The two teams will meet in the first T20I on Sunday at Bridgetown Getty Images (File Photo)

Pakistan have landed in the Caribbean for over a month and half long full-fledged tour. The two teams will play, well interestingly, 4 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), 3 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 3 Tests. The choice of having a 4-match T20I series does look a bit weird, given the fact that the next World T20 is still far away and the Champions Trophy is just round the corner. Playing a 5-match ODI series would have helped Pakistan more with their preparation for the marquee ICC event. West Indies, however, won t mind the scheduling, since they won t be a part of this edition of the tournament.

The tour begins with the T20Is being played first. The two teams will meet in the first T20I on Sunday at Bridgetown. Pakistan are in the T20 groove, coming into the series after a successful second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL). It has given them a few new stars and some of them have arrived with the team in the Caribbean. West Indies, on the other hand, will be low on morale after the 3-0 beating they received from England at home in ODIs. The return of the likes of Lendl Simmons, Samuel Badree, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Jerome Taylor and Marlon Samuels to the mix will offer them some hope. Let us take a look at the possible XIs the two teams will field in the first T20I:

Top order: The Pakistan top order is likely to wear a new look, with the return of veteran Kamran Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad. Both these players had a terrific PSL 2, with Kamran getting adjudged as the best wicketkeeper and the best batsman of the tournament in addition to the Man of the Tournament award. A great outing in PSL 2 has paved his way back into the national team. Same has been the case with Shehzad, who scored runs in truckloads at the top for Quetta Gladiators. He is likely to open the innings with either of Kamran or Babar Azam. These three are likely to form the Pakistan engine room.

For West Indies, it will be Chadwick Walton, the wicket-keeper batsman, along with Evin Lewis at the top. With his breathtaking shot-making, Lewis has impressed all and sundry in his short career so far. The veteran batsman Samuels will take the No. 3 spot. Man of the finals in West Indies two World T20 wins, Samuels was omitted from the ODI squad that recently played England at home. He made good use of that time playing for Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL and is in good nick coming into this series.

Middle order: Pakistan s middle order is all about experience. The likes of Mohammad Hafeez, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik will take the No. 4, 5 and 6 spots. Hafeez had a good run in the PSL and would like to translate that form for Pakistan as well. This is Sarfraz s first series as the full-time leader of Pakistan s limited-overs squads and he will like to make a mark as well. Malik has been the backbone of Pakistan batting in shorter formats. His experience of playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will also come into play. Imad Wasim, the impressive spin-bowling all-rounder, will take the No. 7 spot. He has also had a good experience of playing CPL last year, which will come handy.

For West Indies, the experienced duo of Simmons and Pollard will take the crucial No. 4 and 5 spots. Simmons played a huge role in West Indies World T20 win last year with his knock in the semi-final against India. Along with Pollard, he will have huge responsibility on his shoulders. Young all-rounder Jason Mohammed, who was a revelation against England in recent ODIs, will take the No. 6 spot followed by the explosive all-rounder and captain of the side Carlos Brathwaite at No. 7.

Bowling: With Imad and Hafeez in the XI, Pakistan may toy with the idea of having a four-pronged pace attack, which will mean all of Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali and Rumman Raees getting a game immediately. But if they think of playing an extra spinner, Mohammad Nawaz may get a game in place of Raees. Spinners Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan, who came into spotlight after a great PSL 2, will have to wait for their chances.

For West Indies, the return of Narine and Badree has bolstered their bowling. The spin duo forms a potent attack. Jason Holder and Taylor are likely to complete the XI.

Likely XIs:

Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Rumman Raees/Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Tanvir, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz

West Indies: Chadwick Walton (wk), Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Jason Mohammed, Carlos Brathwaite (c), Sunil Narine, Jason Holder, Samuel Badree, Jerome Taylor