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World Cup 2019, Match 2- WI Vs PAK, Preview: Run-Fest On The Cards As Pakistan Gear Up To Go Against The Caribbean Boys

After the exciting and intriguing start to the World Cup 2019, it is time to shift the focus on the second encounter of the tournament wherein the Windies team will be locking horns with Pakistan on May 31 at the Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Both the teams will be eyeing to start the tournament on a positive note. Whilst Pakistan, who last won the 50-overs World Cup in 1992 under the leadership of Imran Khan, are aiming to get their hands on the coveted trophy for the second time and the two-time champions West Indies will be wanting to put behind the T20 specialists tag by performing to their highest of abilities in the 50-overs format as well.

The Jason Holder-led team is coming off fresh into this game after registering a resounding 91-run victory against New Zealand in the warm-up match in Bristol. The likes of Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Andre Russell, who are key members of the Windies batting department, are all in quite a great form leading into this game. However, the biggest battle for the 1975, 1979, champions will be against consistency in this tournament as they will have to remain constant with their good works throughout the competition in order to qualify for the knockouts.

With the presence of Oshane Thomas, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, West Indies surely has the fast bowlers who can offer that raw pace which can prove to be very effective in these English conditions. They also have all-rounders like Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite and skipper Jason Holder, who can do the job with the bat and contribute with some crucial overs as well. However, their weak point is the spin department as Ashley Nurse and Fabien Allen are the lone specialist spinners in the side.

On the other hand, Pakistan are arriving into this match after experiencing a poor run in the limited-overs format. The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led team dealt with a huge upset in the 3-wicket loss to Afghanistan in the warm-up match. To add to their misery, the 1992 champions have lost their last nine ODI games which includes two series losses to Australia and England. However, in that 4-0 series loss to hosts England, the one major positive for Pakistan was the performance of their batsmen especially the top-order.

They scored 300-plus totals in all of the four completed fixtures and the likes of Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam were the major contributors. But it is the current form of the bowlers which will worry the team management. A lot will depend on the trio of Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Shadab Khan’s performances in the tournament.

Head to Head Battle

Matches

West Indies

Pakistan

Tied

Overall (133)

70

60

3

In World Cup (10)

7

3

 

Windies’ likely Playing XI

The explosive duo comprising of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis will be opening the batting for the West Indies. The in-form Shai Hope will be the key batsman for the Windies team as his compact technique and solid temperament will be quite crucial against any sort of bowling attack. Another exciting big-hitting Caribbean in Shimron Hetmyer, who has shown a lot of promise in his short international career thus far, will accompany Darren Bravo in the middle-order.

The all-rounder pair of Jason Holder and the belligerent Andre Russell will have to do the finishing job. 22-year-old Oshane Thomas will lead the fast bowling attack along with the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Kemar Roach and skipper Holder. Windies will most likely play a lone spinner in Ashley Nurse, which means that the wicket-taking duo of Carlos Brathwaite and Fabien Allen from the practice game will have to take the bench.

Probable XI: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wk), Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Jason Holder (c), Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cottrell, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas.

Pakistan’s likely Playing XI

The selection of the top-order batsmen is the easier one for the Pakistani team management. The duo of Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman will be hoping to provide their team a fantastic start at the top. The ever-reliant Babar Azam will head the middle-order which will include the likes of Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed. The major selection dilemma for the thinktank is to choose between the experience of Mohammad Hafeez and promise of Haris Sohail.

The pair of Asif Ali and Hafeez will occupy the bench for the first game. The duo of Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan will shoulder the duties of the spin bowling department. While there is a whole of lot of fast bowlers to choose from and the choice will not be an easy one for the team management. The trio of Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali and one of Wahab Riaz or Mohammad Amir, are likely to get the nod.

Probable XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz/Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi.

Match Timings- 3:00 pm IST and 10:30 local

Broadcast Details- Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD.

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