishing performances while they are cornered.
The story was quite similar when West Indies toured UAE in 2016. They lost the first game and displayed strong performance in the second only to end up as losing side. But they rattled Team Misbah in the third pulling off a historic win. They have an inspiration to look at and that is not far.
Pitch and weather report:
The weather forecast brings along with it some sunshine unlike that at Kingston. But showers are expected on the fourth and fifth day. Conditions are expected to be overcast for the majority of the game and hence team winning the toss is more likely to dominate the proceedings.
With a hard surface dished out, the pacers are already relishing the opportunity to have a go at the batsmen. Both sides will look forward to exploit the conditions with the new ball.
- Pakistan have never won a series against West Indies in their last seven tours.
- Pakistan has never won a Test in Barbados. They have drawn and lost 3 each
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Vishaul Singh, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wk), Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel, Jermaine Blackwood, Miguel Cummins.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Asghar, Hasan Ali, Usman Salahuddin, Shan Masood.
Time: 10:00 local | 14:00 GMT | 19:30 IST