The day all Pakistani fans were waiting for is finally upon us. 31stof May, 2019, Pakistan Vs West Indies, the start of Pakistan’s campaign in the Cricket World Cup of 2019. While Pakistan has had the better of the red force in the last couple of years, recent form signals a clear tilt towards the West Indies.
In their recent practice match against the Kiwis, West Indies showed what they’re truly capable of. Not only did they beat New Zealand, they did so with extreme disdain. They displayed similar feats of strength, big hitting and rejuvenation in their recent series against England. While they failed to win the recent tri series against Bangladesh and Ireland, they did show what they’re capable of. A side that has Chris Gayle, Andre Russel, Shai Hope, Kemar Roach, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis and Jason Holder that too in red hot form should be taken lightly at one’s own peril. Jason Holder, after a lean start to his captaincy career, has slowly blossomed into a strong leader and a genuine all-rounder and has all the ingredients in his squad to go all the way.
Pakistan on the other hand are struggling. After 10 successive defeats, confidence might be low and self-doubt might be high. A bright spot in these defeats however were good individual performances which Pakistan will be hoping will take the form of a consolidated team effort in the coming days. Against normal expectations, Pakistan’s bowling has been the worrying aspect of their performance this time. Barring the odd spell, bowling has been lackluster and has been taken all over the park. One would hope that Pakistan has done some serious thinking in the last few days and will have a clear strategy against the power hitters they’re going to face. One major chink in the amour of the West Indies has been their ability to play spin which Pakistan should look to exploit through Imad, Shadab and Hafeez.
On recent form, West Indies are clearly ahead. Pakistan however is ahead in the last five matches between the two sides. In world cup matches, West Indies is ahead 3-2. Weather forecast does mention rain but none that could washout the match. This match promises to be a thriller!
Prediction: West Indies to win on recent form (really wish I am wrong).