Pakistan will kick off their Champions Trophy 2009 campaign with the game against weekend West Indies. Pakistan could not have asked for better ways to start their Champions Trophy 2009 campaigns against weekend team West Indies who recently lost both test and ODI series against Bangladesh.
However Pakistan is taking their opening game seriously so they would love to beat West Indies by big margins to better their net run rate which may come into play as deciding factor for Semi Finals berth.
When in comes to playing in South Africa, both teams poses a very poor record as their winning percentage is only 20%. However Pakistan will look forward to improve those stats.
Pakistanis captain Younis Khan will not feature in the game against West Indies but his deputy Shahid Afridi is confidant of beating West Indies with their one of the strongest bowling lineup in the tournament.
Only concerned for Afridi is their batting and if it clicked throughout the tournament then who knows we may witness a surprise winner of another ICC Events. Md. Asif returns to the team also boosted the Pakistan bowling attack but it’s interesting to see whether he will feature in Playing XI or not.
Watch out for
Umar Gul: A most talented and master of reverse swing bowling after Waqar and Wasim. He is real genius Pakistan has found. He has a very good yorker and is likely to get some seam movement with the new ball. He will love to repeat his 2007 T20 world cup performance again on South African soil.
Darren Sammy: Sammy is the only West Indian players to feature in this tournament who has played Champions Trophy in past. He is developing well for West Indies as an all-rounder. He has international experience and talent so in the absence of his senior players he has lots of responsibility for his side.
Pitch & Condition
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg always provides high scoring games. Pitch is expected to be dry that means it will assist spinner in the later part of the innings. So team winning the toss would love to put plenty of runs on the board. Score above 300 runs is on the card in the game against West Indies and Pakistan.
With Younis Khan already sidelined from the game against West Indies due to hair line fracture in his thumb the burden of Captaincy will be on boom-boom Afridi. Pakistan bowling attacks looks settled during their warm-up games so they would not like to change it. However there batting is bit a concerned and their batsman needs to kick on if they would like to progress further in the tournament.
West Indies squad will be same as they played against South Africa and Sri Lanka during their warm-ups game.
Likely Playing XI for both Teams (Match is Schedule to begin at 18:00 PM India Time)
Pakistan Squad: Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal (WK), Shoaib Malik, Md. Yusuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi (Captain), Naved-ul-Hasan, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Mohammad. Amer.
West Indies Squad: Dale Richards, Andre Fletcher, Devon Smith, Travis Dowlin, Floyd Reifer (Captain), Kieran Powerll, David Bernard, Chadwick Walton (WK), Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach, Nikita Miller.
Stats & Trivia
In ODI’s Pakistan poses a very poor record this year playing thirteen (Australia and Sri Lanka) and loosing eight games.
Mohammad Yousuf is the only Pakistanis player to score more number of runs for Pakistan in Champions Trophy after left hander Saeed Anwar. So far he has scored 284 runs at an average of 47.33. But his average is way below while playing in South Africa which is 31.81.
Current West Indies team is the first team having lost ODI series against Bangladesh.