Toss: Pakistan won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, UAE
Umpires: Michael Gough & Richard Kettleborough
What Actually Happened
Winner: Pakistan won by 5 wickets
Scores: New Zealand 134/8 – Pakistan 135/5
Player of the Match: Haris Rauf 4/22
Haris Rauf 4/22
Ish Sodhi 2/28
Daryl Mitchell 27 (20), Devon Conway 27 (24)
Mohammad Rizwan 33 (34), Asif Ali 27* (12), Shoaib Malik 26* (20)
Moments of The Day: Unlikely Heroes Initiate Another Pakistan Win
Haris Rauf had a dream day with his best figures in T20I cricket. 4-0-22-4 Wow! What makes him so dangerous? The change of pace. He can bowl 140+ or 115- in a space of 2 deliveries. From 3/90 in 13 overs, NZ could only muster 44 runs with 5 wickets in the last 42 balls.
Asif Ali & Shoaib Malik were NOT selected in the original squad. Asif Ali had not yet fulfilled his potential in international cricket as a big hitter. After Wasim departed, Pakistan were reeling at 87-5 in 14.5 overs. 48 runs needed in 31 balls. Then a calm Shoaib Malik, with 4 decades of experience, with a concussed Asif Ali, took Pakistan home in style.
27* (12) with 3 huge sixes from Asif Ali and 26* (20) with 2 fours and 1 iconic straight six by Shoaib Malik.
Match won with 8 balls to spare. Absolutely brilliant.
Toss: Pakistan won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE
Umpires: Chris Gaffaney & Marais Erasmus
What Actually Happened
Winner: Pakistan won by 10 wickets
Scores: India 151/7 – Pakistan 152/0
Player of the Match: Shaheeen Shah Afridi 3/31
Shaheen Shah Afridi (4-0-31-3)
Virat Kohli 57 (49)
Mohammad Rizwan 79* (55), Babar Azam 68* (52)
Moments of The Day: A Day To Remember for Pakistan’s Stars
Shaheen Shah Afridi you beauty! What a memorable spell. LBW to Rohit Sharma, ball of the tournament through the gates of KL Rahul, and finally Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli‘s strike rate might be low on paper, but he did what was necessary. Absorbed the pressure, stemmed the flow of wickets, and took India to a decent total. Just could not accelerate towards the end.
Babar Azam-Mohammad Rizwan What do I even say? They have a 50+ T20I batting partnership average and for good reason. They bat and bat and bat and bat….152* (107) absolutely brilliant partnership that. If you want to understand the mental strength of Rizwan, just look at the video below.
Tweet of the Day
This is a brilliant piece of work. If you had to look at one piece of cricket content this week, look at the video below. Rizwan is the greatest.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: World Cup Record 12-1
After numerous ODI World Cups and T20I, Pakistan have finally won the battle. 12 attempts, 1 win, Broken Dream for India’s enviable record against Pakistan in World Cups.
Also a good time to state that the IPL (with 10 teams) cannot be considered the world’s if it does not have players like Shaheen, Babar, and Rizwan.
Pakistan recently played in South Africa (3 ODIs, 4 T20Is) and Zimbabwe (3 T20Is, 2 Tests). The South Africa series, in particular was memorable, with most games going down the wire.
Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Hasan Ali highlighted the tour for Pakistan, while Anrich Nortje, Janneman Malan, and Aiden Markram came to the fore for the Proteas. While the Zimbabwe were criticized for their Test match display, they were pretty good in the T20s, with Luke Jongwe & Blessing Muzarabani emerging as Zimbabwe’s stars.
Regis Chakabva – 146 runs (best of 80, 48.66 average, 50s-1)
Abid Ali – 275 runs (best of 215*, 275.00 average, 100s-1, 50s-1)
Blessing Muzarabani – 7 wickets (best innings – 4/73, best match – 4/73, 22.14 average)
Hasan Ali – 14 wickets (best innings – 5/27, best match – 9/89, 8.92 average)
Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe 2021 Test Series Stats
Pakistan had several memorable moments, while South Africa and Zimbabwe have some points to cheer about as well.
