After clean-sweeping the T20 series, Pakistan are set to exert their supremacy in the 50-over format, as the three-match ODI series is set to commence at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, tomorrow. West Indies struggled distinctly on the slow and low pitch at Abu Dhabi. The pitch in Sharjah will not be any different. Pakistani spinner and slow-ball-specialising fast bowlers created a real menace. The intended sixers of the West Indian power-hitters were reduced to catching practice at the deep. Pakistan must be the overwhelming favourites in cricket betting. But West Indies could be a volcano waiting to erupt.
Pakistan – Preview
The template for success at the UAE against West Indies is ready for Pakistan. Now they only need to practice and perfect it. Open the bowling with a spinner, preferably Imad Wasim, and deny any sort of pace to the batsmen. Finish the overs in a jiffy. Always keep spin from one end and rotate the pace bowlers at the other end. On these pitches, fast bowlers are in effect spinners with a long run-up.
Skipper Azhar Ali will be the batting mainstay for Pakistan. He will try to play the role of Misbah-ul-Haq. He will try to drop anchor, while the rest of big hitters flourish around him. Sharjeel Khan, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed Umar Akmal can score at a good clip, but they are largely inconsistent.
West Indies – Preview
West Indies give the impression that they have already given up. They need some spark. May be Jason Holder’s return to captaincy may provide that. The team remains mostly the same as that played in the T20 series. Darren Bravo is likely to come into the top-four and Suleiman Benn is likely to play. There are big shots like Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard in the squad. But in these conditions, on this pitch, against Pakistan’s spin bowling, they may not able to provide the full exhibition of their potential.
For cricket betting, check out the odds of an outright win for Pakistan. It is hard to see West Indies making a turn-around of fortunes. But Pakistan, being Pakistan, are not far away batting collapses and fielding disasters either.
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