The fifth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) starts tomorrow with the delicious competition between two-time champion Islamabad United and reigning champion Quetta Gladiators.
Quetta’s steadfast and former Pakistani captain Sarfaraz Ahmed will be in charge at the start of the tournament, while inexperienced skipper Shadab Khan will deploy United’s troops.
Shadab’s own form has been under the scanner since the ICC ODI 2019 World Cup and he will desperately try to return to his threatening best in the league that once paved the way for his international debut.
United owner Ali Naqvi was a big Shadab fan and thought he was a suitable candidate for the leadership of the team: “Nobody embodies this commitment like Shadab. His rise in the past three years and the way he behaves through this rise did it. ” His knowledge and understanding of the game also mean that he is someone who is ideally suited to the responsibility associated with such a contribution. “
Both teams have been highly competitive in recent seasons and have rarely been an easily overwhelming team. The beating of the gladiators will depend on the type of start Shane Watson and Ahmed Shehzad will give, while Umar Akmal’s order, in turn, may well become Quetta’s winning streak again.
Watson hit a purple spot with the bat last year and his penchant for big runs earned him the tournament prize player. He collected a record 438 runs with an excellent hit rate of 143.8 and ended the season with an average of 43. Jason Roy is the other platinum player who has the ability to single-handedly change the complexion of a game.
Umar Akmal was there with useful cameos for Quetta last season and ended the edition with 277 runs, which he achieved with an average of 34.62.
As for the bowling department, Mohammad Nawaz has developed well on the UAE routes and is expected to get support from the playing fields in Pakistan. If he gets his radar right with the new ball, it might be difficult to dominate him within the powerplay overs, but if he loses his radar, he becomes a batsman’s pleasure. Nawaz will join Australian spinner Fawad Ahmed to form a strong spin attack.
The contingent of fast bowlers is led by Tymal Mills, while many expectations are placed on the young sensation Naseem Shah, who is to convert his test cricket form into white-ball cricket.
Another rookie runabout, Mohammad Hasnain, came on stage for Quetta last year. He drove in the late 140s and was then appointed to the national team. His progress since his PSL debut will be of great interest.
Islamabad United will depend on the core of its team to help them win the PSL trophy twice, so Rumman Raees, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, and Hussain Talat will try again to win another PSL title. Aside from Luke Ronchi, who has had tremendous success with Islamabad, there are not many star-studded players in the outfit.
The acclimatization of David Malan and Phil Salt on Pakistani routes and the use of high-quality spinners will determine the fate of United.
Islamabad United replaced Rassie van der Dussen with Dawid Malan due to the national obligations of the Proteas mid-range batsman. In addition, Quetta hired leg spinner Zahid Mehmood as a partial replacement for Keemo Paul, who will be employed until March 7 due to international commitments.
Misbah-ul-Haq got into a controversy after assuming the role of head coach for Islamabad when he took on the dual role of chief voter and head coach with the national team and all the familiar conversations about conflict of interest recently made headlines Misbah has dismissed all concerns,
The first game of HBL PSL V starts after a spectacular opening ceremony at 9:00 p.m. local time. The weather is expected to remain clear and there is no chance of rain.
Quetta Gladiators Squad
Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Jason Roy, Shane Watson, Ahmed Shehzad, Ben Cutting, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Hasnain, Fawad Ahmed, Ahsan Ali, Naseem Shah, Sohail Khan, Tymal Mills, Abdul Nasir Arish Ali Khan, Azam Khan, Zahid Mehmood, Khurram Manzoor
Islamabad United Squad
Shadab Khan (c), Dale Steyn, Colin Ingram, Faheem Ashraf, Asif Ali, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Hussain Talat, Rumman Raees, Amad Butt, Musa Khan, Rizwan Hussain, Zafar Gohar, Phil Salt Aqif Javed, Ahmed Safi Abdullah. Supplementary: Saif Badar, Dawid Malan
Pakistan Super League 2020 broadcasting channels and streaming sources
Pakistan: Geo Super (Geo TV), PTV Sports, BSports YouTube, cricketgateway.pk, Tapmad, Jazz TV, Mjunoon TV
UK: Hum TV (Hum Masala) – Sky, Virgin TV
USA: Willow TV
New Zealand: SKY Sport NZ
Malaysia: Astro Cricket HD
Australia: beIN Sports Australia
Canada: Willow TV Canada