Tuesday, 13 March 2007

West Indies vs Pakistan Preview

Both teams come into this match with varying levels of confidence. Pakistan will be buoyed by their success over World leaders South Africa in the final warm up match, whilst the West Indies suffered a huge blow to their confidence with a humiliating collapse against India in their last warm up game.

Counteracting this though is of course the fact that the West Indies will be opening this eagerly anticipated tournament in front of their own fans on their own soil, a proud moment for any nation. Pakistan meanwhile are still all to aware that the recent losses of Shoaib Aktar, Mohammad Asif and Abdul Razzaq could destroy their World Cup challenge.

With many predicting the pitches to be slow and low though, Pakistan's Danish Kaneria will be looking for the chance to firmly establish himself as Shane Warne's successor on the World stage. With Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez in the side though it remains to be seen whether he will be given that opportunity. Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels will be looking to match the Pakistani spinners in what could be a relatively low scoring affair.

This game appears to be almost too close to call. The West Indies have the upper hand in previous World Cup meetings between the two sides, winning five and losing just two. However, Pakistan will remember fondly their last meetings with the West Indies in the Caribbean, when they whitewashed them with a 3-0 series win in 2005.

Prediction: West Indies to get off to the start this tournament needs them to, with a narrow victory over their sub-continental opposition, in a reasonably low scoring encounter.

Players to Watch: Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Mohammad Youssef.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Richard Lake said...

Not as close as you predicted, but a remarkabley accurate preview.

Before the start of the tournament, I thought these were two of the weaker teams and I didn't see anything to change my mind on that front.