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Lahore Qalandars - PSL 2018 - Team Preview

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Ahson8, Feb 23, 2018.

Lahore Qalandars - PSL 2018 - Team Preview

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Ahson8, Feb 23, 2018.

by Ahson Afzal
Feb 23, 2018 at 10:51 AM
  1. Ahson8
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    Ahson8 Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

    Jun 9, 2012
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    Squad:

    upload_2018-2-23_15-51-11.png

    Batsmen: Cameron Delport, Fakhar Zaman, Brendon McCullum (captain), Sohail Akhtar

    All-rounders: Aamer Yamin, Agha Salman, Bilal Asif, Anton Devcich

    Wicket-keepers: Umar Akmal, Gulraiz Sadaf, Dinesh Ramdin

    Bowlers: Sohail Khan, Sunil Narine, Yasir Shah, Ghulam Mudassar, Mitchell McClenaghan, Raza Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Shaheen Afridi, Imran Khan Jr.

    Preview:

    The first time could be dismissed as an accident, and Lahore Qalandars could argue that there was a steep learning curve to the art of mastering success in a T20 league. The 2017 season however, still showed Lahore panting at the wrong end of the curve, their race run before the knockout stages began. Simply put, the PSL, in its first two years, could not have gone worse for arguably the PSL's most high-profile team.

    They have finished fifth - that's last - in both seasons. In a particularly forgiving format where four teams reach the next round, Lahore Qalandars' fans are the only ones not to have tasted knockout excitement.

    The first season was simply a write-off, a wretched year in which they lost six games - five by wide margins - and thus never really got off the bottom. The second season had a much more vibrant buzz about it with T20 royalty in Brendon McCullum taking over as captain. They looked an improved side, but in the end still finished with only three wins in eight games. They missed out on the next round in heart-breaking style, with arch-rivals Karachi Kings knocking them out in a virtual playoff, with the Kings' Kieron Pollard smashing 10 off the last two balls to take his side through instead.

    After the first season, Qalandars overhauled their entire squad, a blatant acknowledgment that they had got it wrong at the draft. This year, the have retained the core last year's team, and there seems to be a sense that with a bit more luck, they would have had more success last season. They have stuck by Brendon McCullum as captain, and also retained two more of their key foreign players in Sunil Narine and Cameron Delport, as well as locals Umar Akmal and Fakhar Zaman.

    They also hauled in Chris Lynn, but his recent injury, and subsequential pull-out will be a bit of a setback to the Qalandars. Mustafizur Rahman, though only partially available, will add further specialist T20 know-how to the squad.

    Pros:

    1) Explosive lineup: Despite losing Lynn, Lahore still probably have the most explosive lineup in the competition with Brendon McCullum, Umar Akmal, Fakhar Zaman, Cameron Delport, Sunil Narine and Sohail Akhtar in their squad

    2) Strong Spin Attack: Yasir Shah, Raza Hasan, Sunil Narine and Bilal Asif are all very handy spinners that Lahore could utilise. Anton Devcich and Agha Salman can also bowl part-time spin

    3) Captaincy: Lahore have the services of McCullum, and his aggressive captaincy could help them out to progress to the next stage

    Weaknesses:


    1) Pace attack: This was the problem for the Qalandars last two seasons as well. On paper, it looks better this time with Shaheen Afridi recruited, as well as Mitchell McClenaghan and Sohail Khan, last year's highest wicket taker picked up as well, along with Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman. However, Shaheen is still very inexperienced and it would be harsh if he has to shoulder all the responsibility, Mustafizur has been out of form recently, and Sohail Khan had a poor outing in the warm-up against the Zalmi.

    2) 'Overaggressiveness': Even though Lahore have an explosive lineup, this could cost them as they sometimes tend to be too aggressive and lose their wickets in the process. This hurt them last year and could do so again this year

    Players to watch out:
    Shaheen Shah Afridi - the lad has been hyped for some time now, and was the first of the emerging players to be picked. A left arm bowler who can swing the ball both ways, Shaheen was hyped up for having a bowling action similiar to that of Mitchell Starc. He also impressed in the recently concluded U/19 World Cup, where he was the leading wicket taker for Pakistan, picking up a 7-fer against the Irish

    Also keep an eye out for Raza Hasan, the left-arm spinner. Once earmarked as the next big thing, Raza lost his way to injury and substance abuse. After a successful rehabilitation under coach Aqib Javed, Raza is back to business and will be looking to get back into the limelight

    Finally, watch out for Agha Salman - a aggressive batsman and a useful off-spin option, he could be a very handy T20 player for the Qalandars

    Summary:

    An explosive batting lineup, and good spin options, but weak pace bowling could cost them, as could the loss of an innings 'stabilizer' in the middle-overs
     
The author is a medical student and an avid fan of Pakistan cricket.
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Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Ahson8, Feb 23, 2018.

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