Lahore: Former Test captain Zaheer Abbas has tipped Pakistan to sweep the One-day International (ODI) series against the West Indies, beginning from Saturday in St Lucia.
“Pakistan have almost taken a full-fledge team to West Indies, while the hosts, already the underdogs in the series, would really feel the absence of their top batsmen,” The News quoted Zaheer, as telling PPI.
“West Indies won’t have their experienced players like Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan during the series, so it shouldn’t be difficult for Pakistan to win the series emphatically,” he maintained.
Pakistan began their West Indies tour with a warm-up game on April 18 before a one-off Twenty20 International in St Lucia on Thursday. They will meet West Indies in a five-match ODI series before ending the tour with two Tests.
Zaheer said that all the aces are in Pakistan’s hand, as they would also have psychological advantage of having beaten West Indies by 10 wickets in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal in Dhaka last month.
Pakistan’s limited-overs squad for the Caribbean tour includes five players yet to play for the senior team- wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman, batsman Usman Salahuddin, allrounder Hammad Azam and pacers Sadaf and Junaid Khan- apart from other youngsters like batsmen Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal and bowler Wahab Riaz.
Zaheer advised the young players to stay focused during the series, and said that they should make full use of any opportunity they get.
“It would be a great opportunity for Pakistani youngsters to showcase their talent and cement their place in the team,” he added.