On paper, Pakistan look stronger than the West Indies ahead of the forthcoming ODI series, but the visitors have some young and exciting players too
The ODI series between Pakistan and the West Indies has been shifted from Rawalpindi to Multan due to the uncertain political situation in the capital. The matches are to be held on June 8, 10 and 12.
It will be a physical fitness test for both teams' players as matches are to be played in 40-degree temperature. Pakistan never before organised international matches in such hot weather in Multan. To minimise the heat effect, matches will start at 4pm PST.
The West Indies team will arrive in Islamabad on June 6 and will fly to Multan through a chartered flight and will have only one day for practice.
The series is part of the Cricket World Cup Super League matches that will determine the qualification for next year's 50-overs World Cup in India.
The top eight teams will get a direct entry to the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023. The remaining two spots will be filled through a qualifying round.
West Indies and Pakistan are two of the most successful cricket teams in the history of the game. Both teams have won the ICC 50-over and the ICC T20 World Cups. The two teams are famous for their fearless approach on the field. Both teams are unpredictable and can beat even the best team in the world on their day. But on paper, the Green-shirts look much stronger than the visitors.
In-form skipper Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah and Abdullah Shafique have the ability to post big totals or chase any target against the comparatively inexperienced West Indies' bowling attack.
On the other hand, the strong bowling attack consisting of Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani and Shadab Khan will be too hot to handle for the visitors' batting line.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan will make a return to the ODI squad after missing the Australia series.
Young Shahnawaz Dahani has not made his ODI debut for Pakistan yet, but against the West Indies he could get a chance if the management decided to give rest to Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali or Haris Rauf in separate matches. Dahani is a young pacer who can unsettle the opposition with his pace and variations.
The Larkana-born fast bowler claimed 15 wickets in seven matches of the current year's Pakistan Cup, at an average of 15.53, and was one of the best pacers in the 50-overs tournament.
West Indies' orthodox spinner Akeal Hosein and right-hand batsman Keacy Carty will be must-watch players. Akeal has taken 14 wickets in 22 ODIs with an impressive economy rate of 4.44. He will be a difficult bowler to tackle for Pakistan batters, especially if the pitch is offering some assistance to the spinners.
Apart from his bowling skills, Akeal is also a handy batsman in the lower order. He currently holds the record for the highest Men's T20I score by a No 10. He scored unbeaten 44 off 16 against England earlier this year.
The 25-year-old Keacy Carty led West Indies to the 2016 ICC U19 World Cup title against India with a fifty and received player of the match award in the final.
In March against England Test squad, Keacy Carty while playing for CWI President's XI scored 57 off 49 balls in a warm-up game. After that selectors decided to give him a chance for the West Indies during the tour of Pakistan.
Currently Pakistan are ranked fifth with 102 points in the ICC ODI teams ranking while the West Indies are ninth with 73 points. If the Green-shirts whitewashed the visitors, they could surpass India who are 4th with 105 points.
The Green-shirts have a good opportunity to beat the West Indies as they are not even a shadow of their past.
The two teams have played 134 ODIs. West Indies have the upper hand with 71 wins. Pakistan won on 60 occasions. Three matches were tied.
West Indies' 339-4 in Adelaide in January 2005 is the highest score from both sides. Pakistan made their best score of 337-5 in Sharjah in October 2016.
Pakistan were bowled out for just 43 in Cape Town in February 1993, their lowest ever total. West Indies scored 98 in July 2014 in Providence.
The Caribbean side beat Pakistan by 150 runs in Christchurch in February 2015. Pakistan recorded their biggest ever win against West Indies - by 138 runs - in Sharjah in October 1999.
Former West Indies opener Desmond Haynes is the highest scorer with 2390 runs in 65 matches, averaging 41.92, including four centuries and 18 fifties.
For Pakistan, former skipper Javed Miandad scored 1930 runs in 64 appearances. He hit one hundred and 12 half-centuries.
Brian Lara scored 156 in Adelaide in January 2005. Former opener Saeed Anwar scored 131 runs in Sharjah in November 1993 for Pakistan.
Lara scored five centuries against Pakistan. Young Babar Azam has played only three ODIs against them, but he is the highest century maker against West Indies with three centuries.
Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram took 89 wickets in 64 matches against West Indies, averaging 25.57. West Indies' most successful bowler against Pakistan has been Curtly Ambrose with 69 wickets in 44 matches, at an average of 21.35.
Imran Khan led Pakistan in 39 ODIs against West Indies, won 14 and lost 24. Viv Richards led West Indies in 25 matches against Pakistan, won 17 and lost eight.