ODI series preview: West Indies v Pakistan

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It's not even been a week since the tri-series in the West Indies concluded, with India as the winners, and the next series is about to begin, this time between the hosts and Pakistan.

It's not even been a week since the tri-series in the West Indies concluded, with India as the winners, and the next series is about to begin, this time between the hosts and Pakistan.

The five-match ODI series falls as most of the cricketing world is looking towards England, where the Ashes are being contested. But Pakistan have much to prove after a dire Champions Trophy, and the Windies want to do well in front of their fans.

The venues have changed from Kingston and Port of Spain to Providence and Gros Islet. Fans and players alike will be hoping the weather does not play as much of a part as it did in Trinidad, where rain appeared regularly.

Pakistan lost all their group games in the Champions Trophy, including against the Windies, and have brought veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi and promising wicketkeeper Umar Akmal into the squad. Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal have made way.

Pakistan selectors have said that Afridi is only in the side as an 'option' given his poor form before being dropped, but Boom Boom feels he is ready to rock the Caribbean party after weeks spent at the performance centre.

The Windies will be skippered by Dwayne Bravo again, with former captain Darren Sammy set to keep his place in the line up after a good tri-series. The main change to their side is that Denesh Ramdin has been dropped, and no-one has replaced him.

Ramdin made on 25 runs in his last five ODIs, and was ousted by Johnson Charles behind the stumps. This is of course not forgetting that Pakistan were the opponents when the was banned for claiming a dropped catch.

These are the two most unpredictable sides in ODI cricket, with both capable of incredible highs and debilitating lows. We reckon the series could go down to the wire, 2-2 into the final game on 24 July.

<b>Key Men</b><br>For the home side, the triple threat that is <b>Marlon Samuels</b> is always the best bet for key man. He was pretty rubbish with the bat in the tri-series, making 22 runs if four knocks. But that means he's due to hit form. Right?

For Pakistan, let's move away from traditional pick Saeed Ajmal because it's becoming boring. Let's stump for Kamran's better-looking brother <b>Umar Akmal</b>, who we reckon will do with both gloves and bat, despite the pressure on him.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2013: West Indies won by two wickets at the Oval<br>2011, 5th ODI: West Indies won by 10 wickets in Providence<br>2011, 4th ODI: West Indies won by one run in Bridgetown<br>2011, 3rd ODI: Pakistan won by three wickets in Bridgetown<br>2011, 2nd ODI: Pakistan won by seven wickets in Gros Islet

<b>Squads</b><br><i>West Indies:</i> Dwayne Bravo (capt), Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Devon Smith, Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Tino Best, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach

<i>Pakistan</i>: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Asad Ali, Umar Amin, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Abdur Rehman, Haris Sohail

<b>Fixtures – all at 13:00 GMT</b><br>1st ODI: 14 July, Providence<br>2nd ODI: 16 July, Providence<br>3rd ODI: 19 July, Gros Islet<br>4th ODI: 21 July, Gros Islet<br>5th ODI: 24 July, Gros Islet

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