Three straight-losses for the Karachi Kings who are sitting on the bottom of the table on zero points might be a reflection of how their International signings have performed so far in the tournament. A captains knock from Kumar Sangakkara (65) last night wasn’t enough to dig his team out of what is a deep and dark hole they find themselves in at the moment. Sohail Khan and Mohammad Amir have done a great job with the ball in hand for the Kings, it’s the batsmen who have been underwhelming and failed to perform at the same standard of consistency. For Islamabad, they’ve come into this years PSL with high expectations and have been on par with their very best. Almost every single batsmen has played their part in Islamabad’s three games so far which makes them a durable outfit. Just recently, It was Englishman Sam Billings who lit up the stage with a scintillating 78 runs off just 50 deliveries, ending his innings unbeaten after guiding his team home to victory late in the innings. Mohammad Sami has been outstanding once again, closely accompanied by Shane Watson who picked up a four-wicket haul in the first match and 2/22 as well as 36 runs in Islamabad’s last match against the Gladiators.
It’s hard to see Islamabad making changes given that they’ve hall produced valuable performances when required, although rotating players in this modern era is a very common occurrence. Zohaib Khan was expensive in his only over against Quetta which went for 13 runs, so Saeed Ajmal could replace him in the eleven if Islamabad decide to strengthen the line-up. Samuel Badree is also in the frame who is yet to play a game in the tournament, a T20 specialist for the West Indies and franchises all around the world. Asif Ali has failed with the bat twice, scoring just two runs from two games which could see one of Imran Khalid or Amad Butt replace the struggling-batsman in the XI.
Islamabad United (possible) – 1. Dwayne Smith 2. Sam Billings 3. Shane Watson 4. Brad Haddin (wk) 5. Misbah-ul-Haq (c) 6. Imran Khalid/Amad Butt 7. Shadab Khan 8. Mohammad Sami 9. Zohaib Khan/Saeed Ajmal 10. Rumman Raees 11. Mohammad Irfan.
They’ve got all the utensils to win this competition, but things haven’t exactly panned out the way team management would have been hoping for. Without Kumar Sangakkara’s 65 last night, it would have been another shambolic performance from a team that can’t see to put a win on the board. One of, if not the world’s most prolific T20 batsmen Chris Gayle has scores of 2, 10 & 5 in his three matches in the tournament. It doesn’t matter how good you are or what you’re capable of, that’s simply not good enough and could possibly lead to Gayle being dropped after that dismal run. Teammate-Kieron Pollard has been a waste of space as an overseas specialist who went for over twenty runs in under two overs and just recently got rolled for eight runs. It’s very likely that Khurram Manzoor will replace Chris Gayle in the opening position, while Mahela Jayawardene should be a straight swap for Kieron Pollard to strengthen the batting.
Karachi Kings (possible) – 1. Babar Azam 2. Chris Gayle/Khurram Manzoor 3. Kumar Sangakkara (c & wk) 4. Shoaib Malik 5. Kieron Pollard/Mahela Jayawardene 6. Ravi Bopara 7. Imad Wasim 8. Sohail Khan 9. Mohammad Amir 10. Usama Mir 11. Usman Khan/Rahat Ali.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.