Afghanistan vs West Indies 1st Test Preview: Team News, Betting Odds, Preview, and Predictions
West Indies bring their series against Afghanistan to a close with a single Test match. The five-day contest will take place at Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow. This the same Indian venue that has hosted all six of the limited-overs matches between the sides.
Kieron Pollard’s spell in India is complete after the T20 triple-header. He has since departed for a short spell with Deccan Gladiators in the Abu Dhabi T10 League.
Jason Holder will take over captain duties for West Indies. The Windies have named a 14-man squad for the one-off Test match. That line-up includes Shamarh Brooks, who has only been capped once at this level by his country.
Rashid Khan will captain Afghanistan once again, having done so in all six of the matches so far in this series. There are several new faces for this one-off Test match. They include Nasir Jamal, Qais Ahmad and Zahir Khan. Established players such as Mohammad Nabi, Hazratullah Zazai and Mujeeb Ur Rahman won’t take part.
Afghanistan vs West Indies Squads
|Jason Holder (captain)||Rashid Khan (captain)|
|Sunil Ambris||Asghar Afghan|
|Kraigg Brathwaite||Qais Ahmad|
|Shamarh Brooks||Javen Ahmadi|
|John Campbell||Yamin Ahmadzai|
|Roston Chase||Ikram Alikhil|
|Rakeem Cornwall||Hamza Hotak|
|Shane Dowrich||Nasir Jamal|
|Shimron Hetmyer||Ihsanullah Janat|
|Shai Hope||Karim Janat|
|Alzarri Joseph||Zahir Khan|
|Keemo Paul||Nijat Masood|
|Kemar Roach||Rahmat Shah|
|Jomel Warrican||Ibrahim Zadran|
Betway have West Indies as 1.91 (10/11) favourites to win this match. There’s isn’t much between the sides according to the bookmakers though. Afghanistan are 2.38 (11/8) to extend their Test match winning streak to three games. With the weather forecast promising few interruptions the draw is 8.0 (7/1).
The limited-overs bragging rights were shared between the teams. West Indies completed a clean sweep in the three One Day Internationals. Afghanistan got back to winning ways in the Twenty20 clashes though, winning two of the three meetings on this ground.
Khan’s side only achieved Test match status in 2018 and have played just three matches in the format thus far. All three of those matches came on Indian soil. Afghanistan were hammered by Virat Kohli’s men in their first-ever Test match, losing by an innings and 262 runs in Bengaluru.
The new year brought about a change of fortunes for the Test newcomers though. Wins over Ireland and Bangladesh in 2019 should give them plenty of confidence. The victory over the Tigers, in particular, was an impressive performance. A century from Rahmat Shah was the cornerstone of a first innings score of 342. Having bowled Bangladesh out for just 205 in their first innings, they were in a commanding position and went on to complete a win by 224 runs.
West Indies lost 2-0 to India on home soil in their most recent Test series. The overall result against the number one team in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, even though the Windies had home advantage. The scale of the defeats though would have been disappointing for the hosts. The two-match series was lost by a total of 575 runs. The 318-run victory in the second meeting was India’s highest winning margin on foreign soil.
The conditions look set fair for the five-day match which gets underway on the morning of Wednesday 27th November. The latest forecast suggests very little chance of rain interrupting proceedings. Temperatures are expected to be in the region of 27 degrees centigrade throughout.
Although Afghanistan lack Test experience, they bring some momentum into this final match courtesy of back-to-back T20 wins. On neutral ground, West Indies will fancy their chances of claiming a victory in Lucknow but this promises to be a tough task. The value appears to be with the underdogs at 2.38 (11/8). The Windies have become a fragile unit and this surface may play into the hands of Khan’s side as the match wears on.