Pakistan Super League is finally confirmed and the draft has been completed with all 5 teams revealing their squads for 20 day t20 cricket bonanza in UAE from 3rd February to 23 February. Every team will play 2 games against other four teams making it 20 group games followed by 3 playoffs and the big final on 23 February 2015.
So after the draft is completed which team looks the strongest on paper and the early favourites to win the first edition of Pakistan super league ? We take a look at each of the 5 teams and predict how they will finish in first ever PSL season.
Karachi Kings – (Potential Winners)
Shoaib Malik was one of the platinum picks alongside Sohail Tanveer and Muhammad Amir. They also notched up a very solid all rounder in Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh giving them so much variety in bowling department. While players like Tillakaratne Dilshan and Fawad Alam will give them quality batting lineup. Looking at their squad they have probably the most balanced unit and with Shoaib Malik (who tends to perform better in domestic T20 events) leading the team I have no doubt they will be the team to beat.
Peshawar Zalmi – (Predictions, Finalists)
The most glamourus and talk about team is Peshawar Zalim who has created alot of buzz already. Haier Group owner has good ties with Afridi and we all knew they are going to pick Shahid Afridi no matter what. Now as far as their squad is concerned they can field probably the strongest XI of all teams. With Shahid Afridi, Muhammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Kamran Akmal, Junaid Khan and Aamer Yamin they have solid domestic Pakistani players while Darren Sammy, Tammim Iqbal, Brad Hodge and Chris Jordan will add alot more experience to the team. On paper they are they are one of the strongest sides but I can’t see them performing consistently and they might choke in playoffs or the final.
Islamabad United – (Prediction, playoffs)
Misbah Ul Haq will lead the Islamabad side who are well equipped in both batting and bowling department. Shane Watson was the platinum pick alongside Misbah and Saeed Ajmal while Mohammad Irfan and Mohammas Sami will add much needed depth in bowling department.
Depending on how many games they can get out of Shane Watson Islamabad can prove to be a difficult team to beat under Misbah Captaincy who will be fresh without any international cricket commitments.
Lahore Qalandars – (Predictions, win 3-4 Matches)
Lahore Qalandars choice of playears in draft was baffling as they picked up Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo as their platinum pick and both might not be available for full PSL season. Umar Akmal, Shoaib Maqsood and Mohammad Rizwan should add some quality hitting in middle order but looking at their squad “Inconsistency” is the first word comes to mind. They also have Azhar Ali (pakistan odi captain), Abdul Razzaq (past his sell by date) and couple of more oversees players like Mustafizur Rahman and Kevon Cooper. If Gayle and Bravo take the competition seriously they might win 2-3 games but I am not expecting much from Lahore.
Quetta Gladiators – (Predictions – Playoffs)
They have a very solid batting lineup with the likes of Ahmad Shehzad, Sarfraz Ahmad, Kumar Sangakara, Kevin Pieterse and Luke Wright. But their bowling might let them down as they failed to draft in any top class bowler. Only Zulfiqar Babar and Umar Gul are recognized quality bowlers in the squad. So alot depends on their batting form and how the approach the games where chasing will be their preferred scenario.