SAINT LUCIA: West Indies will go into the third One-Day International of the five-match series against Pakistan on Friday in St Lucia with the same squad that played the first two matches in Guyana.
There was much speculation that the selectors would have explored other options in both batting and bowling for the remaining three ODI's.
However they have chosen to keep with the same eleven that played both matches at Providence along with batsman Devon Smith and fast bowler Tino Best.
Despite being one of the most prolific batsmen in domestic cricket in the Caribbean in 2013, Smith is considered fortunate to have been retained as he failed to score in both matches he played in the preceding Tri-Nation Series involving Sri Lanka and eventual winners India.
Best is considered less of a gamble, especially given the time of year that these matches are being played when pitches around the region are generally expected to be greener and offering more assistance to the pacers.
With a 16-man travelling party, Pakistan have a wider pool from which to draw their final eleven and there is a strong case for Junaid Khan playing at the Beausejour Cricket Ground alongside fellow left-arm seamers Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz.
His inclusion would likely be at the expense of Asad Ali, the right-armer who opened the bowling with the Irfan in the opening fixtures at Providence.
Pakistan’s batting, however, still looks vulnerable.
Contrasting half-centuries by Shahid Afridi and skipper Misbahul Haq more than adequately compensated for the failure of the others in the line-up in the opening match last Sunday.
But in the second match two days later, poor batting from Pakistan paved the way for a West Indies win despite fifties by opener Nasir Jamshed and wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal.
The West Indies batsmen have looked vulnerable too.
They were routed for just 98 in the first match, their lowest-ever total in an ODI in the Caribbean, and were reliant on the Bravo brothers, Darren and skipper Dwayne, to post what proved to be a match-winning total in the second encounter.
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