Power through, that is. Given the talent and variety in the Pakistan cricket team, West Indies should be a tough challenge, but not tough enough to keep Pakistan from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semi finals. But will Pakistan prevail in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 quarterfinal 1 in Bangladesh?
Pakistan have their problems. But they also have their pluses. What Pakistan cricket fans have not been able to rely on sufficiently is the consistency of performance from their team. Pakistan continue to be reckoned as a mercurial team which is what makes this quarterfinal clash between Pakistan and the West Indies so hard to predict.
In the case of the West Indies, their team has the ability to turn it on at will. And that has been their biggest problem. Like Pakistan, West Indies are not entirely short on talent. But what they lack is the determination of some of the other teams, settling for mediocrity when they could well stretch themselves to beyond. And they have shown it.
What West Indies lack in discipline, they make up in flair. In the likes of Chris Gayle ( if he plays) and Kieron Pollard, they have two of the hardest hitters of the ball. If they can create magic, Pakistan’s batting line will be tested, particularly with the opening pair letting Pakistan down rather badly.
But that is easier said than done. Pakistan are a strong bowling force led by Umar Gul, even if Shoaib Akhtar, who recently announced his retirement at the end of the ICC World Cup 2011, does not get an opportunity as has been suggested in veiled terms by the Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi. Afridi himself has been amongst the wicket taking bowlers and could pose a slippery option for the West Indies if they do not tighten their game.
Andre Russell seems a fine prospect for the West Indies albeit inexperienced. If he can shake up the Pakistan batting order, West Indies will have more than a chance. If they can overcome their naive, rash approach to batting to stage a collapse as they did against India in the final Group B clash, West Indies could be a strong hurdle for Pakistan to get through, and if Kamran Akmal is in a benevolent mood as he was against New Zealand, Pakistan could well have trouble on their hands.
One just gets the feeling that between the mercurial and the sleeping giant, the former may have a little more firepower than the laid back can handle. But that is what makes this first quarterfinal very interesting.