West Indies are all set to lock horns with Pakistan in the third One-Day International (ODI) on Tuesday. To be played at the Providence Stadium, Guyana, the final ODI will be decide the fate of the series which is now squared 1-1. While the hosts chased down 309 in the opening ODI to take a lead, and Pakistan restricted them at 208 in the following match to register a 74-run win to draw level. In a crucial match for both sides, here are the likely XIs for both the teams before they face each other for the last time before the Test series.
Top-order: While Ahmed Shehzad and Kamran Akmal provided Pakistan with the perfect start in the first ODI, they failed to replicate that in the second. Though Pakistan won the match despite the openers having an ordinary game, the team would want Shehzad and Akmal to put up a strong opening stand to ensure runs on the board. Pakistan have shuffled between Mohammad Hafeez and Babar Azam for the No. 3 spot both of whom have excelled. However, Azam has been relatively more successful and will continue at batting there.
Evin Lewis made crucial contributions opening the innings for West Indies in the first match. He failed in the next but will have to get his groove back for the third. The campaign has not been fruitful for Chadwick Walton, with a pair of disappointing scores (7 and 10). Both will have to step up and play responsible knocks. West Indies, too, have changed their No. 3 position. They demoted Kieran Powell to No. 4. Powell had scored 61 batting at No. 3 in the first ODI but failed to fire at No. 4 in the next. West Indies may consider bringing him back at No. 3.
Middle-order: Pakistan have a rich middle-order batting consisting the likes of Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and Imad Wasim. All of these players have contributed in the series with the bat and their combined effort helps Pakistan boost their scorecard.
As for West Indies, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse and skipper Jason Holder has evolved into a dangerous middle-order over a certain period of time and will be expected to fire. Mohammed has scored a 58-ball 91 not out in the series and will be expected to reciprocate such a knock.
Bowlers: Mohammad Aamer will lead Pakistan’s pace attack. Along with him, Pakistan will definitely play Hasan Ali, who picked up a 5-for in the previous game. The team will have to make a tough choice between an experienced Wahab Riaz and a talented Junaid Khan to complete the attack. Shadab Khan will be their first choice spinner with his brilliant performance of late. Imad Wasim will complete the spin contingent. Both of them have been economical. For more options, Pakistan will look to Hafeez and Malik.
Alzarri Joseph showed disciplined bowling in the first match but went wicketless. However, he got success in the following match. Led by Holder, West Indies’ pace attack will be complete with an in-form and consistent Shanon Gabriel. Devendra Bishoo and Ashley Nurse constitute an effective pair of spin-bowling for the team.
Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (c&wk), Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammed Aamer, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan.
West Indies: Evin Lewis, Chadwick Walton, Kieron Powell, Shai Hope (wk), Jonathan Carter, Jason Mohammed, Jason Holder (c), Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Shanon Gabriel