South Africa – Rising Young Team But Still Has Gaps To Fill
Pressure situations reveal the class of a player. Although Anrich Nortje only played 2 ODIs prior to IPL departure, his 4/51 & 3/53 in the middle overs gave Proteas hope. It was his 4 wickets in the 2nd ODI that stopped Pakistan from chasing the mammoth 342 score. Fakhar Zaman was left playing a lone hand as Nortje took out his partners. His wickets in the series? Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq among others.
Rassie van der Dussen – nominee for South Africa’s T20I, ODI, and cricketer of the year award, he has taken responsibility on his own shoulder. South Africa were reeling at 4-55 in the first ODI before Rassie’s maiden century – 123* rescued South Africa to 273, a winning total in the end. Couple of other handy fifties on the tour as well.
The new look order does the job – ODI captain Temba Bavuma’s 92, Klassen’s 50 & 36*, Aiden Markram with 3 consecutive T20I fifties (51,54, 63) are positives. Couple of fifties for David Miller & Quinton de Kock with a 80 well.
Find of the tournament for me was Janneman Malan. Superb timing. 70 (81) in the ODIs and 24 (16), 15(10), 55(40), 33 (28) in the T20Is provided South Africa the starts. QDK-Malan-Markram is exactly what SA need to drive forward.
Pakistan – The Alis Rise to the Occasion (Abid, Azhar, Nauman, Hasan)
Pakistan Top Order a Class Apart in Limited Overs
We are living in the Babar Azam era. Except for the Zimbabwe series, Babar is having a good time, both with the bat and as a captain. Babar Azam overtook Virat Kohli’s reign at the top of the ICC ODI rankings. #10 in Tests and #3 on the T20I as well. Just the eighth captain in all of Test cricket to win four Test matches on a trot. Only Pakistani on that list.
Mohammad Rizwancontinues on his merry way. 74*, 0, 73*, 0, 82*, 13, 91*. These are T20I numbers. Amazing stuff. I do not really mind the ducks if you can play 4 match-winning knocks in 2 series. Rizwan has been Pakistan’s hero for the past year, performing in overseas conditions consistently.
Just like Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman has yet to scale the heights of his 2017-2018 season. With Babar & Rizwan already in red hot form, Fakhar slotting as an opener was questionable. He repaid the selectors’ faith in style. Chasing 342 in the 2nd ODI, Fakhar Zaman scored possibly the best ODI knock in a losing cause—193 (155) (with 10 sixes), only to be run-out due to QDK’s guile. Until the 99th over of the match, it was anyone’s game. Followed this epic with a 101 in the very next game and 60 in a T20I.
Age is just a number
Abid Ali (33), Nauman Ali (34), Fawad Alam (35), Azhar Ali (36), and Tabish Khan (36) all came to the party in the Zimbabwe Test series.
Azhar Ali (126) and Abid Ali (215) combined for a magnificent 236-run partnership in the 2nd Test, batting Zimbabwe out of the match.
Fawad Alamis making each and every series count. Since his return, he has made a century in New Zealand (102), South Africa (109), and Zimbabwe (140). He has converted all of his four 50+ scores into centuries. Brilliant stuff.
Tabish Khan became the second oldest debutant for Pakistan. After toiling in domestic cricket for 19 years and after 598 wickets, Tabish finally received the international cap at the age of 36.Wicket in the first over as well.
The Test Bowling Unit Makes a Mark
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Nauman Ali, and Hasan Ali each took five-fors in the Zimbabwe Test Series.
Nauman, the left-arm orthodox, ended with figures of 5-86 to end Zimbabwe’s resistance in the final innings of the 2nd Test. Handy 97 (143) as well as a #9 batsman, combining for a 169-run partnership with Abid Ali.
Find of the victorious 2017 Champions Trophy campaign, Hasan Ali had a slight blip in his rising career. After a couple of years on the sideline and fighting back with a strong domestic performance, the energizer is back! Hasan Ali has been a revelation on his comeback – Most wickets for Pakistan in the SA T20I series and the Zimbabwe Test series. Truly deserved the Player of the Series award in the Zimbabwe series (4/53, 5/36, 5/27).
