Third Test: Pakistan to play series decider against Windies today
ROSEAU: Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan will play the last Test of their illustrious careers in the series decider against West Indies set to get underway on Wednesday (today) in Dominica.
Windsor Park will host only the fifth Test in its history and will be the stage on which the West Indies will seek to prove that their last week win in Barbados was no fluke.
The home side has won only one test, lost two and drawn remaining in the brief playing history of this ground.
The Test will be the big farewell for two legends of the game in skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan and while that will motivate Pakistan to achieve their first series win in the Caribbean, the West Indies will not want to roll over as they have a chance to claim their first series win over an established nation since 2005 with their last two series victories coming against Bangladesh.
Pakistan are desperate to put out of system the diabolical last day at the Kensington Oval when the result was down to yet another familiar batting collapse and would have brought back the ghosts of their spectacular implosion at the MCG against Australia last December.
For the hosts Shannon Gabriel personified the West Indies recovery as he had a shocking start to the Test bowling six no-balls in a day before recovering to put in a match winning performance claiming 5-11 in the second innings.
Gabriel is a traditional West Indian quick who conjures up images of the glory years but he needs to reign in his no-ball problem and become a consistent match-winner.
The West Indies batting still looks suspect and reliant on lower-order heroics from Roston Chase whose second Test century kept the West Indies in the Barbados fixture, but the same can be said for Pakistan who sport some world class batting talents in Babar Azam, who bagged a ‘pair’ in the Bridgetown Test, and veterans Younis and Misbah but need to find a way to prevent batting collapses.
The Pakistan bowlers have proven difficult for the West Indies to handle. It will be interested to see that teenaged leg-spinner Shadab Khan gets another run after an underwhelming Test debut or replaced by a seamer Hassan Ali or Wahab Riaz.
Opener Ahmed Shahzad likely to be replaced by Shan Masood.
Misbah and Younis both will surely be determined to drag Pakistan to victory at any cost. Mohammad Amir has been getting back to his best in this series and if his progress continues the West Indies could be in for a testing time in Dominica.
PAKISTAN: Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shan Masood, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Usman Salahuddin, Mohammad Asghar.
WEST INDIES: Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Vishaul Singh, Shane Dowrich, Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel, Jermaine Blackwood, Miguel Cummins.