PSL Team Preview: Islamabad United

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Major, Jan 21, 2017.

PSL Team Preview: Islamabad United

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Major, Jan 21, 2017.

by Shah Rukh Khalid
Jan 21, 2017 at 7:44 PM
  1. Major
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    Major Cornered Tiger

    Apr 28, 2010
    12,497

    ISLAMABAD-UNITED-LOGO.jpg

    PSL Team Preview: Islamabad United:

    The 'burger' nation's last year win came out of nowhere when they pulled off 4 straight wins in a virtual knockout to win the PSL shooting star trophy. Islamabad United had a very rough start last year around, when they started off their campaign with two straight losses and winning the third game by a whisker.

    The team is trusted upon Pakistan’s most successful Test Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who not only holds years of domestic and international cricket experience, but also knows how to handle pressure in sudden collapse and provide a proper revival.

    Squad:

    Batsmen: Hussain Talat, Khalid Latif, Misbah ul Haq, Sharjeel Khan, Ben Duckett, Asif Ali

    Pace Bowlers: Amad Butt, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Sami, Rumman Raees

    Spinners: Samuel Badree, Saeed Ajmal

    All Rounders: Andre Russell, Imran Khalid, Shane Watson, Dwayne Smith, Zohaib Khan, Shadab Khan

    Wicket Keepers: Brad Haddin, Sam Billings


    Strengths: Team Unity, Spin Specialists, Experienced Team

    235119.jpg
    Islamabad United's team unity was pivotal in their team's success last year.

    Islamabad United’s last year’s success was all based on the teams gelness and unity. As the players and staff got to know each other, the team started to gel together which had a positive impact on the team’s performance; Thus, during the PSL 2 Drafts no major changes were made and 80% of the last year squad was retained in comparison to other teams who made quite a lot of changes which should work in their favour.

    The team’s last year losses were because of spinning pitches. As the tournament is being played on a UAE wicket, there was a lot of spin to offer. However, this issue was tackled when Khalid Latif was bought in the upper order with Brad Haddin, and with Misbah ul Haq also there at the middle, the spinners should again be dealt with quite easily.

    Islamabad also enjoys the company of some experienced players. The team is being led under the leadership of veteran star Misbah-ul-Haq, who was praised by the players for the motivational speech he gave in the dressing room before going after the mammoth chase of 175 in an intense finale. Brad Haddin was also appreciated by the team members for giving confidence boost to his peers. Andre Russell, whose place might be in doubt due to injuries, is also another T20 player who goes around playing every T20 League that exists. Shane Watson’s IPL experience also comes in handy.

    Weakness: Lack of quality spinners

    Though Islamabad United were able to win the first PSL, the team still does not have a quality spinner in their squad. On these UAE wickets, it will be the spin bowling that will play a major factor here not pace. This is why Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Asghar had a lot of success last year around.

    While the team does have Samuel Badree, who has achieved the No.1 rank of T20 bowler, but he does not spin the ball that much, and also has a habit of throwing a few bad deliveries as well. Imran Khalid and the remodelled Saeed Ajmal also have a smilar issue regarding spinning the ball. Though, United have drafted Zohaib Khan and Shadab Khan, but we will have to wait and see whether they do offer any major turn in their bowling or not.

    Key Players: Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif & Misbah-ul-Haq

    1051543-SharjeelKhan-1456075537-208-640x480.jpg
    Sharjeel slammed 117* in the Eliminator vs Peshawar Zalmi last year, and will look to replicate that performance.

    Sharjeel Khan was easily the 'find' of last year's PSL. His epic 117 against the Zalmi’s will probably still be fresh in mind of all the opponents. His way of doing a blitzkrieg against the pacers will make him a target of every opposition, and it will be interesting to see how he deals with that pressure. He has also improved against the spinners from last year around; plus his ability to play bouncers is also something to look out for. The hard hitting opening batsman has also been in good form in the Australia series and will be looking to continue that form in the PSL too.

    Again keeping in mind the spin tracks of UAE, Khalid Latif would be expected to place another good show this year around. It is to be noted that Khalid Latif comes from Karachi, where most of the wickets are similar to the UAE spin wickets and the spinners there enjoy the success. Khalid Latif would be expected to feast on the spinners along with Misbah-ul-Haq who has made a name for himself in slogging spinners out of the park.

    Player to watch out for: Imran Khalid

    17.jpg
    Imran Khalid's immaculate lengths make him hard to get away.

    Although, Imran Khalid is a not a major spinner of the ball, but he does know how to bowl at the right line and length; this alone makes it really hard to attack against him and allow him to be a very economical 5th bowler.

    Much of Faisalabad Wolves’ T20 success was because of Imran Khalid as after Hafeez’s move to Lahore Lions, Imran was the one who has played the role of the fifth bowler. His accurate bowling ends up forcing players to throw their wickets against him.

    Even in last year’s PSL, it was Imran Khalid who thrice gave a standout bowling performance amongst all the bowlers.

    Shadab Khan and Ben Duckett are two other players to be on the lookout for. Duckett’s hard hitting is what made England call him up to their international side. His List A double hundred for the England Lions will be in the back of the mind of everyone. He also had consistent performances for Northamptonshire in the Natwest iT20 competition. However, he struggled against the spinners on turning tracks in the test series vs India, so it'll be interesting to see if he can replicate that form in the PSL.

