Pakistan Super League PSL Team-by-team Guide: Can Islamabad find extra gear?

Babar Azam
Babar is joint-second for most top-bat wins in individual PSL innings

Ed Hawkins has the possible XIs, power rankings and analysis for each PSL team plus the best bat and bowler bets...

  • Lahore favourites again

  • Islamabad well-balanced

  • Karachi player drain

  • Lahore Qalandars 3/14.00

    2023 finish: Winners
    Batting run rate rank: 4
    Bowling economy rank:
    Highest top-bat win rate (last 2 years): Fakhar 35%
    Highest top bowler win rate (last 2 years): Afridi 20%

    Squad: Shaheen Shah Afridi , Haris Rauf, David Wiese, Sikandar Raza, Abdullah Shafique, Zaman Khan, Mirza Baig, Fakhar Zaman, Sahibzada Farhan, Mohammad Imran, Ahsan Bhatti, Dan Lawrence, Jahandad Khan, Syed Faridoun, Shai Hope, Kamran Ghulam, Rassie van der Dussen, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Tayyab Abbas

    Possible XI: Fakhar, Shafique, Hope, van der Dussen/Rajapaksa, Baig, Raza, Wiese, Ghulam, Rauf, Afridi, Zaman

    Analysis: Lahore have won the last two editions. But they go for a hat-trick of wins without Rashid Khan, who had an economy rate of under seven last term. That's a big hole to fill and perhaps recognising that they haven't exactly moved heaven and earth to do so. We're not convinced Shai Hope is a T20 hitter of repute. Rassie van der Dussen returns to SA on March 6. It's no surprise they're favourites but it's pushing it to call them a wrong price

    Multan Sultans 7/24.50

    2023 finish: Runners-up
    Batting run rate rank: 2
    Bowling economy rank:
    Highest top bat win rate (last 2 years): Rizwan 38%
    Highest top bowler win rate (last 2 years): Abbas 25%

    Squad: Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Usama Mir, Abbas Afridi, Ihsanullah, Faisal Akram, Dawid Malan, Reeza Hendricks, Tayyab Tahir, Shahnawaz Dahani, Mohammad Ali, Usman Khan, Yasir Khan, Chris Jordan, Aftab Ibrahim, David Willey, Johnson Charles, Muhammad Shahzad

    Possible XI: Usman Khan, Rizwan, Hendricks, Malan, Iftikhar, Khushdil, Willey, Jordan, Usama, Abbas, Dahani

    Analysis: Sultans' preparation has been hurt by losing pacers Reece Topley and Ihsanullah to injury. Ihsanullah was second on the top tournament wickets list last term to team-mate Abbas Afridi. David Willey and Chris Jordan may both have to play but there's little depth. It could mean Sultans return to using Khushdil more as a bowler and if so he's value on top wicket-taker markets. Again, it's another team which isn't value at the odds.

    Islamabad United 7/24.50

    2023 finish: third
    Batting run rate rank: 2
    Bowling economy rank:
    Highest top bat win rate (last 2 years): Munro 28%
    Highest top bowler win rate (last 2 years): Shadab 30%

    Squad: Shadab Khan, Naseem Shah, Imad Wasim, Azam Khan (both Diamond), Faheem Ashraf, Alex Hales, Colin Munro, Rumman Raees, Tymal Mills, Matthew Forde, Salman Agha, Qasim Akram, Shahab Khan, Hunain Shah, Ubaid Shah, Shamyl Hussain, Jordan Cox, Haider Ali, Obed McCoy

    Possible XI: Hales, Munro, Shadab, Salman, Azam, Haider, Imad, Faheem, Naseem, Mills/McCoy, Raees

    Analysis: This could be the best balanced team in the tournament because twin spin all-rounders in Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim give the option of batting deep. They've only once not made it out of the group. Lahore and Multan losing players could be their opportunity. The ifs, buts and maybes mainly centre around the form and temperament of Alex Hales. By the way, Imad Wasim has a 26% win rate on top bat in the last two years. We're hugely disappointed with the 7/24.50 but 5.204/1 on the exchange is worth a small interest.

