Friday, February 10, 2023
Given their consistent performances over the last seven editions, Islamabad United is considered one of the strongest teams in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
There is no denying that the two-time champions will once again be among the title contenders under the leadership of star all-rounder Shadab Khan in the upcoming tournament due to kick off on February 13 in Multan.
Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of one of the strongest PSL franchises.
Islamabad United have always focused on forming a squad that highlights its batting depth and this year is no different.
With the likes of Alex Hales, Colin Munro, Paul Stirling, Azam Khan, and Rassie van der Dussen in their squad, Islamabad’s batting line-up has the ability to post massive totals on the board while also chasing down daunting targets with ease.
Meanwhile, Shadab adds balance to the side since he can bat effectively at multiple positions in the batting order while also bamboozling batters with his sharp leg-spin bowling.
The United’s captain’s form will also be crucial to Islamabad’s chances during the tournament. The 24-year-old performed remarkably during PSL 7 after taking 19 wickets and scoring 268 runs at a strike rate of 162.42.
He was also the first player to score 250 runs and take more than 15 wickets in a single PSL season.
Hasan Ali, who is supposed to lead Islamabad’s pace battery, has not been in the best of form in the recent past, which also led to his exclusion from the national side. He only played two T20I matches for Pakistan in 2022.
Moreover, explosive batter Asif Ali’s form may also prove to be a matter of concern for Islamabad, since he only scored 79 runs in eight innings, with an average of less than 10, during the recently-concluded season of the Big Bash League.
The team also lacks bowlers who can bowl effectively at the death, which is one of the most crucial stages of a T20 match.