Having lost to Afghanistan in their warm-up match, Pakistan will be keen to change their fortunes when they take on dark horses West Indies in the second match of the 2019 World Cup at Trent Bridge.
Pakistan, winners of 2017 Champions Trophy, have had a pathetic time of late. They have lost their last ten ODI matches. After being whitewashed 5-0 by Australia, they then stumbled to a 4-0 defeat against England before the Afghanistan shocker. While that is not great preparation, Pakistan's unpredictability means they can come back at any point.
One of the heroes of Pakistan's Champions Trophy win Mohammad Amir has been recalled to the side after being initially not selected. However, he has been in atrocious form, managing only five wickets in 15 matches since that Champions Trophy win.
For Pakistan to do well, a lot will depend on their seniors. Fakhar Zaman will be key at the top of the order. Sarfraz Ahmed will have to lead from the front while there will be a lot of expectations from Shoaib Malik, who will undoubtedly be playing in his last World Cup. Pakistan has sprung a surprise by recalling Wahab Riaz to the side. It would be interesting to see how the move works.
West Indies go into the clash having smashed 421 in the warm-up clash against New Zealand. Andre Russell continued his wonderful run, blasting 54 from 25 balls while Shai Hope hit a brilliant hundred. If they continue to bat like that, they can upset any opponent on a given day.
The Windies will be pleased that the giant-hitting Chris Gayle is not only back in the mix but is also in great form. He will look to have a great swansong. While a lot of bets are being placed on England breaking the 500-run barrier, Windies with their big-hitters can get there too.
West Indies only just qualified after getting through the round in Zimbabwe. They managed to square the series 2-2 against top-ranked England. However, they also lost a tri-series final against Bangladesh in Ireland. In a nutshell, tomorrow's game will be a clash of two unpredictable sides.
Pakistan: Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt/wk), Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Imam-ul Haq, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain.
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Kemar Roach, Darren Bravo, Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder (c), Evin Lewis, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Oshane Thomas, Shannon Gabriel
--By A Cricket Correspondent