    Back Islamabad to win PSL @ 5.204/1

    Bet here

    Peshawar Zalmi 9/25.50

    2023 finish: Fourth
    Batting run rate rank: 4
    Bowling economy rank:
    Highest top bat win rate (last 2 years): Babar 38%
    Highest top bowler win rate (last 2 years): Irshad 29%

    Squad: Babar Azam, Rovman Powell, Saim Ayub, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Mohammad Haris, Aamir Jamal, Khurram Shahzad (Arshad Iqbal partial replacement), Haseebullah Khan, Asif Ali, Naveen-ul-Haq, Umair Afridi, Dan Mousley, Gus Atkinson, Mohammad Zeeshan, Lungi Ngidi, Waqar Salamkheil, Mehran Mumtaz, Noor Ahmad, Salman Irshad, Arif Yaqoob, Luke Wood

    Possible XI: Babar, Ayub, Haris, Kohler-Cadmore, Powell, Asif Ali, Mousley, Aamir Jamal, Naveen/L Wood, Irshad, Waqar

    Analysis: Zalmi have never failed to make the play-offs. They look solid enough and there's no red alerts that this is the year they may miss out. But it's not a squad which makes you desperate to get with them. Faster scoring rates would be a good idea but there's no guarantee of that with Babar up front. There is pressure on the likes of Rovman Powell and Asif Ali to hit big.

    Karachi Kings 5/16.00

    2023 finish: 5th
    Batting run rate rank: 4
    Bowling economy rank:
    Highest top bat win rate (last 2 years): Shoaib Malik 25%
    Highest top bowler win rate (last 2 years): n/a

    Squad: James Vince, Hasan Ali, Shan Masood, Shoaib Malik, Tabraiz Shamsi, Mir Hamza, Muhammad Akhlaq, Irfan Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Kieron Pollard, Daniel Sams, Tim Seifert, Mohammad Amir Khan, Anwar Ali, Arafat Minhas, Sirajuddin, Saad Baig,, Zahid Mehmood, Leus du Plooy, Mohammad Rohid

    Possible XI: Vince, Akhlaq, Du Plooy, Masood, Irfan, Shoaib Malik, Pollard, Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shamsi, Anwar

    Analysis: Karachi have suffered a player drain in the last two seasons. Out have gone Babar, Sharjeel Khan and Imad Wasim. It has continued without a ball bowled. Tabraiz Shamsi (four wins in four top bowler appearances last term) will leave on March 6 and Jamie Overton won't play at all. Keep an eye out for prices to finish bottom on Betfair Exchange as they warrant an interest.

    Quetta Gladiators 11/26.50

    2023 finish: Sixth
    Batting run rate rank: 6
    Bowling economy rank:
    Highest top bat win rate (last 2 years): Roy 46%
    Highest top bowler win rate (last 2 years): Nawaz 20%

    Squad: Rilee Rossouw , Mohammad Wasim, Jason Roy, Wanindu Hasaranga, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Amir, Will Smeed, Saud Shakeel, Sajjad Ali, Usman Qadir, Adil Naz, Khawaja Nafay, Akeal Hosein, Sohail Khan, Omair Yousuf, Sherfane Rutherford, Sufiyan Muqeem

    Possible XI: Roy, Smeed, Yousuf, Rossouw, Shakeel, Hasaranga, Sarfaraz, Wasim, Amir, Qadir, Hasnain

    Analysis: Rilee Rossouw has taken over the captaincy from Sarfaraz and that's a good start to push past Karachi. They have great pace and wicket-taking options in Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Hasnain, both of whom are value for top bowler. Wanindu Hasaranga is a quality spinner. But they do lack reliable firepower with the bat at top, middle and bottom.

    Ed's predicted finish

    Islamabad United
    Lahore Qalandars
    Multan Sultans
    Peshawar Zalmi
    Quetta Gladiators
    Karachi Kings

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