Take Shaheen lightly at your own peril. Opening bowler, death bowler, can do everything. 6 wickets in the SA ODIs and 3 in the T20Is, and figures of 4/43 & 5/52 versus Zimbabwe.
Imran Buttcaught the attention of many as well. His 91 (236) set the tone in the Zimbabwe Test series. Five catches in the slips a pretty good job done as well.
Zimbabwe – Injuries, Memorable T20I Win, Humiliating Test Loss
Blessing Muzarabani has the height, pace, and bounce. At 24, he is one of Zimbabwe’s future stars. In a one-sided Test series, his 4/73 and 3/82 was quite a highlight. Babar Azam – 0(1) & 2 (8), Fawad Alam (140) , Azhar Ali (126) among his seven scalps.
Luke Jongwe was Zimbabwe’s hero in the 2nd T20I. Pakistan lost their way on a 119-run chase, bowled-out for 99. Jongwe’s figures? 3.5-0-18-4. 30* & 2/24 in the first T20I and 3/37 in the final match sums up a great series for Jongwe.
Sikander Raza was diagnosed of a bone-marrow infection operation (initially a cancer scare) and underwent a surgery. Raza was dearly missed with Brendan Taylor out of form and injury-list of Kyle Jarvis (COVID-19, malaria, tick bite fever), Sean Williams (sick), Craig Ervine (calf injury), Prince Masvaure, Wesley Madhevere,, & Tendai Chatara.
Ryan Burl Makes The Headlines
1. Ryan Burl exposes disparity between top nations and less-funded teams.
2. After social media outrage, Burl found a sponsor.
Squad Predictions for T20I World Cup
With 23-men squad for the T20I world possible now, here are my early squad predictions. Based on this Pakistan tour of Africa 2021, here is our early predictions:
Babar Azam (C), 2. Mohammad Rizwan (WK), 3. Fakhar Zaman, 4. Haider Ali, 5. Mohammad Hafeez, 6. Shadab Khan, 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Hasan Ali, 9. Haris Rauf, 10. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11. Usman Qadir
Squad: 12. Imad Wasim, 13. Mohammad Hasnain, 14. Mohammad Nawaz, 15. Sarfaraz Ahmed (WK), 16. Sharjeel Khan, 17. Naseem Shah, 18. Imam-ul-Haq, 19. Danish Aziz, 20. Arshad Iqbal, 21. Zahid Mahmood, 22. Khusdil Shah/Hussain Talat/Asif Ali (lower order finisher), 23. Iftikhar Ahmed/Shoaib Malik
Wildcard: Sohail Tanvir, Zafar Gohar, Mohammad Wasim, Mohammad Musa/Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir (rumors has it he applied for UK passport in order to be available for the IPL)
Since Zimbabwe did not qualify for the 2021 T20 World Cup, we will not be looking into their squads.
Returns of Fakhar Zaman & Hasan Ali
Broken Cricket Dream
AB De Villiers Retires. Like Actually
Mohammad Amir applies for British citizenship
Brendon Taylor’s form Short Test Matches Sikander Raza
Pakistan tour of Africa 2021 – The Awards
Where Do They Go From Here?
Lots of cricket action coming up!
South Africa head to the Caribbean for 2 Tests & 5 T20Is against the West Indies in June.
Pakistan tour England for 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is in July, followed by 5 T20Is & 2 Tests against the West Indies. There is a Pakistan Super League resumption in the UAE somewhere in the middle as well (if it gets finalized).
While the IPL is in full swing in India, the Pakistan-South Africa series is catching the attention of many.
In the 3rd T20I, Pakistan chased down 204 runs with 9 wickets & 2 overs to spare, courtesy a 197-run partnership from Mohammad Rizwan & Babar Azam, who scored 122 (59). Earlier in the day, news broke that Azam also dethroned Virat Kohli as the #1 ICC ODI batsman after a mammoth 1258 days.