    Untitlednjjnk.png
    Shadab Khan has had some stellar performances with both bat and ball at both U-19 level & for Pakistan A

    Shadab Khan has been a recent find from the Pakistan U-19 level. He has also had great success for Pakistan A. He made his first class debut for Pakistan A vs Sri Lanka A in England, and found immediate success, as he scored 48 in Pakistan's first innings, and followed that up with 4/89 in Pakistan's second innings. He continued to succeed in first class cricket, as he scored a maiden 100 and took 9 wickets in the match against Zimbabwe A. Shadab also showed glimpses of his talent on his List A debut, when he took the Islamabad side to a tight win over KPK in the Pentangular Cup, with a steely 33* off 29 deliveries. Shadab seems like a star in the making, and will do no harm to his selection chances if he is able to perform at the PSL.

    AMAD-BUTT.jpg
    Allrounder Amad Butt is another youngster to keep an eye on.

    Another player to watch out for would be Amad Butt . The allrounder missed last year's tournament because of an injury, but should play this year as an 'emerging' player. Amad can generate some high pace and should be a good third pacer for the United, although he can be expensive at times. He has also shown the ability to bat with a cool head under pressure; it was him & Zafar Gohar who took Pakistan U-19 to the finish line in the U-19 World Cup semifinal in 2014. He was selected for the single T20 match vs England, but was dropped from the squad without a game, as the team management thought he was not ready for international cricket just yet, and he will be looking to prove that notion wrong.

    Final Verdict:

    Quetta and Islamabad’s success from last year around was due to the team’s unity. Both teams showed how well their players were gelled. However, all other teams have made a mistake of making too many changes in their squad, while United has tried to retain most of its last year players. This factor alone will go in Islamabad’s favour. It is expected under the leadership of its veteran Captain; the team will be able to enjoy similar success as last year.

    The team carries around with themselves a variety of all-rounders, which allows them to be multi dimensional with their bowling attack.

    Islamabad United literally plays the game as their name suggests:

    UNITED WE WIN, UNITED WE CELEBRATE!
     
Shah Rukh is one of the earliest members of Cricistan and also an avid user of cricket forums. He occasionally writes articles and blogs regarding cricket. He is also a club cricketer at amateur level
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Comments

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Major, Jan 21, 2017.

    1. Ahson8
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      Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

      Jun 9, 2012
      18,567
      Good article @Major. Hope you don't mind some minor changes / additions I made re. Shadab & Amad
       
    2. Munna
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      Munna Moderator-e-Aala

      Oct 4, 2014
      27,508
      That's a killer look for any batsman!

      [​IMG]
       
    3. Mohsin
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      Mohsin Cornered Tiger

      Feb 21, 2010
      14,429
      Defending champions...can they do it again under the leadership of magnificent Misbah and the shadow of Wasim and Deano?
       
    4. Major
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      Major Cornered Tiger

      Apr 28, 2010
      12,497
      Islamabad's biggest drawback will be asif ali and Andre Russel not featuring.

      Asif ali wasn't selected, and Dre Russ is injured and might be ruled out. His power hitting was very vital at the lower order
       
    5. Ahson8
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      Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

      Jun 9, 2012
      18,567
      Pretty sure Asif Ali was selected bro.
       
    6. Major
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      Major Cornered Tiger

      Apr 28, 2010
      12,497
      Don't know, because i checked the official website his name wasn't there.

      I can't believe it that Misbah would had not selected him as he did good last year
       
    7. Ahson8
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      Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

      Jun 9, 2012
      18,567
      His name was there on most sites, that have all the PSL squads. Have added to OP.

      You think he could bat at 6 in ODIs ?
       
    8. Major
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      Major Cornered Tiger

      Apr 28, 2010
      12,497
      he needs to show a performance at domestic. Problem is his domestic performance isn't good. But he is talented, he almost got selected due to Misbah in international t20

      His name isn't there on Islamabads own official site. Maybe he wasn't retained
       
    9. Ahson8
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      Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

      Jun 9, 2012
      18,567
      He is there



      We desperately need a hitter at 6. Need to identify someone for that spot.
       
    10. Major
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      Major Cornered Tiger

      Apr 28, 2010
      12,497
      oh thats great news then. Very important player, if i had known i would had mentioned him to player to watch out for with Imran Khalid
       
    11. Major
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      Major Cornered Tiger

      Apr 28, 2010
      12,497
      Russel has been retained for now
       
    12. Boi
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      Boi Emerging Player

      Apr 2, 2010
      719
      Hope they get smashed. Worst team for any upcoming Pakistani player. Hardly gave a chance to Kamran Ghulam last year and now they end up dropping him completely. Misbah needs to back the likes of Talat, Shadab and Ammad otherwise it will just be frustrating watching the same old players.
       
    13. Major
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      Major Cornered Tiger

      Apr 28, 2010
      12,497
      Kamran GHulam was the worst batsmen ever. The guy had no clue what he was doing. Though i have to say he was an amazing fielder. But as a batsmen he was just a joke.

      Talat is still new, Ammad will only play if Rumman Raees bowls bad. Last year he did a good job.
       
    14. Ahson8
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      Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

      Jun 9, 2012
      18,567
      ^ One of Ammad / Talat has to be in the XI as an 'emerging' player.
       

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