The three-match T-20 phase of West Indies’ tour of the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan play their ‘home’ matches these days, begins today at Dubai International Cricket Stadium this evening. West Indies have become the acknowledged masters of the shortest format. Pakistan, despite having a strong start in the T20 format when it was introduced, are now languishing at seventh in T20 ICC ranking. But ranking does not matter for cricket betting, especially for T20 cricket.
Pakistan – Preview
Pakistan’s T20 team looks like their A team. Sarfraz Ahmed is the captain. The musical chair of Pakistan cricket this time favours the supposed veterans Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Sohail Tanvir. They have been playing for some time now. But they are still unproven. Much will depend on the young batsmen at the top of the order: Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif and Babar Azam. If they provide a quick-fire start, the rest will be somewhat easy.
Pakistan’s bowling does not look world class either; and their fielding has always been below world class. Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir are coming into this match after a poor tour to England. Sohail Tanvir had a good season in the Caribbean Premier League. But the West Indian batsmen are now much familiar with his methods. What Pakistan lack is a quality spin bowler. Imad Wasim can bowl four overs in a T20 match. But he is largely unthreatening. The other options, either Mohammad Nawaz or Saad Nasim, are too inexperienced.
West Indies – Preview
West Indies thrive on the six-hitting prowess of their batsmen. Chris Gayle and Andre Russell are not in the squad. But the team is filled with habitual six-hitters who can decimate practically any bowling attack: Johnson Charles, Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Andre Fletcher, Rovman Powell, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite and Dwayne Bravo. Among them, only Samuels needs some time to get going. All the others can start from the word go.
West Indies bowling too looks ideally suited to T20 cricket. Bravo is easily the best T20 bowler in the world now. They have two of the best spin bowlers in the format too: Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree. Add Jerome Taylor to the mix, you have a perfect bowling combination for T20 cricket.
Watch out for Nicholas Pooran. And bet on him to come good for cricket betting. He is still only 20. But he can hit big sixes in the true West Indies tradition and play substantial innings as well.
West Indies appear the dominant team in every aspect when compared to Pakistan. If everything goes according to the formbook, West Indies must score an easy win. But T20 cricket is unpredictable. When Pakistan and West Indies are involved, it is even more unpredictable. Expect a thrilling contest and try out cricket betting on 12Bet.
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