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Pakistan Super League 2021 predictions: Who’s hot, who’s not

Read Bazid Khan, Sana Mir and Ali Younis’ projections

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 19, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
Posted: Feb 19, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
Pakistan Super League 2021 predictions: Who’s hot, who’s not

Photo Courtesy: PSL

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) sixth edition is set to begin on Saturday at the National Stadium in Karachi.

The tournament will begin with the match between hosts and defending champions Karachi Kings who will face the 2019 edition winners Quetta Gladiators.

We are bringing you predictions of some of the renowned former cricketers in the country ahead of Pakistan’s cash-rich T20 league.

Bazid Khan (Former Pakistan Test batsman)

Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @bazidkhan81

Favourites: Lahore Qalandars

I will go with Lahore Qalandars as the favourites for this year’s PSL. They have all the required tools to clinch the title. Their batting is sorted with the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman and Ben Dunk. Their bowling unit can outclass any opposition on any given day with the presence of bowlers like Rashid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Dilbar Hussain.

Underdogs: Islamabad United

Islamabad United are the underdogs for me. They are not up there as the favourites because the likes of Colin Munro will not come which will be a big loss but even then, they are a strong unit and can surprise any opposition on any given day.

Weak link: Multan Sultans

Multan Sultans I believe might not prove to be one of the strongest teams in the competition. They’ve reinforced the same strategy that they’ve been using for a while of including experienced players. It worked last year but only when they had the conditions suitable for their team. Since this year’s PSL is going to be organised in Karachi and Lahore only, I don’t think they will get as much assistance at these two venues and they are likely to struggle.

Sana Mir (Former Pakistan women’s captain)

Photo Courtesy: ICC

Favourites: Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars

For me, it’s tough to pick one, so I am going to go with two—Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars. As far as the Kings are concerned, I like what they’ve done with the local picks as those are very impressive and we all know the significance of local players in events like the PSL. Similarly, Qalandars have a very impressive local roaster as well which is why it’s hard for me to pick a single winner. Both are favourites as they’ve their all bases covered.

Underdogs: Quetta Gladiators

Quetta Gladiators for me will be the underdogs in the competition, largely because of their firepower in the batting department. The likes of Chris Gayle, Azam Khan, Tom Banton and Ben Cutting can destroy any opposition’s bowling unit. They have a sharp captain in Sarfaraz Ahmed and their bowling unit is decent as well.

Weak link: Peshawar Zalmi

For me, Peshawar Zalmi looks a bit unsettled and that’s why I believe they might prove to be the weakest outfit in the upcoming competition. Largely because they have made a lot of changes in the squad compared to the previous campaigns. I think it will take them a bit of time to gel in and strategise, both their batting and bowling orders, in the powerplay, middle overs and the later stages of the innings.

Ali Younis (Former domestic cricketer)

Photo Courtesy: Ali Younis

Favourites: Quetta Gladiators

In my opinion, Quetta Gladiators will enter the competition as favourites. They have a seasoned captain like Sarfaraz Ahmed and all bases are covered. Their power-hitting is unparalleled compared to the rest of the teams with the likes of Chris Gayle, Azam Khan and Ben Cutting. They have a decent bowling attack comprises of good fast-bowlers and the presence of Nawaz as a spinner in more than a decent option. If you add Afghanistan’s Qais Ahmed’s all-round ability then the team looks even better. I think they are definitely right up there as the very best.

Underdogs: Lahore Qalandars

Lahore Qalandars, for sure, will be my underdogs for this year’s PSL. I think they have the best bowling lineup in the competition by a margin, but it’s their batting unit that is a little unreliable, and that’s why they will not be my favourites. However, they have an outstanding bowling unit and I think they can surprise any team on any given day.

Weak link: Multan Sultans

In terms of the weakest link, I think Multan Sultans are likely to struggle in this year’s PSL. They have an aged squad which is likely to cause them some trouble. They have a player like Chris Lynn as an ‘X-factor’ but its hard to tell how effective he will be in these conditions. Also, I think their bowling looks weak as well.

Azeem Siddiqui (Editor, Samaa Sports)

Favourites: Islamabad United

I think Islamabad United will be the favourites in this year’s PSL. They have a balanced squad and a young captain in Shadab Khan. He was very impressive while captaining Pakistan in New Zealand in the absence of Babar Azam. Also, I believe the signing of Alex Hales and Hasan Ali can prove to be the real difference-maker.

Underdogs: Quetta Gladiators

While there was a tough competition, I will pick Quetta Gladiators over Lahore Qalandars as the underdogs in this year’s competition. They have an outstanding batting unit along with a decent bowling attack. The only thing which bothers me is their spin attack which I feel is a little weak and can prove to be problematic in the conditions where you need top-quality spinners.

Weak link: Multan Sultans

Just like all the majority of the participants in this discussion, I believe that Multan Sultans will be the weakest link even though it was hard to not select Peshawar Zalmi in this category. They have the most aged squad in the competition and I think that can prove to be the difference. Also, I believe their squad is too spin-heavy and they might find it hard to succeed in their first seven matches which will be played at the National Stadium in Karachi where historically, fast-bowlers rule the show.

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