Add Fakhar Zaman’s brilliant 193 in the ODI series, Hafeez’s second coming, & the fast bowling line up, the question should be asked—Is the IPL really the best T20 tournament without Pakistani players?
The Fall of Pakistan Cricket
Pakistan dominated the Indo-Pak cricket rivalry in the 1990s, while India has crushed it in the 2010s. Only in the 2000s, did we have battle of equals.
For India’s tenacious Rahul Dravid, Pakistan had Younis Khan. Similarly, the elegance of Yousuf & Tendulkar, stability of Inzamam & Laxman/Ganguly, & exuberance of Afridi & Sehwag were on par with each other. The destructiveness of Shoaib Akhtar-Asif-Sami on one side matched the abilities of Irfan Pathan-Zaheer Khan-Kumble-Harbhajan on the other.
India narrowly won the 2004 Test series 2-1 & ODI series 3-2 held in Pakistan. Pakistan returned the favor next year with a 1-1 drawn Test series & 4-2 ODI victory held in India. Both memorable events.
Hence, the struggle of Pakistan cricket team over the last decade & lack of competitiveness in recent ICC tournaments has been disheartening. The new generation of Pakistan cricket is slowly making this a battle of equals again.
The New Generation of Pakistan Cricket Rises
Mohammad Rizwan is currently the best T20I batsman in the world (sorry Dawid Malan). Shaheen Shah Afridi can compete with the Rabadas & Bumrahs of the world. The leg spin of Shadab Khan & Usman Qadir with a line up of Afridi-Naseem Shah-Hasan Ali-Haris Rauf can send shivers down the opposition camp.
Babar Azam is the best player in the world. Period.
Each IPL team can benefit from Haider Ali & Faheem Ashraf’s power, experience of Mohammad Hafeez & Shoaib Malik, and the pace of discarded Mohammad Amir & Mohammad Hasnain.
“Imagine Babar-Kohli opening for RCB, Fakhar-Rohit hitting double centuries, & Bumrah-Shaheen bowling together at the death.”
With South African, Sri Lankan, & West Indian foreign contingent in the prime of their careers from 2007-2017, absence of Pakistani players in the IPL made sense.
It no longer does.
South Africa & Sri Lanka’s Eternal Transition Period
Kumar Sangakkara & Mahela Jayawardene once used to captain IPL teams. They are now the only Sri Lankan representation in IPL 2021 (as coaches) as no SL players were picked in the auction. Gone is the era of Malinga-Murali-Dilshan.
With an eternal transition process in South Africa, only Rabada-Nortje (and Ngidi to a certain extent) have risen to the occasion. Otherwise, AB De Villiers & Faf Du Plessis from an earlier generation are still carrying the South Africa baton. Similarly, lots of West Indians in the IPL are from the World Cup winning generation (Gayle, Narine, Pollard, Russell).
The lack of variety in foreign talent is hitting the brand of the IPL. It seems that only India & England are producing new talent year in & year out, with Australia & New Zealand close behind.
It is time for some more talent to flow in—Pakistani talent that is. On the flip side, BCCI’s reluctance to let Indians play abroad should also be reconsidered, but that is a story for another day.
Looking Back to IPL 2008
The inception of the tournament in 2008 is the perfect template to follow.
Rajasthan Royals benefitted from having Pakistan talent in their squad with Kamral Akmal, Younis Khan, & most importantly Sohail Tanvir, the maiden purple cap winner. The Knight Riders enjoyed the pace duo of Shoaib Akhtar & Umar Gul, who took a match-winning 4-fer. KKR also had Salman Butt & the ageless Mohammad Hafeez in their ranks.
Few others participated in the IPL as well—Shahid Afridi (Deccan Chargers), Shoaib Malik & Mohammad Asif (Delhi Daredevils), & Misbah-ul-Haq (Royal Challengers Bangalore).
IPL 2020 Was Ideal But There Is Still Time
IPL 2020 was the best opportunity for adding Pakistani players to the IPL auctions. The world was struggling from a pandemic, and the tournament was taking place at Pakistan’s adopted home ground, the UAE.
