Babar wants to defeat the virus-ridden West Indies


Captain Babar Azam wants to keep Pakistan's winning form against a virus-stricken West Indian team in their limited series.

Three players from the West Indies - left fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell and all-rounders Roston Chase and Kyle Mayers - tested positive for coronavirus in Karachi and were excluded from the Twenty20 series starting on Monday.

They will be isolated in Karachi for 10 days and monitored by the team doctor until they return negative tests.

The roster of the West Indies Twenty20 was already missing several top performers for the three-game T20 series, which will be followed by three ODIs - also in Karachi.

Notable absenteeists include white ball skipper Kieron Pollard, who will be sidelined due to a hamstring injury sustained during the T20 World Cup, while Andre Russell plays in the Big Bash League in Australia.

"We will try to pick up the momentum that started with the (T20) World Cup," Babar told reporters during a video conference on Sunday.

"We're not going to make it easy for the West Indies because they haven't brought their best players with them. They have played in the CPL (Caribbean Premier League) and international games so you have to give 100% to beat them."

Babar led from the front in the United Arab Emirates T20 World Cup when Pakistan won their five group matches before being beaten by eventual champions Australia in the semifinals. Pakistan followed their brilliant run by beating Bangladesh 3-0 in the Twenty20 series before winning the two-game test series 2-0.

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The defending champions West India, however, stalled in the UAE when he failed to qualify for the semifinals. Nicholas Pooran has replaced the injured Pollard for the Twenty20 series, while Shai Hope will lead the squad in the ODIs.

"We had original plans of what the (starting) team would look like, who would play and who would not," said Pooran. "But other guys will have the opportunity to show their talents and skills so I look forward to these guys taking the opportunity."

Pooran has high hopes for all-rounders Romario Shepherd and Dominic Drakes, who recently excelled in a T10 league in the UAE and also did well at home in the CPL this year. "I am very excited to see this new generation of players on the cricket field," he said. "For my part, I think there are a lot of talented players here, especially when it comes to the shorter form of the game."