Pakistan will look to continue from where they left in England    Getty Images
Pakistan will look to continue from where they left in England Getty Images

Pakistan will lock horns with West Indies in the first Test of the three-match series in United Arab Emirates (UAE), which commences from Thursday. It is a landmark Test for Pakistan, as it will be their 400th appearance in whites. This will also be only the second day-night Test to be played after the first one being played between Australia and New Zealand at Adelaide last year. The hosts will give their best to win the Test in their own den and try to regain their top spot in the ICC Test rankings. This is the first day-night test for both the teams as they are yet to make their debut with the pink ball. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: PAKISTAN Vs WEST INDIES, 1st TEST.

Pakistan undoubtedly have the experience and advantage of playing at their adopted home and will battle it out hard to regain their top-spot after India snatched it riding on the whitewash against New Zealand recently. Both Pakistan and West Indies have hosted many domestic games with the pink ball and this one is expected to be a good contest. Pakistan have been in a magnificent form in the recent times and have played as a unit. They drew the four-match Test series against England in England by 2-2, which was no less than a moral victory for them. However, they will be without the services of their key batsman Younis Khan who has been rested citing recovery from dengue fever.

Pakistan have a well-balanced side and talented Babar Azam is expected to make the cut in this milestone Test. On Azam s inclusion, MIsbah was quoted in a report from ESPNCricinfo saying, I think there could be no better time than this to make his Test debut. He has played mature innings and has developed well. He has played well not only here but also in New Zealand and looks a good prospect.” On the whole, Pakistan have played 399 Tests till date, with the first one being played at Delhi in 1952. They have won 128 encounters, drew 158 and lost 113 games.

Mohammad Nawaz is also expected to make his debut in whites and the all-rounder has been in decent form in the recent times. His inclusion will give Pakistan options as the left-arm spinner and batsman brings a lot to the table. West Indies on the other hand have had a torrid time in whites after losing the four-match Test series against Virat Kohli and co at home. They will look for resurrection of fortunes on whites and come out hard in this series. They will be happy with the way they played in the tour games, where most of their batsmen made runs and their bowlers were among the wickets. They have a well balanced side and well capable of creating an upset. Their key player Darren Bravo has been slightly out of touch in the recent times and will look to improve his numbers in this series.

West Indies have some key players like Kraigg Brathwaite, Leon Johnson, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich, who could well make an impact with the bat and score big runs. While their bowling department hails of Jason Holder, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins and Shannon Gabriel. The team inspires immense confidence and one can expect them to come out hard but defeating Pakistan in their own den will be a tough ask.

It will be a different experience altogether as both the sides are playing their first game under the lights and with the pink ball. Pakistan have a more balanced team than West Indies and have been in great form in the recent times. One can expect them to stand out and kick start the series with a bang. Day one will be important for both the sides and as of now all eyes are set at UAE as Day one unfolds in some time.

(Suraj Choudhari is a reporter with CricketCountry. He is an avid follower of the game, and plays the sport at club level. He has a radical understanding about the subtle nuances and intricacies of cricket, and tries to express it through paper and pen.)