After winning a drab T20I series by 1-0, Pakistan will renew its Test rivalry with the West Indies after a gap of two years when the teams face off at the Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica on Thursday (August 12). With the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman in mind, Pakistan haven't played red-ball cricket since May while West Indies had last faced South Africa at home in June. Both teams have played six Tests each this year with Pakistan registering four wins, while the Windies have three so far.
Overall: Matches - 52 | West Indies - 17 wins | Pakistan - 20 wins | Drawn - 15
Last 5 matches: West Indies - 2 wins | Pakistan - 3 wins
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Sabina Park has hosted little to less Test cricket over the past five years with the five-day game came in 2019 where the Windies played India. It's been over an year since the venue had seen first-class games being played at the stadium. So it is difficult to say what kind of surface the teams might get. Pakistan had played the Windies at the venue twice since the beginning of this century and won both of them.
In the past five Tests, one each year between 2015-19, pacers have picked almost double the wickets (102) than spinners (59) at Kingston. Pacers have struck every 50 deliveries while for spinners it is around 63 balls. Since 2019, all the five Test venues across the Caribbean have been pacer-friendly with the Kensington Oval being the least favorable where they claimed 66.7% of the total wickets. So, going by the trend, it is good to have one spinner and four pacers in your team along with a part-timer or spin-bowling all-rounder for balance.
Abid Ali has been one of Pakistan's consistent batsmen in Tests ever since he made his debut in 2019. The opener is the third highest scorer for Pakistan in the long format in the past two years with 523 runs from 16 innings at average of 34.82. His mammoth score of 215 not out against Zimbabwe in May make him the most in-form batsman for the visitors.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Ali could score 127-190 runs in this match.
Hasan Ali has had his share of injury struggles and has announced his comeback to the international cricket with some excellent performances. Along with his 24 wickets in white-ball cricket this year, the right-arm pacer has picked up four five-wickets hauls from eight Test innings and is the top wicket-taker for Pakistan so far with 26 scalps.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Hasan Ali could pick up 7-9 wickets in this match.
Kemar Roach has been sensational since the beginning of the year. The veteran pacers has picked up 19 wickets from nine innings this year has a strike rate of 48.8. He doesn't have a five-wicket haul to his name in this year, but he has provided a crucial breakthrough with surprising spells which makes a case for his regular inclusion.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Roach could pick up 6-8 wickets in this match.
Shaheen Shah Afridi has continued to be one of the few bowlers who have been consistently among wickets across all formats. The left-arm pacer matches his counterpart Kemar Roach's haul of 19 Test wickets for this year with a strike rate of 50 and will be expected to make the most of this maiden Test series against the Windies.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Afridi could pick up 5-7 wickets in this match.