Pakistan made bold choices heading into the first Test by sitting out Yasir Shah and Fawad Alam, but the result proved to be a drab draw with the weather deciding Test cricket in Pakistan is not to its taste. Sri Lanka's grit and fight went in vain although given the surface, a result seemed improbable even without much rain. As we gear up for the second Test match at Karachi, the teams will want a full game and so would the fans who have been denied Test match action at home for a decade.
Watch out for:
Abid Ali - The uproar surrounding Fawad Alam's exclusion - that's all the fervour around Fawad in the last decade - quickly died down as Abid Ali, on Test debut, hit a fine hundred. Incidentally, he had also hit a century on his ODI debut, making it a first for any cricketer. The 32-year old will be keenly watched as Pakistan settle in on an opening combination after a dreadful Australian tour.
West Indies bite back makes series interesting
What was expected to be a one-sided series quickly turned tables as West Indies pulled off a win at Chepauk in the series opener. It was India's first ODI loss at the venue since 2012 and only the fourth overall ODI loss there. The loss means that India are 0-1 behind in the three-match series and this week could make way for some action with the skipper expected to come into action with some aggression, words and the other thing he makes, runs.
Watch out for:
Shimron Hetmyer - Shai Hope - Two terrific batsmen in prime form, Hope and Hetmyer were instrumental in giving the Windies a big win at Chennai. But do not put it down to a one-off instance. In 2018 at Vizag in the second ODI between these sides, Hope made 123 while Hetmyer slammed 94 as the game ended in a tie. Next game at Pune, as West Indies won, Hope made 95 and Hetmyer a handy cameo of 37 from the middle-order. The two will be expected to tee off yet again this week in the two remaining ODIs.
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Feature image courtesy: AFP/ Arun Sankar