Defending champions Karachi Kings will take on Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 opener. While Karachi won their first title last season, Quetta had a rare blip, finishing second from bottom. However, a new season brings new dynamics and both sides will be eyeing a good start.
Owing to a slow start to their fortunes in PSL history, Karachi currently concedes an inferior record to Quetta. Even last year, Quetta defeated Karachi both times in the league stage.
Overall: Matches – 10 | Quetta – 7 Wins | Karachi – 3 Wins
Last 5 Matches: Quetta – 3 Wins | Karachi – 2 Wins
Ground details, conditions and team combination
Karachi’s National Stadium is the host to the first leg of the tournament. The venue has hosted 12 T20s since 2020 where runs have come at 8.1 per over, the second lowest in the country. However, the bowling strike-rate has also been somewhere in the middle - 18.7 balls per wicket. Hence, an all-round team seems to be the best option for this game.
We would also like to suggest a pacer-friendly bowling attack given the numbers at this venue. Pacers have got wickets at a rate of 4.3 per innings whereas spinners have managed only 0.8 wickets every innings.
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Babar Azam averages 48.9 runs per dismissal in T20s since 2018. He has been a red-hot T20 batsman for a while now and even though his performance in the T20Is against South Africa was not up to the mark - scores of 44, 5 and 0 - it is tough to look beyond the Pakistan skipper to be the captain of your side. If Karachi bat second, that should further strengthen Babar’s case to be the captain of your side as the right-hander averages 49.3 while batting second as compared to 38.5 while batting first.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Babar could score 17-40 runs in this match.
Colin Ingram has been consistently maintaining an annual batting average of over 25 for the last few years alongside a decent strike-rate. He is expected to bat in the top four of this Karachi Kings’ batting unit which will give him apt time to build his innings. He has been consistent in PSL as well, amassing 793 runs (average 33, strike-rate 152.8). He is a great choice to be the vice-captain of your side.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Ingram could score 11-28 runs in this match.
Azam Khan has done well in his brief T20 career so far as a batsman. His average of 24.8 adorned with a strike-rate of 159.7 hints towards an impactful T20 batsman. Quetta would like to use him as an enforcer in the batting order and hand him a good batting spot to lay his impact. He is also someone in good T20 batting rhythm as he has been playing regular cricket since November 2020 - featuring in the Lanka Premier League and the T10 League.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Azam could score 11-28 runs in this match.
Mohammad Hasnain has bowled in 16 PSL games and gone wicketless only twice. He has an excellent ratio of 1.7 wickets per match, snaffling 27 dismissals. A bowling average of 18.4 is the best amongst the 17 bowlers to have taken over 15 wickets in PSL since 2019, the year Hasnain made his debut. An out-and-out wicket-taker, you should not miss out on Hasnain to bolster the points of your fantasy XI.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Hasnain could pick 1-2 in this match.