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Pakistan and dropping a catch at the crucial moments of the game has most of the time let them down. Such was the case with them in the first Test match against the West Indies, where they dropped some important chances and ended up on the receiving end and losing 12 precious WTC points. Now only the last match remains, Pakistan must rectify their catching errors in order to draw the last game. Here’s the match preview of the 2nd Test Match.
Pakistan and West Indies were at it each other most of the games, with momentum shifting over and over. The fourth (and final) day saw a game with no mistakes that needed to be made. Both of the sides dropped catches and misfielded. But West Indies held their nerves in the end.
Pakistan, when under pressure, always does some clumsy things in between. But if there was a moment where Pakistan could have won, it was batting. No way the target of 160 odds was that easy to defend. West Indies had never lost a match when chasing a target below 200. Their top-order, openers, in particular, have failed them. Not getting enough runs on the board will definitely not help.
West Indies also had their batting problems. But in the first innings, they batted well. That 30 odd runs lead proved a little too much, knowing Pakistan’s record in their second innings. In a game where bowlers dominated, West Indies won in the batting department.
Will spinners play their part?
The game was bowling dominated and 37 out of 39 wickets fell to fast-bowlers and two were run-outs. Not a single wicket went to the spin bowler. So, will both teams drop their respective spinners and add an extra batsman? It could be a good tactic. Part-time spinners can play their role if they are required.
It is a bigger concern for Pakistan. Yasir Shah is their first-choice spinner and has been a great bowler. But his form has dipped and hasn’t looked to recover from there. In the series where he loved bowling in 2017, Yasir couldn’t put on a big show. Nauman Ali is the other option and could replace Yasir. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if Pakistan drops him and plays an extra batsman in these conditions.
Crucial 12 points of this World Test Championship is up for grabs. Both teams will be looking to grab them and progress further in this recently started WTC cycle.
2nd Test Match Details:
- Date: Aug 20, 2021
- Timing: 8:00 PM PKT
- Venue: Sabina Park, Kingston
- Weather: Scattered rain is predicted for the first three days with day four showing signs of showers.
Conditions / Pitch Report:
It’s going to be a similar pitch for this match. A slow wicket with an uneven bounce as we witnessed in the first test will question both teams’ and their selection on playing a spin bowler.
Head to Head:
Matches: 53 | West Indies: 18 | Pakistan: 20 | Draw: 15
West Indies: W L L D D (Most recent first)
Pakistan: L W W W W
1. West Indies
Given how the West Indies has turned up against Pakistan in the first game, they could be looking to play with the same XI. Otherwise, Alzarri Joseph may come in the side to form a five-man pace attack at the expense of Jomel Warrican
West Indies’s Probable XI:
1. Kraigg Brathwaite (C), 2. Kieron Powell, 3. Nkrumah Bonner, 4. Roston Chase, 5. Jermaine Blackwood, 6. Kyle Mayers, 7. Joshua de Silva (WK), 8. Jason Holder, 9. Alzarri Joseph, 10. Kemar Roach, 11. Jayden Seales
Questions come from the spin department, where Yasir Shah as the lone spinner failed to attack the West Indies. There is a possibility of Yasir being replaced by left-arm spinner Nauman Ali. Another possibility is that Pakistan may slot an extra batsman in the middle and leaving out the spinning role since the fast bowlers only had success at this very ground.
Pakistan’s Probable XI:
1. Abid Ali, 2. Imran Butt, 3. Azhar Ali, 4. Babar Azam (C), 5. Fawad Alam, 6. Mohammad Rizwan (WK), 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Hasan Ali, 9. Mohammad Abbas, 10. Yasir Shah/ Nauman Ali, 11. Shaheen Afridi
Players to watch:
1. Fawad Alam, Batsman (Pakistan)
Fawad Alam’s comeback has been sweeter for him. The man who never gave up while being ignored despite scoring a bunch of runs, every run of his is a slap to those who failed to see how crucial Fawad could have become in the middle-order. And it has not been easy for Fawad. Since his comeback. Fawad came when the top order struggled. All his fifty-plus scores have helped Pakistan. Now, in order to draw the series, Fawad has to play the lead role in the middle yet again.
2. Jermaine Blackwood, Batsman (West Indies)
Not the flashiest batsman from the West Indies, but Jermaine Blackwood can play some fantastic knocks that helps the West Indies. His innings of 55 in their chase came as a counterattack. His strike rate was in the 70s and kept Pakistan guessing. With the middle-order failing to fire, Blackwood alongside Jason Holder, will have to play their parts.
3. Shaheen Afridi, Bowler (Pakistan)
Shaheen Afridi often gets criticised for not being “aggressive” enough. His white-ball stats this year hasn’t been very impressive but his red-ball cricket does. He has so far 27 wickets this year, including his double 4-fers in the previous Test match. He troubled the West Indies with his height. The death bowling remains a little concern. It’s something he has to work on if Pakistan has to defend such a small target again.
4.Jayden Seales, Bowler (West Indies)
He did not had a single five-wicket haul in his career, until his last game. He picked eight wickets overall, four at the top five. He was awarded the Man of the Match for his and his support with the bat. Early into his career, he is one of the futures of the team and is expected to do well in the WTC.
Stats and Trivia:
- West Indies winning over Pakistan in the first Test was their first win at Sabina Park since 1977.
- Yasir Shah is one wicket away from equalling Abdul Qadir’s record of 236 Test wickets.