West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Bridgetown April 29, 2017

Misbah's chance to script Caribbean history


Match facts

April 30, 2017
Start time 10:00 local (14:00 GMT)

Misbah-ul-Haq could add yet another chapter in his captaincy book in Bridgetown © AFP

Big picture

Now that the buzz around Younis Khan's 10,000th run is over, the focus shifts to the dreary business of the Test series unfolding around it. Weather delays and uninspiringly sedate batting at times from both sides give the first Test a dreary, old-fashioned feel. However, there were absorbing periods that left you wanting more, particularly in the last session of the fourth day, when Yasir Shah beat West Indies into submission just as the Test threatened to meander to a forgettable draw.

The build-up to the second Test is not so different to the first, particularly for the West Indies, who must go back to the drawing board. It's all very well working out the opposition's weaknesses and setting elaborate plans, but all that is unlikely to bear fruit when you then go on to lose five wickets in the first 30 overs of the game, and drop straightforward catches, like they did in Kingston.

From Pakistan's point of view, it was as efficient a Test as they could have hoped for. They were on top right from the start. Mohammad Amir turned in his best performance since his return to cricket, Yasir did what world class second-innings spinners need to do, and their middle order piled on the runs. Their only concerns might centre around the seemingly intractable puzzle of an endlessly misfiring top order, a concern only appeased by the fact that it was well hidden in Jamaica.

Form guide

West Indies LWLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan WLLLL

In the spotlight

In a depleted side that suffers from a paucity of genuine quality, West Indies appear to have found, in Shannon Gabriel, the man who comes closest to matching that description. He was the man his captained turned to every time it looked like the West Indies were out of ideas, with the 29-year old providing the breakthrough - or at least creating chances - more often than not. His aggression cost him half his match fee in Kingston, but that sort of passion might be appreciated by the West Indies fans. On a Barbados pitch that has traditionally offered more pace and bounce than the Sabina Park surface, Gabriel is perhaps the likeliest to make the sort of telling contribution that eluded his side last game.

Ahmed Shehzad, not for the first time, finds his Test career at a precipitous stage. It is a pattern that has regularly repeated itself: inconsistency at the international level, rich form domestically, rinse, repeat. Apart from a pair of fifties, Shehzad has struggled to get going since his return to the highest level during the limited-overs leg of this tour. With Pakistan's selectors showing impatience at the top order - Kamran Akmal has already been dropped from the Champions Trophy squad - Shehzad must be feeling the pressure of playing for his place again. Whether that stifles him or spurs him on may well have a significant outcome on the second Test.

Team news

West Indies' squad is unchanged from the one that fell to a seven-wicket defeat in Kingston. Eyebrows were raised when Shimron Hetmyer and Vishaul Singh were both selected to make their debut in a side that already lacks experience, and one of them could make way for Jermaine Blackwood.

West Indies (possible): 1 Kieran Powell, 2 Kraigg Brathwaite, 3 Jermaine Blackwood, 4 Shai Hope (wk), 5 Roston Chase, 6 Vishaul Singh/Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Shane Dowrich, 8 Jason Holder (capt), 9 Devendra Bishoo, 10 Alzarri Joseph, 11 Shannon Gabriel

Pakistan could stick to the side that won the first Test, even though Misbah-ul-Haq did say they would consider the possibility of playing two spinners. That would also give them a fifth bowling option, so necessary in an attack that relies on three fast bowlers.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Azhar Ali, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 8 Mohammad Abbas, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Wahab Riaz, 11 Yasir Shah

Pitch and conditions

The forecast for the second Test is better than the it was in Kingston, even though rain is expected on the fourth and fifth days. The surface in Bridgetown is generally hard and fast, and if it is overcast, the toss could assume great importance. Jason Holder, the West Indies captain, felt the pitch looked "unusually" dry on the eve of the Test, so spin could play a fairly significant role as the match goes on.

Stats and trivia

  • If Pakistan win this Test, it will mark their first ever Test series win in the Caribbean.
  • The first Test marked the sixth time two Pakistan bowlers took six or more wickets in a Test. The last time this happened was in 2002.


