Pakistani cricket team captain Sarfraz Ahmed plays a shot during the team's practice     AFP
Pakistani cricket team captain Sarfraz Ahmed plays a shot during the team’s practice AFP

Karachi [Pakistan]: With Pakistan all set to take on World Twenty20 champions West Indies in the first of the three-match series on Sunday, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said that they are not taking the inexperienced Windies lightly. The Windies will come into the series without their key players like Chris Gayle, Jason Holder and Evin Lewis along with the T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite who have pulled out of the tournament.

Vice-captain Jason Mohammed will lead the side in the absence of regular captain Brathwaite. However, the Pakistani skipper said that they are not undermining the Windies. “West Indies are not weak. [In fact], we cannot take any team lightly in the shortest format,” Sarfraz was quoted as saying by the Dawn. The skipper added that he will use the series to try various combinations in wake of the upcoming World Cup. Meanwhile, the side will also look to avail the opportunity to firm up their position at the top of the ICC T20I Team Rankings.

“We have a lot of important series coming up before the World Cup so we want to make some new combinations with our youngsters,” he said. “Having said that, we will go for a clean sweep because doing so will help us retain our number one spot in the ICC rankings.”

Karachi last hosted an international game in 2009 when Sri Lanka played a Test match before an attack by gunmen on its team bus in Lahore, killing a dozen of people and injuring six of Lankan players, shut the door on international cricket in the country.

Sarfraz admitted that the strict security detail for Windies players would be a problem for the fans but urged them to be brave for the sake of the country. This year’s PSL final was the first major cricket event in Karachi since 2009.

Pakistan (Probable XI): 1 Fakhar Zaman, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), 5. Shoaib Malik, 6 Asif Ali, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Shaheen Shah Afridi

West Indies (Probable XI): 1 Andre Fletcher, 2 Chadwick Walton, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Jason Mohammed (c), 5 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Keemo Paul, 8 Rayad Emrit, 9 Veerasammy Permaul, 10 Samuel Badree, 11 Kesrick Williams. (ANI)