Plenty to ponder for both teams as Pakistan look to draw level

back icon
19 Aug 2021 | 12:35 PM staff

Plenty to ponder for both teams as Pakistan look to draw level

Both West Indies and Pakistan could look to ring in a change or two after a closely fought first Test

West Indies just about got over the line in the first Test against Pakistan, winning by a solitary wicket. The match witnessed a couple of batsmen stepping up at crucial junctures, but it was the bowlers, who eventually took the match down to the wire with some excellent spells.

It was a perfect start for the West Indies in the new World Test Championship (WTC) cycle notching up 12 vital points. In a match that could have gone either way, it was Pakistan who fell on the wrong side of the result and will now be hungry to level the series. 

The batting has always been an issue over the last couple of years, especially for the West Indies, who have been among the worst batting sides since 2020.

There have been a few sparks for them here and there – like the double century on debut for Kyle Mayers in Bangladesh or Nkrumah Bonner’s match-saving century against Sri Lanka, but collectively they have not been up to the mark.

In fact, since Mayers’s heroics on debut in Bangladesh, there have not been many performances to write home about, having managed just 271 runs at 22.58. There is some worry over Bonner’s form as well as he has managed scores of 0, 10, 0 and 5 in his last four knocks, since that unbeaten 113 against Sri Lanka.     

While for Pakistan their opening combination of Imran Butt and Abid Ali has not clicked thus far. Barring their 115-run stand against Zimbabwe recently, they have failed to put on anything more than 22. The Pakistan team management could be slowly losing patience with Butt, who has managed just 140 runs from his eight Test innings. 

The likes of Saud Shakeel, who made his ODI debut recently against England and averages over 57 in first-class cricket since 2020, could be an ideal option at the top, even though he has never opened – A task he may have to perform, given that there’s little room in the middle-order. Another option could be to ask Azhar Ali to open, while Shakeel comes in at his preferred No. 3.

West Indies too need to improve their batting a great deal. With Shai Hope and Shamarh Brooks on the bench, at least one of their addition to the XI would certainly be a huge boost. Hope has scored at an average of a little over 17 in Tests since 2020, while Brooks since making his debut since 2019 has notched up 422 runs at 28.13 in 15 innings.

West Indies likely XI: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Kieran Powell, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers/Shai Hope/Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Jomel Warrican.

Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis also stressed on the importance of catching after Pakistan’s narrow defeat.

“We were poor with the catching - if you let go of catches in tense moments then they'll hurt you. They were 114 for 7 and there were three opportunities after that. If we cannot grab that as a unit then it will hurt us,” Waqar reflected.

Kemar Roach had a couple of reprieves and eventually his unbeaten 30 took his side home in a tricky low-scoring chase. This has not just been a one-off performance from Pakistan in the field. They have dropped as many as 29 catches so far this year and have a catch efficiency percentage of 64.2, which is the worst among all teams. 

The first Test saw 41 overs bowled by spinners without any success and it may not be any different in the second Test as well. In fact, only eight out of the 70 wickets have been picked up by the spinners in Tests at Sabina Park since 2019. 

As mentioned here, Pakistan’s primary spinner Yasir Shah has ensured a tough time in Tests since 2019 and given that he was not effective in the first Test, it may not do much harm if they give orthodox spinner Nauman Ali a go. The 34-year-old in his short career has already made an impact in the Test arena and might be included in the playing XI.

Pakistan likely XI: Abid Ali, Imran Butt/Saud Shakeel, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Yasir Shah/Nauman Ali, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi.

Rain could once again play spoilsport in this match. Most parts of days two, three, four and five are likely to be interrupted by rain, while poor lights could also play its part causing further delays. 

We were lucky enough to get a result in the first Test, despite interruptions, it would be interesting to see if that would be the case once again from Friday onwards.

Match: West Indies vs Pakistan, 2nd Test

When: August 20, 8:30 PM IST onwards

Where: Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica

shareGray Share
West Indies vs PakistanPakistan Tour of West Indies, 2021West IndiesPakistan

Related Articles

Pakistan in commanding position to level series after Shaheen's 6-51
Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed his career-best Test figures, helping Pakistan set West Indies a target of 329 staff
24 Aug 2021
West Indies vs Pakistan, 2nd Test: Fantasy Preview
Here are a few tips that might help you in creating your fantasy team for the second Test between West Indies and Pakistan staff
19 Aug 2021
Seales, Blackwood star in West Indies' thrilling one-wicket win over Pakistan
Jermaine Blackwood scored a fifty while Kemar Roach played an invaluable knock of 30* as West Indies beat Pakistan in the first Test staff
15 Aug 2021
Skipper Babar Azam keeps Pakistan hopes alive in the first Test
Pakistan overturned their trail to a handsome lead of 124 runs as they chase glory in the Caribbean staff
15 Aug 2021
Abbas strikes twice to put West Indies on back foot
The hosts were 2/2 after Pakistan were bundled out for 217 on day one of the first Test
13 Aug 2021
Windies in search of batting stability against tour novices Pakistan
Thirteen Pakistan players are on their maiden Test tour of Windies
userSamarnath Soory
11 Aug 2021
Pakistan announce 19-man squad for Test series against West Indies
Haris Rauf and Mohammad Nawaz, who were part of the T20I series have been released staff
11 Aug 2021
West Indies announce 17-member squad for Tests against Pakistan
Chemar Holder and Bonner return while Darren Bravo is given a break from the bubble staff
09 Aug 2021
Uncapped Azam Khan named in Pakistan T20I squad for England, West Indies tours
Fast bowlers Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Khan have won back spots for the Tests against West Indies
04 Jun 2021
Proteas look to put their subcontinent woes behind them to draw level
After an emphatic win in Karachi, Pakistan will look to seal the series 2-0 in Rawalpindi
userPramod Ananth
03 Feb 2021
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
@ 2020 | All rights reserved