What better time to get Pakistan players in? Unfortunately, that did not happen.
There is still time.
Babar is 26, Rizwan 28, & Amir 29. It would be great to watch Mohammad Amir versus Virat Kohli once again, and there is enough love across the border to make it happen.
Pakistan Vs South Africa 2021 Series Review—a historical series. South Africa’s first visit to the nation after more than a decade.
The return of Aiden Markram and Hasan Ali, the absence of Mohammad Hafeez, lots of Mohammad Rizwan, and curtains to Faf Du Plessis’ Test career. We look at the highs & lows, broken dreams, emerging players, and World T20I Watch.
Mohammad Rizwan – 197 runs (1 – 100, 1 – 50, best of 104*, average 98.5, 145.92 SR)
David Miller – 116 runs (1 – 50, best of 85*, average 116, 156.75 SR)
Usman Qadir – 4 wickets (best of 2/21, 6.90 economy)
Tabraiz Shamsi – 6 wickets (best of 4/25, 5.08 economy)
T20I Series Stats
The energizer is back with Pakistan. Hasan Ali’s domestic resurgence has translated directly into international performances. 5/54 & 5/60 match winning 10-fer. Skiddy action, the passion, and the celebration.
In the last 5 first class matches, Fawad Alam has scores of 139 (vs NZ A), 102, 109, 45. Consistency and the 109 at home. Destined.
It is the season of Faheem Ashraf-Mohammad Rizwan partnership. After a streak of match-saving consecutive overseas 50s for Rizwan, he finally converted to a ton with 115* in Rawalpandi. Similarly, following his 91 in New Zealand, Ashraf followed up with 64 and 78* in Pakistan.
Rizwan strikes again. Followed up his Test century with a 104*, 51, and 42 in the T20Is. Brilliant. Just brilliant. And if you thought that was consistent enough, now has scores of 71 and 41 for Karachi Kings in the PSL.
Let us talk about the ones missing in action (at least offline), shall we? Mohammad Hafeez and Sarfaraz Ahmed. The best Pakistan T20I batsman over the past year, Mohammad Hafeez opted out of the international series due to T10 league & clashes with the quarantine dates for the South Africa series. Yet, he was active on Twitter and had a few exchanges with former captain and current substitute, Sarfaraz. Hopefully, it is just a one-time thing and Pakistan cricket can move on.
It seems that Aiden Markram debuted ages ago. After his brilliant start to Test cricket in 2017, it seemed that Markram was in an eternal downward spiral. Still only 26, this overseas tour of Pakistan may well be a watershed rejuvenation moment for Markram. Long career ahead.
When one door opens, another closes. While Markram excelled, Quinton de Kock had a horrific series with the bat. 4 innings – 46 runs. Now, he is also released as the Test captain and has taken a mental health break from South Africa’s domestic tournament.
Speaking of closed doors, Faf Du Plessis. The sun has finally set on a career marked with tenacity, grit, leadership, and hope. A Test career that started a bit late due to the great South African generation, a debut stonewalling to remember at Adelaide, a few blockathons here and there, a lot of Australia and India, captaincy records, and an iconic 199 to cap it off. Hats off Faf. Be sure to read our tribute to Faf below.
KILLER MILLER IS BACK!!!! Look at some of the hits here. 85* (45) with 7 sixes albeit in a losing cause. Almost half a decade since this type of innings. Good signs for the Proteas looking forward to the T20I World Cup.
Moving to the bowling side, Dwaine Pretorius slowly inking his name in the T20I XI. A 5 wicket haul including a brilliant yorker. Scalps of Babar Azam and in-form Mohammad Rizwan. Not bad.
Tabraiz Shamsi has been the unsung mainstay of South African bowling recently. The fast bowling unit bar Rabada (and now, Nortje) seems to be a revolving door, but the absence of Imran Tahir has not been felt due to Shamsi. Highest wicket taker in the T20I series with a miserly economy.
