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The last time these two nations were involved in a T20I series was all the way back in September 2016 when West Indies toured UAE Getty Images

The equation will be completely different when West Indies meet Pakistan for the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. The last time these two nations were involved in a T20I series was all the way back in September 2016 when West Indies toured UAE. The Caribbean side suffered a shambolic 0-3 defeat followed by same result in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). They managed to win a solitary Test. But coming into this T20I series, as I mentioned earlier, equation is different for both teams. Both nations have done some major shuffling in their squads for this series omitting some regular faces while letting in some who were almost forgotten at international level in recent times. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs West Indies, 1st T20I at Barbados

Firstly, there were supposed to be only two T20I games. But given the enormous liking for the shortest format of the game in Caribbean, Cricket West Indies increased two more games. Second time in the history, we will see a T20I series consisting of 4 games.

Secondly, if we look at the past records, both nations have had a contrasting portion of fortune. As for Pakistan, a number of players have been suspended recently in spot-fixing probes. Except for the fact that Pakistan rose to the No.1 Test spot in mid-last year, there has hardly been anything positive for the country’s cricket. Pakistan, West Indies have chance to move to 3rd in ICC T20I rankings

When it comes to West Indies, players play out their skin, toil in field get crowned as champions and are just sacked. Many match winning players have seen the exit door due to tiff with the board. But let s not get there. The hosts won the ICC T20I World Cup in India against all odds. But despite this, there has rarely been any respite for them.

Coming into this series, West Indies is missing quite a few of its big-name players. Chris Gayle has not played international cricket since the World T20 2016, Dwayne Bravo has been sidelined with a hamstring injury and Andre Russell is serving out a one-year ban due to a doping-code violation. Pakistan tour of West Indies 2017 will be free from controversies: Talat Ali

But to fill in the shoes, the hosts have included Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree and Lendl Simmons available for the entire series. In addition to this, they also have the services of 30-year-old Jason Mohammad who scored back-to-back fifties against England in the recently concluded ODI series along with all-rounder Rovman Powell, who has been compared to Russell due to his enormous power and skills.

When it comes to Pakistan, prior to PSL 2017, Pakistan had a set team for any format. But as mentioned earlier, situations turned upside down after the corruption scandal hit the Twenty20 league and by its end, players like Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, and Mohammad Irfan were suspended on provisional basis. To add the woes for the Men in Green, Mohammad Aamer has been rested for the approaching Champions Trophy 2017, whereas Umar Akmal failed to meet the required fitness level. Misbah calls for life ban on players found guilty of spot-fixing

Amidst all this upheaval, PCB found some respite in long-forgotten wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal along with Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez. These veteran players were in good nick in PSL resulting in them earning a call for Pakistan. In addition to this, Usman Khan has been the surprise inclusion who debuted in 2013 and has played only two T20Is till date. Moreover un-capped left-handed batsman Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Shadab Khan also earned the call based on their consistent PSL performance.

Ground Report

Till now, West Indies have played 2 T20I games here against Australia and England. They won comfortably against Australia whereas lost by 5-runs against England. The wicket has been conducive to pacers but it being a Caribbean wicket, gets sluggish as the game progresses. So, batting second is most advisable. WI include Pollard, Narine, Simmons and Badree for upcoming T20I series against PAK

Head-to-Head

Going by the head-to-head count, Pakistan have the upper hand having won 5 whereas West Indies winning just 2. Pakistan hold the upper hand in West Indies too; having won 2 games in the Caribbean while the hosts have won just once.

But if we look beyond this, there is nothing that disregards the fact about this series is going to be highly competitive. Two of the most volatile teams playing the most entertaining format of the game in the World T20I champion’s den, expect action at galore.

Teams:

West Indies: Samuel Badree, Carlos Brathwaite (c), Jonathan Carter, Andre Fletcher, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton (wk), Keswick Williams.

Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Sarfraz Ahmed (c, wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir, Rumman Raees, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan.