Pakistan target a whitewash
The series is wrapped up after Pakistan overcame two mini collapses in Barbados to complete a three-wicket victory. Given the lack of confidence in the West Indies camp, especially from the batsmen, the visitors must now be targeting a whitewash.
The series is wrapped up after Pakistan overcame two mini collapses in Barbados to complete a three-wicket victory. Given the lack of confidence in the West Indies camp, especially from the batsmen, the visitors must now be targeting a whitewash. These continue to be desperate times for the men from the Caribbean.
However, the spells from Ravi Rampaul and Devendra Bishoo in the third match were the first time the series had sparked into life. Before that the West Indian batting had been woeful - with the exception of Lendl Simmons - and Pakistan had barely needed to break sweat in two comfortable run chases. The way they faltered in Barbados, though, offered a glimpse of how they can be exposed for the rest of the tour if the pitches offer pace and bounce. Sadly, for West Indies, after this match the remaining games are in Guyana and St Kitts.
Pakistan's bowling attack, led by the spinners, has managed to contain the West Indies batting. The slow bowlers have been well supported by Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz - the latter can be expensive but often takes wickets. Meanwhile, the experienced head of Misbah-ul-Haq has provided the fulcrum in the middle order and he has yet to be dismissed in the series. His calmness was vital as nerves frayed in the previous match. West Indies desperately need someone to match him.
(completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies LLLLL
Watch out for...
It was only a matter of time before the selectors went back to experience so the call-up for Ramnaresh Sarwan has not come as much of a surprise. While the idea of pushing youth is laudable, some of the players on show just haven't been good enough. Sarwan's 166 matches of experience and mountain of runs can't be discarded yet. However, quite how match-ready he is remains to be seen. He hasn't had any cricket since being dropped after the World Cup but things can't really get much worse for the home side.
Hammad Azam played a crucial role in Pakistan's series-clinching victory as he contributed a calm 36 after his team had been stumbling on 49 for 4 following Ravi Rampaul's spell. He provided Misbah with the support he needed in a 78-run partnership and showed impressive composure for a player in his first ODI innings. Coupled with his handy medium pace Azam has the makings of being a very useful cricketer.
Sarwan will return to bolster the batting, but he has replaced Devon Smith in the squad which means a reshuffling of the batting order will be required and Kirk Edwards may be asked to open. Andre Russell returned for the previous match although didn't contribute much and given how the Pakistan batsmen have struggled against Bishoo a recall for legspinner Anthony Martin could be an option.
West Indies (possible) 1 Lendl Simmons (wk), 2 Kirk Edwards, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 5 Marlon Samuels, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Darren Sammy (capt), 8 Ravi Rampaul, 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Devendra Bishoo, 11 Anthony Martin
Shahid Afridi hinted that Pakistan may take the chance to give some of the squad players a game with the series won. That may mean a rest for Junaid Khan, the young left-armer, and possibly one of the top-order batsmen.
Pakistan (possible) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Taufeeq Umar, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq, 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Hammad Azam, 7 Shahid Afridi (capt), 8 Mohammad Salman (wk), 8 Wahab Riaz, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Tanvir Ahmed
Pitch and conditions
The Kensington Oval pitch was certainly the quickest either side had seen for a while following the World Cup and the earlier games of this series in St Lucia. There is the chance of showers again in the Bridgetown area but the ground drains very well.