"It's interesting. I've been out there a few times since I've been back here, and it looks pretty dry - unusually so. Normally you would expect a little bit more in terms of the surface but it looks quite dry, it'll be interesting to see if it'll last all five days or if it deteriorates quickly. Not quite sure, so it's just a matter for us, especially, to make use of our first innings when we bat."
West Indies captain Jason Holder takes stock of the playing surface at the Kensington Oval

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Aby Prasad on April 30, 2017, 14:29 GMT

    I wonder why some of you are going at it sooo hard to boost one of the weakest team around pak...to make it sound like india (one of the strongest) is lesser! and picking angular stats, stats from this angle,that angle...trying so hard eh!? I'll give u an easier method. Just ask a kid around and he'll tell u if current pak or the pak from a long 15 (thats FIFTEEN long) years, if india is stronger. Thats enuf. No need for all these exhausting calculators that ur trying soooo hard to prove something that just wont sell . Home/away..both matters. Okay. Deal with it

  • krishnakumar on April 30, 2017, 13:55 GMT

    Pakistan must bowl out west Indies today.take a big lead and give an innings defeat to west Indies

  • Peter on April 30, 2017, 13:50 GMT

    WI were a bowler short in the 1st test. They should not have to depend on a batsman at no. 8. Holder has to play as a batsman and 5th bowler. Unfortunately WI selectors have stuck to the stupid policy of selecting a squad for both tests so no other players can be drafted in. Cummins is better than nothing but unless he is far better than he has seemed so far it won't help much. 2 more interesting options would have been Raymond Reifer or Cornwall both of whom can bat as well. They can't expect to beat good teams with only 3 attacking options. Holder also needs to start being more aggressive as a captain and take some risks if he really wants to compete. Problem is that WI are mentally weak and wilt when things don't go their way. Then catches are dropped and misfielding happens and they wilt more, relying on the opposition to make a mistake. There is great negativity around the team and that has to be reversed mentally before they start drawing and then maybe winning matches.

  • Brishni on April 30, 2017, 13:46 GMT

    Not a single Series Win in the Caribbean so far despite the bowlers like Waseem Waquar Shoaib Mushtay and Saqlain shows how imept the batsmen are! Except Younis no one could stand the Pace Barrage. Even Inzi & Miandad failed. Shows the real value of Younis

  • mrblkl3870733 on April 30, 2017, 13:45 GMT

    well its official windies is playing the same 11 and is batting first and like i said in my earlier post the only possible change was Hope for Blackwood or Cummings sorry fellas things move slowly in cricket

  • Michael on April 30, 2017, 13:35 GMT

    Looks to me like another Pakistan win as I can't see the West Indies team performing much better this time out.

  • shani on April 30, 2017, 13:34 GMT

    Really worried what will happen after misbah and younus,,, youngster should take responsibility,, lots of expectations from sarfaraz, babar azam and asad shafiq

  • Cricinfouser on April 30, 2017, 13:31 GMT

    Will jason holder still remain the captain of the team due for today. will he be the 3rd bowler . and is shai hope still in the team. where is jason mohamed and ashley nurse. Will holder be able to take 20 pakistan wickets in this match. we will see.

  •   badboycricfan on April 30, 2017, 13:27 GMT

    @Shehryar and warlock well said mate... Pakistan have always been a really good team as the overall test record shows where Pakistan have won 15 odd more tests than they've lost while ind despite recently playing 15 matches at home continuously, without once touring has lost 20 odd matches more than it has won... plus Pakistan have won more matches against ind... this clearly shows which team has been better... by the way while ind is yet to win or draw a series away from Asia since 2007 against all teams except minnows including Zim and W.in while Pakistan won in N.Z in 2011 and drew 2-2 in england despite touring there after a gap of 7 years... that shows how good Pakistan have been. Now that compares favourably to one team which i leave you to guess that can only win at home and get thrashed away... lol...

  • Ganesh S on April 30, 2017, 12:46 GMT

    All the best to the Pakistan cricket team! They certainly look set to make history. Misbah and YK will retire in a blaze of glory, which they so surely deserve.

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