We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:
Hasan Ali 2.0, Fawad Alam 3.0, and Rizwan-Ashraf partnership
Left Arm Spinners
Return of Aiden Markram
Broken Cricket Dream
Mohammad Hafeez-Sarfaraz Ahmed Twitter Exchanges
Test retirement of Faf Du Plessis
Pakistan Vs South Africa 2021 Review: The Awards
Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!\
These two teams will be back in action in April with Pakistan returning the favor with 3 ODIs and 4 T20Is, completing a postponed series from last year.
South Africa are still in a transition zone. The longer they stay here, the worse it gets. It is good to see the younger generation of players stand up, but hope it all meshes by the time the World T20 Cup hits later this year.
Pakistan are one to watch for the T20 World Cup. The PSL is being held at the right time, enough time for young stars to appear and get some international games under their belt.
World T20 Watch
Leading up to the World Cup, we are picking a 15 player squad after each series.
For reference, here was our earlier WT20 watch for Pakistan’s squad in our Pak Vs NZ series review. Some new faces have come into play, while some players have dropped off the list.
Babar Azam (C), 2. Mohammad Rizwan (WK), 3. Haider Ali, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Shadab Khan, 6.. Imad Wasim, 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Hasan Ali, 9. Haris Rauf, 10. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11. Usman Qadir
Squad: 12. Naseem Shah, 13. Mohammad Nawaz/Zafar Gohar/Zahid Mahmood, 14. Sarfaraz Ahmed (WK)/Sharjeel Khan, 15. Iftikhar Ahmed/Shoaib Malik
Other Reserves in Contention: Imam-Ul-Haq/Fakhar Zaman (opener), Mohammad Hasnain/Mohammad Musa/Aamer Yamin (fast bowler), Khusdil Shah/Hussain Talat/Asif Ali (lower order finisher)
Wildcard: Sohail Tanvir
Probably curtains for Wahab Riaz & possible Mohammad Amir comeback.
Quinton de Kock* (WK), 2. Janneman Malan, 3. Faf du Plessis, 4. Rassie Van der Dussen, 5. Heinrich Klassen (C), 6. David Miller, 7. George Linde, 8. Chris Morris, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Anrich Nortje, 11. Tabraiz Shamsi
Yes everybody, just 4 months after Karachi Kings lifted the PSL trophy (due to COVID interruption), we are back at it. Pakistan Super League 2021 is already making some noise—with “Groove Mera” anthem, entire tournament held in Pakistan, and the allowance of 20% crowd capacity.
With a Pakistan limited overs side on the rise and the upcoming T20I World Cup later this year, PSL 6 has additional context, both for Pakistani players and international recruits wanting to prove a point.
Babar Azam Vs Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan Vs Faheem Ashram, Hasan Ali Vs Haider Ali
These are just some of the in-form star players that will be on show. Talent galore and good cricketing all around.
Here is a quick summary of everything you need to know about the PSL 6: Teams, Dates, Fixtures, Coaching Staff, Commentators, predictions, and more!
Matches: 34 (6 teams, 10 matches each, double round robin, top 4 qualify for playoffs)
Venues: Gaddafi Stadium (Lahore), National Stadium (Karachi)
Commentators/Presenters: Pommie Mbangwa (Zimbabwe), Alan Wilkins (Wales), Simon Doull, Danny Morrison (New Zealand), David Gower, Dominic Cork (England), Rameez Raza, Zainab Abbas, Urooz Mumtaz, Sana Mir, Bazid Khan, Sikander Bakht, Tariq Saqeed (Pakistan)
Multan Sultans: 2020 (3rd), 2018, 2019 (5th) (*Franchise did not exist before 2018 season).
PSL 6: Teams & Expected Playing XI
With Australia’s T20I tour of New Zealand, Sri Lanka’s tour of West Indies, Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand, and the limited overs leg of India vs England, there are several players who withdrew or will be only staying for a short time.
