‘Home’ advantage in Dubai will give Pakistan extra edge against West Indies, says Shoaib Malik

Pakistan will have the edge in the Twenty20 series against West Indies, on account of their knowledge of conditions in their adopted home grounds in the UAE. Paul Radley reports from Dubai.
Imad Wasim of Pakistan looks on during a nets session at the ICC Cricket Academy in Dubai on September 21, 2016. Francois Nel / Getty Images
Imad Wasim of Pakistan looks on during a nets session at the ICC Cricket Academy in Dubai on September 21, 2016. Francois Nel / Getty Images

DUBAI // Pakistan will have the edge in the Twenty20 series against West Indies, on account of their knowledge of conditions in their adopted home grounds in the UAE.

That is the view of Shoaib Malik, who says Pakistan are confident of success in the three-match series, which starts in Dubai on Friday, even though they are facing the format’s world champions.

“In T20, West Indies are the best in the world, and have very good cricketers,” Malik said.

“But we have good cricketers, too, and we are playing in our home conditions, so that is going to give us a slight extra edge.

“We have prepared well. We did well against England in England, and we have confidence from that.”

See also:

• Watch: Imad Wasim says Pakistan ready to shed ‘inconsistent’ label in UAE

• Watch: UAE cricket XI get shot at world champions West Indies

• Paul Radley: West Indies wary of ‘very, very dangerous’ Pakistan ahead of T20 and ODI series in UAE

• Osman Samiuddin: Nations bound only by cricket, in need of a hint of meaning

Imad Wasim agrees that Pakistan need pay little heed to the difference between the two sides in the T20 rankings.

The Swansea-born all-rounder was one of the few successes of Pakistan’s troubled limited-overs series in England last month.

The left-hander scored 153 runs without being dismissed across four one-day internationals in England, even though Pakistan struggled in that format.

Then he bowled a fine spell as they signed off the tour with a win in the shortest format, and he says the side will take confidence from that result into the matches against the West Indies.

“I played CPL [Caribbean Premier League], and it is clear they have a lot of talent,” Imad said. “They are near the top of the world rankings, and the world champions, so you can’t take them easy.

“They’re a very good side, but if we play to our potential, we can beat any side in the world.

“We beat England convincingly, and they were World Cup finalists.

“I personally want the team to be consistent.”

Since winning the World T20 in India earlier this year, the volatile administration in West Indies cricket has accounted for both the winning captain, Darren Sammy, and coach, Phil Simmons.

Despite the unrest, the new-look side have given the impression of being surprisingly well organised and driven in their first forays on tour so far.

They dispatched the UAE by 22 runs in a friendly match at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Tuesday night.

The win was most memorable for a sparkling cameo by the young left-handed wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran.

Pooran will turn 21 on October 2, the day of the second one-day international between these sides in Sharjah.

Despite his age, he already has happy memories of the UAE. Two years ago he made a stunning 143 in a win over Australia in the quarter final of the Under 19 World Cup.

According to Roddy Estwick, the West Indies assistant coach, Pooran has the potential to have an impact against Pakistan.

“I’ve seen him play since U19 and I saw him make one of the best hundreds I’ve seen, here in the UAE against Australia,” Estwick said.

“We know the talent he has got and the conditions aren’t new to him, but we are happy to see he has come in at the higher level and made that adjustment already.”

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Published: September 21, 2016 04:00 AM

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