Thursday, May 12, 2011

Debuts for Salman and Bishoo West Indies bat

West Indies v Pakistan, 1st Test, Providence

Debuts for Salman and Bishoo; West Indies bat

Darren Sammy won the toss at Providence and chose to bat against Pakistan in the first day of Test cricket since January 19 this year.
The series has had a low-key build up, but there's nothing to suggest it won't be a good one. Pakistan should be aiming for their first-ever series win in the Caribbean but much of it may come down to the bowling attacks, the stronger suits of both sides.
The teams, however, have gone for the more ostensibly defensive options, perhaps keeping in mind the nature of the surface. West Indies have chosen only three specialist bowlers, leaving out the returning Fidel Edwards and relying instead on the medium-pacers of the captain as the fourth option.
Misbah-ul-Haq and Darren Sammy
After much controversy, both Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul return to the West Indies XI, the selectors deciding to beef up a terminally vulnerable batting order.
Pakistan have chosen to drop Tanvir Ahmed and go in with two spinners instead, and on evidence of form and the West Indies' struggles against spin in the ODI series, they can't be blamed. Abdur Rehman's Test form since his return against South Africa last year has made him difficult to drop, while Saeed Ajmal's successes in the five ODIs secures his place. The pitch is expected to initially favour fast bowlers, and take turn as the match progresses.
Pakistan's middle order, without Younis Khan, now enters a new era altogether and at some point later in the Test, they will expect much from the young triumvirate of Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal.
West Indies: Devon Smith, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Brendan Nash, Carlton Baugh (wk), Darren Sammy (capt), Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Devendra Bishoo
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Azhar Ali, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq. Umar Akmal, Mohammad Salman (wk), Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal
Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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