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Pakistan Super League: Teams Preview

Last updated on 26 Jan 2022 | 02:00 PM
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Pakistan Super League: Teams Preview

The seventh edition of the PSL starts from 27th of January 2022 and here is a look at how the teams stand

A large credit has to be given to the domestic T20 circuit of Pakistan and the Pakistan Super League for the national team’s success in T20Is in the year 2021. Multan Sultans, led by Mohammad Rizwan in 2021, went on to win the title for the first time in the sixth edition of the PSL in 2021. The captain himself led from the front in the batting department by scoring 500 runs at an average 45.5 and Shahnawaz Dahani with 20 wickets was the highest wicket taker in the tournament.  

In the six editions played, there hasn’t been a team that has dominated the tournament. Apart from Islamabad United, no other team has won the title more than once. The inaugural season in 2015/16 and 2017/18 season were won by Islamabad. In the 2016/17 season, Peshawar Zalmi emerged as the winners. Quetta Gladiators went on to win the 2018/19 season and Karachi Kings in the fifth edition that saw a lot of breaks and stoppages because of COVID.

The seventh edition of the marquee leagues starts from 27th of January and the defending champions Multan take on Karachi. A face-off between two of the most successful batters of Pakistan, Babar Azam and Rizwan.


With the International series going on world-wide, the availability of players has become one of the problems in the seventh edition of PSL. The entire team consists of 16 players, out of which, few are still engaged with their national duties.

However, the Karachi team have managed to draft in their core team which had scored runs in the previous edition. Babar was the highest scorer of the 2021 season with 554 runs and there is no way a franchise is letting go of a player of Babar’s quality. Sharjeel Khan had some excellent partnership with the captain last year for the opening wicket and he himself scored 338 runs with one century and a strike rate close to 150. The all-rounders, Mohammad Nabi and the former captain Imad Wasim have also been drafted for the 2022 edition. In the bowling department, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Illyas will be the premier bowlers until Chris Jordan returns.  

Apart from Sharjeel and Babar, the only other recognised batsmen in the team is Sahibzada Farhan. This enhances the responsibility of Babar and hands him the extra pressure of performing. Joe Clarke has had a good run in T20s post the 2021 edition of PSL, but playing in Asian conditions is completely different. The good part is, he did play well in the last season as he scored 121 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 175.4.


Just like Karachi, the Multan squad have also drafted in the premium performers from the last edition. Rizwan, who has been in sensational touch will be the leader of a strong batting line up. In the previous edition, seven Multan batsmen had scored over 100 runs and apart from James Vince the other six have Shoaib Maqsood (428), Shaan Masood (209), Rilee Rossouw (177), Khusdil Shah (165) and Johnson Charles (117) have been drafted.

Among the new additions, Odean Smith, Dominic Drakes, Rumman Raees, Anwar Ali and Abbas Afridi are part of the side. Drakes and Smith will be late joiners as they are a part of the West Indies squad that is playing a five match T20I series.

Smith, post the PSL 2021 edition (25th June) has bagged 22 wickets at a strike rate of 12.7. Tim David is the new addition in the batting line up for Multan. The Singaporean batsman has scored 546 runs in this time frame at a strike rate of 150.8.


Quetta were one of the busiest teams in the drafts as they have undergone a complete change in both batting and bowling line up. Except for a few like skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz and the two quicks Mohammad Hasnain and Naseem Shah, there have been a lot of newcomers.

Post the 2021 edition of the PSL (25th June), Ben Duckett, the left-handed batsman has been in exceptional touch scoring over 500 runs at an average of 27.9 in 19 innings at a strike rate of 142.1. In the all-rounder’s department, Nawaz will be in company of Iftikhar Ahmed who has scored 455 runs at a strike rate of 170.4 and has bagged eight wickets at an economy of 5.6 and a bowling strike rate of 18.

In the bowling department, two young stars of speed, Hasnain and Naseem will be in company of Naveen-ul-Haq. Post 25th June 2021, Naveen has bagged 37 wickets at a bowling strike rate of 17.7. Among pacers, only Dwayne Bravo (40) and Mustafizur Rahman (38) have bagged more wickets than him in the time frame. Also, James Faulkner and Sohail Tanvir’s experience adds well.


Zalmi fell short in the last step as they ended up as the runners-up in the last edition of the PSL. Led by Wahab Riaz, Zalmi finished third in the table at the end of the league stage with 10 points and a positive net run rate. They defeated Karachi Kings (Eliminator-1) and Islamabad United (Eliminator-2) to reach the finals.

Zalmi have drafted in all the top five run scorers of last season, Shoaib Malik (354), Kamran Akmal (283), Sherfane Rutherford (276), Hazratullah Zazai (212) and Haider Ali (166). In addition, they have added the power house in the form of Liam Livingstone. However, he will be joining after the West Indies series is finished. Since 25th June 2021, he has scored 274 runs at a strike rate of 173.4. Among batsmen who have scored 250+ runs in this time frame, his balls/six ratio of 7.5 is the fifth best among all.

Riaz, the skipper, was the highest wicket-taker for them in the previous edition with 18. Post the 2021 edition as well, Riaz has been amazing. In 27 innings, he has bagged 32 wickets at a strike rate of 17.2. Among Pakistani bowlers, only Haris Rauf (34) has picked up more T20 Wickets than him.

Saqib Mahmood will be a miss in the first few encounters as he is in the T20I squad of England in their tour of West Indies. Since June 25th 2021, he has picked up 25 wickets at a bowling strike rate of 13.4.


Shaheen Afridi’s 2021 got even better when he was announced as the new captain of Lahore franchise for the 2022 edition. Why wouldn’t he when he has had a sensational year across the format. High on being announced as the ICC men’s cricketer of the year, Shaheen’s new journey as a captain starts from 29th January (Lahore’s first match).

To be precise, Lahore has a very balanced squad. Fakhar Zaman who was the only Pakistan player to be picked in the platinum category has blown hot and cold post the 2021 edition, but has been an integral part of the Lahore franchise. Mohammad Hafeez who retired recently, is a well versed all-rounder. David Wiese in the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup, led Namibia to the Super’s stage with his all-round show. Shaheen, Rashid Khan and Haris Rauf are the spearheads in the bowling department.    

In their squad, four bowlers have bagged 30+wickets in T20s since 25th June 2021. Rashid with 38 wickets leads the list, followed by Rauf with 34 and Wiese and Shaheen with 30.


After a dismal show in the 2019/20 edition of the PSL where they were the table footers, Islamabad bounced back strong in the 2021 edition to top the chart in the league stage with 16 points in 2021. However, they failed to reach the finals after their loss to Multan in the first Qualifier and Peshawar in the second.

Irrespective of it, Islamabad led by Shadab Khan have one of the most explosive batting line-ups. Colin Munro at the top has scored 656 runs in 23 innings since 25th June 2021. Alex Hales also has scored over 600 runs at a strike rate of 157.4 and Paul Stirling has scored nearly 500 runs in 19 innings. Among openers who have faced 15+ innings in the aforementioned time frame, only Evin Lewis (159.5) and Finn Allen (185.5) have struck better. Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Shadab and Mohammad Wasim, any of these batsmen can fill in as the finisher.

In the bowling department, Hasan Ali and Wasim with Fahim Ahsraf fill the roles of fast bowlers. Shadab will be their lead spinner.

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