Pakistan is looking to break a 10-game losing streak in a clash against in-form West Indies at Trent Bridge, the batter's paradise
- West Indies start off as favourites against Pakistan - they have a 7-3 win record in World Cups
- The Windies’ batting line-up includes the likes of Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, and most importantly, Andre Rusell the star of IPL 2019,
- Pakistan are heavily dependent on their openers - Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq
- It could be high-scoring game as the match is being played in Trent Bridge, the site of England’s world record score of 481 against Australia
West Indies and Pakistan may not be among the top ODI teams at present, but recent history tells us that they cannot be counted out at the world stage. West Indies are the two-time defending champions in cricket’s shortest format (winners of the ICC World T20 in 2012 and 2016). Pakistan on the other hand, won the ICC Champions Trophy held in England in 2017. Having faced each other on the World Cup on 10 occassions, its the West Indies who lead the way with a 7-3 win record.
Considering the game is being played in Trent Bridge, the site of the highest ODI team score (481/6 by England against Australia), West Indies’ arsenal of big hitters puts them at an advantage over Pakistan. Also to be noted: they amassed 421 in the warm-up game against New Zealand.
Pakistan will be looking to break their run of 10 consecutive ODI losses. For that to happen, one of their top 3 batsmen will have to get stuck in. While bowling is not the forte of either team going by recent statistics, they have shown sparks for brilliance. We can expect more of that in today’s game.
Key players for West Indies
Shai Hope: The stylish opening batsman/wicketkeeper is West Indies’ most consistent player since 2018. Along the way, the 25-year old has kept re-writing the record books. He is the fastest West Indian player to score 2,000 runs, and featured in a world record opening partnership of 365 against Ireland a little more than 3 weeks ago. He contributed 170 runs to the opening partnership, while John Cambell, who made 179, was unfortunate to not make it to the World Cup squad. In 27 innings since January 2018, Hope has made 1,460 runs at an average of 66.36 with 5 centuries and 6 fifties.
Chris Gayle: The Universe Boss is playing in his last World Cup, and will be looking to go out on a high. Gayle, with 944 runs from 26 games, is the highest World Cup run getter among the current squads. Gayle will take strike with the confidence of his recent record behind him. Since 2018, Gayle has scored 731 runs from 13 ODIs at an average of 56.23, with 3 centuries and 3 fifties.
Shimron Hetmyer: Hetmyer is touted to be the next great player from Guyana. The captain of West Indies team that won the 2016 under-19 World Cup, Hetmyer has transitioned quite easily into the senior squad after making his ODI debut against New Zealand in December 2017. From 2018 onwards, Hetmyer has scored 868 runs from 22 innings, with 4 centuries and 2 fifties. Among his most talked about knocks was his unbeaten 104 of 83 balls in the home ODI series against England in February.
Andre Rusell: Russell was at this brutal best in the 2019 IPL, and was recognised as the Most Valuable Player for scoring 510 runs at a frightening strike-rate of 204.81 (he was the 5th highest run getter) and hitting 52 sixes. Russell will be looking to make a point, since he has featured in only two ODIs since the last World Cup, and had to miss a year’s cricket (from January 31, 2018 to Jan 30, 2019) afte being banned by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission for a violation of its ‘whereabouts clause’ [not indicating his location for random dope tests and for not responding to its notices]. Russell has continued to maintain his innonence, and said this has happened due to a miscommunicaiton by his agent. )https://www.timesnownews.com/sports/article/west-indies-cricketer-andre-russell-banned-for-one-year/55044)
Oshane Thomas: The fiery 22-year old fast bowler from Jamaica has the best average and strike rate among the West Indies’ bowlers since 2018. Although he has just played 8 games, he has already marked himself as a name to be reckoned with; he has taken 15 wickets at an average of 27.53 and a strike rate of 22.8.
Table: West Indies’ batsmen since 2018 (in the World Cup squad)
Table: West Indies’ bowlers since 2018 (in the World Cup squad)
|No||Name||Innings||Wickets||Best Bowling||Average||Strike Rate|
Key Players for Pakistan
Fakhar Zaman: Pakistan’s batting hero from the 2017 Champions Trophy is going through a lull (by his standards), but he has already established himself as a once-in-a-generation player. Zaman is the fastest player to reach 1,000 ODI runs (he did so in 18 innings), he is the first Pakistani to score a double hundred (210* against Zimbabwe in July 2018), and with Imam-ul-Haq, featured in the second-highest opening stand (304 in the same game against Zimbabwe). In 27 innings from the start of 2018, Zaman has scored 1242 runs from 27 innings, with 3 centuries and 5 fifties.
Imam-ul-Haq: The opening batsman has let his bat do the talking in the face of persistent questions of nepotism (he is the nephew of Pakistan legend and Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq). In 2018 and 2019, Imam has scored 1240 runs from 25 innings at an average of 59.04, the best average among Pakistan’s batsmen.
Table: Pakistan’s batsmen since 2018 (in the World Cup squad)
Table: Pakistan’s bowlers since 2018 (in the World Cup squad)
|No||Name||Innings||Wickets||Best Bowling||Average||Strike Rate|
|3||Shaheen Shah Afridi||13||24||4/38||25.54||26.7|
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