*Teams highlighted in their respective jersey colors
Pakistan Internationals: Shadab Khan (C), Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Ifthikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Musa, Zafar Gohar
Pakistan Domestic: Ahmed Safi Abdullah, Mohammad Wasim, Rohail Nazir, Zeeshan Zameer
Foreign Recruits: Ali Khan (USA), Fawad Ahmed (Australia), Alex Hales, Lewis Gregory, Phil Salt (England), Paul Stirling (Ireland)
*Withdrawn: Reece Topley (England), Chris Jordan (England), Colin Munro (New Zealand), Akif Javed
I am looking forward to the international contingent—Ben Dunk, Samit Patel, David Wiese, and Rashid Khan. David Wiese was instrumental to Qalandars’ runners up campaign last time around, and the same is expected this season.
Lahore Qalandars Expected XI:
Fakhar Zaman, 2. Sohail Akhtar (C), 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Ben Dunk, 5. Samit Patel, 6. David Wiese, 7. Rashid Khan, 8. Haris Rauf, 9. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 10. Dilbar Hussain, 11. Muhammad Faizan
I am looking forward to the finishing power. If the top order can set the platform, Shoaib Malik, David Miller, and Ravi Bopara can be a handful.
Peshawar Zalmi Expected XI:
Imam-ul-Haq, 2. Haider Ali, 3. Kamran Akmal (WK), 4. Shoaib Malik, 5. David Miller, 6. Ravi Bopara, 7. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 8. Saqib Mahmood, 9. Wahab Riaz, 20. Mohammad Irfan, 11. Umaid Asif
Pakistan Internationals: Sarfaraz Ahmed (C/WK), Anwar Ali, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Shinwari, Zahid Mahmood (1 T20I)
Pakistan Domestic: Azam Khan, Arish Ali Khan, Abdul Nasir, Hassan Khan, Saim Ayub, Usman Khan
Foreign Recruits: Chris Gayle (West Indies), Faf du Plessis, Dale Steyn, Cameron Delport (South Africa), Tom Banton (WK) (England), Ben Cutting (Australia), Qais Ahmed (Afghanistan)
Coaching Staff: Moin Khan (Head Coach), Viv Richards (Batting Coach), Umar Gul (Bowling Coach), Julian Fountain (Fielding Coach)
I am looking forward to see how the Umar Gul mentored team with international stars like Dale Steyn and Ben Cutting is going to impact the likes of Naseem Shah & Mohammad Hasnain.
Quetta Gladiators Expected XI:
Chris Gayle, 2. Faf du Plessis, 3. Tom Banton/Cameron Delport, 4. Azam Khan, 5. Sarfaraz Ahmed (C/WK), 6. Ben Cutting/Dale Steyn, 7. Anwar Ali, 8. Naseem Shah, 9. Mohammad Hasnain, 10. Mohammad Nawaz, 11. Usman Shinwari
Key Match Ups To Watch Out For
40 is the new 30 feat Shahid Afridi & Chris Gayle: These two have been playing cricket for over two decades. Whenever you think they are done, they will come back with a man-of-the-match performance. Also add the newly retired from Test cricket, Faf du Plessis to the list of prominent veterans.
Prove a point with a bang feat Alex Hales & Paul Stirling:Alex Hales, once again ignored from the England national set up (despite most runs in the Big Bash) and Paul Stirling, ignored from the IPL auctions (despite being the best ODI batsman over the last year), find themselves together as opening pair for the Islamabad United. No better time to prove your critics wrong.
Mohammad Amir Vs The Rest of The World: Amir controversially announced in a statement that he is still available to play for Pakistan, although it is unlikely to happen under the current management. Will he walk the talk?
Pakistan Super League 2021 Predictions
Finally here are my predictions.
My prediction for the team to lift the PSL 6 trophy is….Islamabad United with the Top 4 of Lahore Qalandars, Multan Sultans, and Peshawar Zalmi.
Green Cap (Most Runs): Mohammad Rizwan
Maroon Cap (Most Wickets): Hasan Ali
Emerging Player: Rohail Nazir
Surprise Package: Paul Stirling
Broken Cricket Dream: Shahid Afridi finally retires? Like really.
Here were my Pakistan Super League 2021 Predictions. What did you think? What are YOUR predictions? Comment Below!