Venue: Sabina Park, Jamaica
Date: Thursday, August 12 – Monday, August 16
BetXChange Odds for 1st Test win:
BetXChange Odds for Series win:
It feels like this series between the West Indies and Pakistan has been kind f pointless to date. What was supposed to be a five-match white-ball opener in the T20I game was reduced to just four matches thanks to Covid-19. That, however, was far from the worst of it, as the two countries were able to complete just one of the four remaining matches thanks to the torrential rain that has been hitting the West Indies over the last couple of weeks.
Pakistan won the series 1-0 thanks to their seven-run victory in the 2nd T20I. That – somewhat astonishingly – was the only batting that the team has done in anger on this tour, with the West Indies having been on strike first in each of the remaining matches that went for nine overs, eight balls, and three overs respectively. The Pakistani team may have been thankful that the last match in Guyana was rained out, as the West Indies – clearly annoyed by the lack of cricket being played – started off on a tear and had put up 30 runs in three overs without loss. Andre Fletcher – again forced to open the batting through injury – looks like he might be hard to displace in that role as he had picked up 17 runs from 12 balls without losing his wicket.
Here is hoping that the move to new scenery in the form of Sabina Park in Jamaica – where both Tests will be played – results in a change in the weather conditions and that we can actually get some decisive cricket on the oval.
The West Indies were torn apart by South Africa in a two-Test series two months ago and it is hard to see how the players would have improved with the Windies having played nothing by limited-over format matches in the time since. Shannon Gabriel still misses out due to fitness issues, so look for Kemar Roach to lead the Windies approach.
Pakistan has won four Test series in a row – including a win over South Africa on the sub-continent – and they are rightly favorites on the back of that fine run of form. Haris Rauf and Mohammad Nawez are back in Pakistan but look for Yasir Shah to be back in the side as he attempts to recapture the form that saw him win “Man of the Series” honors when Pakistan last toured here in 2017.
The weather and the way that the dusty wicket holds up will be giant keys to this series. If the track suits pace then the Windies will be favored, but if it becomes a spinners wicket then Pakistan will be even more heavily backed. I think that the weather is going to shorten this series and that will give the West Indies hope. in the end, however, I back Pakistan to win both the first Test and the series at 2/1 with BetXchange.