Pakistan vs West Indies: Second T20 Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

Can the West Indies bounce back in the second T20 International at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday evening? 

Pakistan were entirely dominant in the series opener, leaving themselves just one result shy of a convincing series victory, before targeting a three-nil whitewash in under 72 hours.

The Windies' second-string squad was always going to be heavily challenged, but not many expected them to be steamrolled as badly as they were on Sunday. Improvement is required, quickly, on Monday.

Pakistan v West Indies | Monday, 2 April | National Stadium, Karachi | 17:00

To Win Match
Pakistan 19/100
Tie 35/1
West Indies 36/10

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Pakistan will be pleased with the formidable target they posted in the series opener, but will expect one of their top four to convert to 80-odd or more on the back of a promising start. Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Hussain Talat and Sarfraz Ahmed delivered enough collectively, but need to come up with more individually.

The finishing skills of Shoaib Malik, again, will be key. The Windies attack was outgunned by the veteran, who almost found the boundary at will. Even if Pakistan bat second this time, he'll want to be in a position to do so again, effectively leading by example to the likes of Talat and Zaman.

Opening the bowling with Mohammad Nawaz worked well - and should continue. The left-arm spinner complemented southpaw seamer Mohammad Amir superbly with the new ball, with a Windies top-order expecting pace on the ball evidently caught off guard by the slower stuff. The hosts read conditions superbly in deploying this tactic.

Pakistan will be eager to capitalise on their dominant display in the first T20I, where the chasm in T20I form between the two sides was very evident. They have no genuine reason to change their XI, as they're flush with up to seven bowlers and have enough batting firepower to last the distance.

West Indies
With Chris Gayle and several other stars rested, the Windies must expect to lose a match or two in the name of testing the bench strength and other means of experimentation. They can't, however, tolerate hefty defeats like the one experienced in the series opener. The sizeable gap needs to be closed, somewhat, promptly.

Spinner Veerasammy Permaul only bowled three deliveries in the series opener - and is an injury doubt for the follow-up fixture. With no Devendra Bishoo around, Marlon Samuels might have to turn his arm over for a few more overs. Alternatively, now might be the time to debut talented seamer Odean Smith.

Jason Mohammed, meanwhile, must not let the additional responsibility of the stand-in captaincy negatively affect his primary role with the bat. Samuels, too, has to muster a big innings. The same goes for Andre Fletcher, especially during a rocky patch for fellow opener Chadwick Walton.

The islanders were evidently jet-lagged in the first match. They will want to shake this off and match - and hopefully better - opposition superior in fitness in form. The turnaround time between matches one, two - and later three - are tight, though. Regardless, self-motivation and insistence from the backroom staff need to counter the tough physicality with a steadfast mentality.

Verdict: Pakistan 19/100
The West Indians have won two World Twenty20s, but those were with a string of big-hitters and commanding all-rounders in their ranks. Almost all of them are currently being rested, thought, leaving a near full-strength Pakistan outfit all but assured of success.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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