The first T20 was a story of the visitors not adjusting to the conditions properly after coming off a game against India at Lauderhill where it rained fours and sixes. West Indies did take few things lightly as surfaces in UAE are not always conducive for high-scoring totals, despite a few exceptions in the games played in the past. On the other hand, Pakistan continued their good form after taking winning momentum from the one-off T20 game against England at Manchester.
Sarfaraz Ahmad had no hesitation to bowl first as dew would play a part later in the game. He was tactically right from the start, bringing spinners at the start to unsettle West Indies to restrict them to a modest total. Pakistan’s left arm spinner Imad Wasim did a lot of damage at the start by taking prized scalps of Evin Lewis, André Fletcher and Marlon Samuels to derail West Indies innings and put Pakistan in a commanding position in the game.
West Indies will understand that they did undermine Pakistan in these conditions and paid heavily for it in the shape of a loss in the first T20. A good start at the top is required rather than mindless bashing of the ball orchestrated by the West Indies batsmen. They have players like Evin Lewis, Johnson Charles and Kieron Pollard who can change the complexion of a game in a few minutes. The T20 champions would be desperately looking towards these men to come good in the series for them to stay alive in the contest against Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan side has every reason to be confident of winning this game as well as their bowlers produced a clinical performance against a strong batting line-up. Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam and Khalid Latif all produced vital runs to help the side win the first game by nine wickets.
Key players for the game
Marlon Samuels might be the player for West Indies this time around as difficult conditions and situations bring the best out of him as seen in the past. The batsman has delivered in crunch situations and the side will expect him to come good in the game to increase their chances of leveling the series.
For Pakistan, Umar Akmal might be a player to watch out for as it will be interesting to see how he performs in the series. The talented batsman is always in trouble for the wrong reasons which has meant that he has never utilized his potential and promise to the full use.
The pitch at Dubai is always a good surface as it is good for stroke-play for batsmen and does aid spinners later on in the game. An average score of 140 to 150 runs seems to be a competitive total as conditions do aid the spinners throughout the game. The weather should be good for a day-night fixture.
West Indies: 1.Evin Lewis 2.Johnson Charles 3.Marlon Samuels 4.Andre Fletcher 5.Nicolas Pooran (wk) 6.Dwayne Bravo 7.Kieron Pollard 8.Carlos Brathwaite (c) 9.Samuel Badree 10.Sunil Narine 11.Jerome Taylor
Pakistan: 1.Sharjeel Khan 2.Khalid Latif 3.Babar Azam 4.Umar Akmal/Mohammad Rizwan 5.Shoaib Malik 6.Sarfaraz Ahmed (c) (wk) 7.Imad Wasim 8.Mohammad Nawaz 9.Wahab Riaz 10.Mohammad Amir 11.Hasan Ali