Windies chase series leveller
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
Embattled West Indies will place several decades of history on the line when they go in search of a series-levelling victory in the second Test of the three-match series against Pakistan starting here today.
They have never lost a Test series to the visitors on home soil since the two sides first met in the Caribbean in 1958 and have also never been beaten by Pakistan at the historic Kensington Oval in six previous clashes there..
But even with the weight of history looming large over the game, captain Jason Holder said his side needed to remain focused on execution over the next five days.
Tick our boxes
"We've got to put that aside. The only way we can keep those stats good is if we tick our boxes. There's no point looking at the results. We need to tick our process boxes," Holder told reporters on the eve of the match.
West Indies will be also under pressure to produce a result, not only to keep their proud record intact, but to keep the series alive, following their seven-wicket defeat in the opening Test at Sabina Park five days ago.
That loss was their 10th to Pakistan in their last 16 meetings and their 11th defeat overall in 15 Tests inside the last two years.
Ahead of the Sabina Park contest, all eyes were on the inexperienced batting line-up and it was that which proved West Indies' undoing.
Boasting two debutants in left-handers Vishal Singh and Shimron Hetmyer and three other batsmen with less than 10 Tests each, the Caribbean side was brutally exposed by seamer Mohammed Amir in the first innings and then by wily leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the second.
SQUADS: West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Jermaine Blackwood, Shai Hope, Vishal Singh, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas.