Pakistan may lead the four-T20I series 2-1, but West Indies finally found the right combination. They played well as a cohesive unit in the third T20I and kept the series alive. However, given the fact they found the key to put Pakistan on the back foot, they will look to continue the winning streak and level the four-match series 2-2 in the final encounter at Port of Spain. No doubt that they will play the same starting XI for the all-important game, but will Pakistan make any changes if they are to clinch the title? Let us have a look at the likely XI for both teams. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs West Indies, 4th T20I at Port of Spain
Top order: Ahmed Shahzad has had a torrid time this series. He has scored only 19 runs at 9.5. His opening partner Kamran Akmal, on the other hand, found his lost mojo in the previous contest, scoring a delightful 44 to give Pakistan a decent start. Having said that, both will have to stitch a good stand to put West Indies bowlers in a spot of bother. Above all, Shahzad will leave no stone unturned to make amends for his failure.
Babar Azam is the top-scorer for his team, with 99 runs at 33. His solid technique makes him an ideal No. 3 batsman. At No. 4 comes veteran Shoaib Malik. He has scored 68 runs at 34 inclusive of a match-winning 38*.
Middle and lower-middle order: When the troops were down, Fakhar Zaman added vital 21 runs in the last match. Though Pakistan sent Imad Wasim up the order as a pinch-hitter, Zaman is likely to bat at No. 5, and to follow him will come captain Sarfraz Ahmed. Imad, all the same, should bat at No. 7 and use his long handle to blasting effect.
Well, Sohail Tanvir can hit a few boundaries as well. Remember he scored the winnings runs for Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural edition India Premier League?
Bowlers: Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali will share the pace department with the wily Tanvir. Besides, they now have two-time Man of the Match of this series, Shadab Khan. However, the leg-spinner was ineffective in the series opener. He gave away 38 runs off his 3.5 overs.
In addition, Malik can roll his arm over if need be.
Now to hosts’ likely XI…
Batting: It is about time Chadwick Walton makes full use of his skills. Though he may not match Evin Lewis’ aggressive batsmanship, he needs to spend time at the crease to frustrate the opposition bowlers.
At No. 3 comes veteran Marlon Samuels. So far he has scored 69 runs at 23. He needs to bring his A game to keep West Indies ahead in the race. To follow him will come Jason Mohammad and Lendl Simmons (not in the same order). All the same, they have to collectively perform if they are to level the series.
All-rounders: If a team has three big men in Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite, and Jason Holder, they need not worry about scoring runs at a brisk rate. I mean, why do you even have boundary lines when these men bat?
Brathwaite has picked up 5 wickets at 14, with an economy of 7. While Pollard has gone wicketless, Holder has scalped two.
Bowlers: Leg-spinner Samuel Badree has taken more wickets than mystery spinner Sunil Narine. While these two will manage the spin department, Kesrick Williams will share the pace unit with Brathwaite and Holder. If none of these work, West Indies have Samuels’ off-spinners in the time of need.
Pakistan: Ahmed Shahzad, Kamran Akmal, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Sarfraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan
West Indies: Chadwick Walton, Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Jason Mohammad, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder, Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine, Kesrick Williams