Cricket World Cup 2019: Gabriel and Lewis unfit as West Indies opt to field against Pakistan
West Indies have opted to field under overcast conditions (AFP Photo)

Hoping to get some movement with the ball and exploiting the moisture, West Indies captain Jason Holder opted to bowl first against Pakistan as they open their ICC World Cup 2019 campaign in Trent Bridge on Friday.

West Indies have left out Fabian Allen and Kemar Roach and were forced to leave out Evin Lewis and Shannon Gabriel because of fitness issues. West Indies legend Michael Holding said the surface will offer nothing to bowlers during the pitch report and Holder expects the conditions to remain constant, hoping for some early assistance for his bowlers.

“I don’t think conditions are going to change much. Hopefully, we will get some movement and we will get some early wickets. We had a good camp and two decent warm-up matches. I think we are getting better and better each time we are going out in the field,” Holder said at the toss.

Pakistan, who announced their twelve on Thursday, have left out Asif Ali from the final playing XI with Mohammad Amir making the cut in his stead having gained full fitness.

Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said he too would have liked to bowl first and said surviving the first few overs will be crucial. “We wanted to field first because of the moisture on the wicket and overcast conditions. I doesn’t matter, if we survive first few overs then it will be a good pitch. Our batters are in good form. We have experience in our bowling line-up and I have confidence in my bowlers,” he said.

Playing XIs

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed(w/c), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Shai Hope(w), Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Jason Holder(c), Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas