Preview: WI v PAK, 4th ODI

May 3, 2011

Pakistan, having already clinched the 5-match ODI series with an unassailable 3-0 lead, would now be aiming to be on track for a series sweep when they face West Indies in the fourth one-day international at the Kensington Oval. West Indies, on the other hand, have only pride to play for, and would do well to win the remaining two matches.

Head to Head: Pakistan and West Indies have face off against each other in a total of 23 ODIs in the last 10 years. Pakistan have emerged victorious on 18 occasions while losing just 5 times.

Pakistan: Generally a very mercurial side, Pakistan have been anything but that in this series. After having bagged clinical wins in the first two ODIs, Pakistan emerged trumps in a low-scoring third game to bag the series. Mohammad Hafeez, who has been growing in confidence with every game, has been one of the key performers. He has done well with both the ball and the bat, contributing for Pakistan whenever called upon. Ahmed Shehzad has also done well at the top of the order, scoring an important century in the 2nd ODI. Pakistan’s Mr Consistent Misbah ul Haq has performed brilliantly with two fifties and one score in the forties and is yet to be dismissed in this series. Their only concern would be the way the middle order struggled in the third ODI while chasing a target of 172 before getting home in the end.

Pakistan’s bowling has been disciplined, never letting West Indies post a good total in all three ODIs so far. Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez have all been amongst wickets and have also been very economical, especially the spinners. They would look to continue in the same vein as Pakistan pursue a 5-0 series win.

West Indies: The Caribbean side have been average to say the least and the absence of their three senior batsmen has definitely hurt the team. While Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul have not even been considered for the series, Ramnaresh Sarwan, the other senior in the ranks, has only been drafted into the squad for the 4th and 5th ODIs. With West Indies having already lost the series, he can only do as much as lending stability to the middle order which has been woeful. Lendl Simmons has been the only batsman who has been scoring runs for West Indies, with a couple of fifties while the talented Darren Bravo has gone past the half century-run mark once. Barring that, none of the other batsmen have come up with any kind of meritorious performance. They need to play with more application if they hope to contribute to West Indies’ cause.

As far as the bowling is concerned, Devendra Bishoo has been the stand-out performer for the Windies, taking 7 wickets in the series at an average of 18. Ravi Rampaul, who played only in the third ODI, was also impressive with his excellent spell of 4/32. The rest of the bowlers, though they did not have much to defend in the past three outings, have also not been up to the mark. Kemar Roach, their strike bowler, is still searching for a wicket and so are Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo. West Indies need an all-round display in the remaining games if they are to prevent a clean-sweep.

Captains speak:

Rotating the strike is one area we have to get better at. If we rotate the strike, that upsets the rhythm of the Pakistan bowlers and that would lead to us posting bigger, match-winning totals. As a batting unit we hit a lot of boundaries, but we have to get better at ticking over the strike: West Indies skipper Darren Sammy

There are still some problems with out batting, and I’m sure the management and coaches will come at us hard in the meetings. The way the boys delivered in the series was good, but the batsmen need to spend some time in the middle. We all know we made mistakes: Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi

Add a Comment