First Test Preview: Pakistan v WI
Pakistan host the West Indies in a day/night Test match at Dubai’s International Cricket Stadium this week and it promises to be a fascinating affair.
The number two ranked team have not hosted the West Indies in Test cricket in nearly ten years and last played the men from the Caribbean in the longest format back in 2011 so this Test has an air of the unknown about it.
Throw in a pink ball Test being played in Asia for the first time ever and we really cannot be sure how this one is going to turn out.
The wicket in Dubai will have to have some grass on it to protect the slightly more delicate pink ball from damage which means the seamers will be in the game.
Pakistan will be without veteran batsman Younis Khan who is recovering from a bout of dengue fever but skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq have great records at this ground.
Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz could prove to be a nightmare for the West Indies with the pink ball in hand and even with grass on the pitch leg-spinner Yasir Shah will be a tough prospect with batsman conceding the seam on the pink ball is hard to see.
The West Indies are likely to continue to struggle in this series and as far as the batting department goes will rely heavily on Marlon Samuels to get big runs, though Roston Chase was a shining light with bat and ball during the contest against India and Darren Bravo who scored 91 in a warm up game will also be expected to come to the party.
In the bowling department the Windies will need Shannon Gabriel to spearhead the attack alongside a relatively young group of quicks.
The West Indies are still reeling from the loss of their coach Phil Simmons on the eve of this trip and six successive losses to Pakistan on this tour. They will need to start the Test match strong and prove that their batting lineup can score big runs.
For Pakistan this game will be about keeping the momentum going after a great series in England saw them briefly top the ICC Test rankings, they have a settled squad of talented players and will feel that nothing short of a series whitewash will do and they will be eager to start well in Dubai.
Last five head-to-head results
2011 Second Test Pakistan won by 196 runs in Basseterre
2011 First Test West Indies won by 40 runs in Providence
2006 Third Test Pakistan won by 199 runs in Karachi
2006 Second Test Match drawn in Multan
2006 First Test Pakistan won by nine wickets in Lahore
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Imran Khan, Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali, Sami Aslam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Babar Azam, Mohammad Nawaz
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Kraigg Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Leon Johnson, Alzarri Joseph, Marlon Samuels, Jomel Warrican.
Dates: 13 to 17 October
Afternoon session: 15:30-17:30 (11:30-13:30 GMT)
Evening session: 18:10-20:10 (14:10-16:10 GMT)
Night session: 20:30-22:30 (16:30-18:30 GMT)
Umpires: Richard Illingworth and Paul Reiffel
TV Umpire: Michael Gough
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