Batsmen: Eoin Morgan, Lendl Simmons, Babar Azam, Khurram Manzoor, Colin Ingram, Joe Denly, Mohammad Taha
All-rounders: Imad Wasim (captain), Shahid Afridi, Ravi Bopara, Hasan Mohsin, David Wiese,
Wicket-keepers: Mohammad Rizwan, Saifullah Bangash
Bowlers: Mohammad Amir, Usama Mir, Usman Khan, Mohammad Irfan Jr., Tabish Khan, Tymal Mills
In the last two seasons, Karachi started their campaign poorly, before finally showing up to make the playoffs. Each time though, they could not make it into the final from the playoffs stage. They will be looking to turn that around this time.
The strategy for Karachi in the draft seemed weird. While they managed to get hold of Shahid Afridi, they lost a number of performing players in the process. This includes Sohail Khan, who was the leading wicket taker in the PSL last year, and also Kieron Pollard, who was a big performer for them last year. They retained only Ravi Bopara amongst the foreign players, but it might have been a better option to retain Pollard considering the lack of firepower in their squad, Shahid Afridi notwithstanding.
Looking at the current squad, Karachi seem to have a strong bowling attack, but the lack of firepower in their batting could hurt them. They will hope Babar Azam and Colin Ingram can notch up consistent performances, and bet on one of Simmons or Denly to get them quick starts.
1) Pace attack: The loss of Mitchell Johnson may hurt them a bit, but would be neutralized by Usman Shinwari getting fit in time for the competition. Amir, Shinwari and Tymal Mills would form a formidable pace attack, while Karachi would have Tabish Khan and emerging player Irfan Jr. to offer their services as well. Hasan Mohsin and Ravi Bopara could also be used for their 'dibbly-dobbly' part time medium pace
2) Spinners: Usama Mir, Shahid Afridi and Imad Wasim are available for Karachi, as far as the spin department is concerned
3) All-rounders: Karachi is definitely not lacking in this facet. They have a lot of allrounders in their squad. This includes captain Imad Wasim, Shahid Afridi, Ravi Bopara, Hasan Mohsin and David Wiese. Colin Ingram and Joe Denly can also bowl some part time legspinners. Karachi will be hoping all of these players can contribute in all facets of the game, rather than turn out to be 'bits and pieces'.
4) Top ranked T20 players: Babar Azam is the No. 1 ranked T20 batsman, while Imad Wasim is at No. 7 in the T20 bowling rankings. Karachi will hope Babar will be his consistent self at the top, allowing others to attack around him, and that Imad will put in some economical spells
1) Lack of Firepower: Shahid Afridi is the only player in this squad that could blast from ball one, which makes it all the more perplexing why Kieron Pollard, who did so well for Karachi last year, was not retained. Looking at the squad, it would seem Karachi would be banking on their bowlers to win them games. Eoin Morgan would be a good addition to them, when available
2) Lack of backup spinners: Usama Mir is the only specialist spinner in this squad to complement the allrounders Shahid Afridi and Imad Wasim. Joe Denly and Colin Ingram can also bowl part time leg-spin, but maybe Karachi should have stocked up some backup spinners considering how important of a role they play in the PSL
Players to watch out: Watch out for Hasan Mohsin. The player impressed one and all in the 2016 U/19 World Cup with both bat and ball. Although his bowling is only medium-pace, he has a knack of picking up wickets, and he could be handy for Karachi in the middle overs
Irfan Khan Jr. is another player to look out for. A lanky right-arm pacer, who can also slog the ball a fair distance, Irfan impressed in the initial games for the Qalandars, but faded away and could not really recover after a thrashing from Kevin Pietersen. A year later, it would be interesting to see if Irfan has improved his game.
Finally, watch out for Mushtaq Ahmed Kalhoro. Picked up in a talent hunt, Kalhoro bowls right arm pace. He impressed Rashid Latif and the Karachi coaches in the talent hunt, so it should be interesting to see what he is made of.
Karachi have a very strong bowling attack. Batting wise, they have some players who can be consistent, but they have a lack of hard hitting batsmen, Shahid Afridi notwithstanding. Usama Mir is the only specialist spinner in their squad. They will need their allrounders can contribute in all facets of their game, and their bowlers to make up for their lack of firepower to win games, and hope for an Afridi special on atleast one occasion.
Karachi Kings - PSL 2018 - Team Preview
Karachi Kings - PSL 2018 - Team Preview