After 8 months hiatus Pakistan Super League (PSL) is back and we can say many things have change. Many players have regained their forms and many lost. There’s a very small room for breathing left in the tournament. Stakes are high and pressure is off the charts it’s a do or die situation to be precise. 1 player can turn the whole thing upside down by either his heroics or by his mistake. T20 cricket is tricky game. In this format even 1 alone player can take the game away from the opposition. In Pakistan Super League (PSL) one player single handedly taking the game away from the other team has been the case case quite often. We saw how wicket-keepers of Islamabad United Brad Haddin and Luke Ronchi single handedly took them over the line. Similarly how another wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal took Zalmi to the finals of PSL’s third edition. Following are 1 each player from each team that can take the game away from the opposition.
- Haider Ali:
With 239 runs in 9 innings at a strike rate of 158 Haider Ali turned out to be the breakout star in the fifth edition of PSL. Those who follow under-19 cricket were familiar with Haider’s abilities but Peshawar Zalmi’s last pick in the draft surprised everyone with his style of play. Not every batsman can claim to have technical prowess with a power hitting ability. Thanks to a 8 month break from cricket Haider is a much much groomed and confident player as compared to how he was in the group stages of PSL’s edition. Haider scored crucial runs for his national t20 team and more importantly the National team. With Haider’s style of play if Haider is able to continue his form Haider might prove to be the one who can take Zalmi over the line.
2. Mohammad Hafeez:
Nothing beats experience. A vetran in a golden touch is a cherry on top and the way Mohammad Hafeez played against England in their home turf only means good things for Lahore Qalandars. Hafeez had a very poor group stage in the fifth edition of PSL as he failed to make any impact apart from that brilliant 98 against Islamabad United that side ended up losing but Hafeez came back equally stronger as he destroyed the England bowling line-up. Another positive factor is that Hafeez will be available to bowl too which will give Lahore a certain edge in the bowling department and Hafeez is able to replicate what he did against England no one will be able to stop Lahore Qalandars.
3. Alex Hales:
Ever since his break from International cricket there’s hardly been anyone on the level of Alex Hales in franchise cricket. With performances all the globe in leagues like CPL, BBL, BBL Hales is in the form of his life.
The tall British right hander was able to carry his form into PSL this year as well as he was arguably the best player for Karachi Kings in the 5th edition of PSL scoring 239 runs in just 5 innings at an astonishing average of almost 60 and a strike rate of almost 160. If Hales is able to continue where he left off Karachi Kings might have the brightest future in PSL season 5.
4. Imran Tahir:
Multan’s key to success is the reason that they do not depend on any one particular player different players have stepped up for the Sultans in different games but despite all these variable players there has been one constant and his name is Imran Tahir. Picking 10 wickets in 8 games an economy of less than 9 in a tournament where every spinner struggled Imran was the only relevant spinner in the jungle of pacers.
There is no better foreign bowler in the history of PSL than Multan Sultans. Imran’s impact for Multan has been incomparable. If Imran is able to replicate what he has done in the past for Multan Sultans we might see the table toppers getting their hands on the big shinny trophy too.