Quetta gladiators, being the underdogs of the first season of PSL will appear in this season no different. I have heard people talking about a big chance of them winning the cup but still called as the “underdogs”. It is an exciting young team with a blend of experience too. Led by Pakistan’s Sarfaraz Ahmad, Quetta Gladiators will be a mighty threat for the other teams.
Open with a tinge of aggressiveness and calmness:
The opening pair consists of Ahmad Shahzad and Asad Shafiq. Luke Wright will join the team later. Both the openers have different in natures; while Ahmad Shahzad likes to take on the bowlers with his mighty heaves over the midwicket and slashing cover drives,
Asad Shafiq likes to build up his innings with swift running between the wickets and odd boundaries. Once he gets set, he can play cheeky shots for crucial boundaries, too. I personally love this pair because it can adapt to any situation. Things will fuel up once Wright comes to the squad to open the innings.
Rock-solid middle order:
Quetta, in my view, has the strongest middle order among all teams. What’s perfect about it is the experience, the firepower and the tranquility it offers in the lights of Kevin Peterson, Sarfaraz Ahmad, Rilee Rossouw, Umar Amin and Mahmudullah Riyad. KP can change the complexion of the game anytime; such is his talent and skill.
Playing shots all over the ground and exploring new angles is in his nature. Rossouw and Sarfaraz have the capability to bat according to the condition and take their side to the winning stand. They have the power to hit sixes and the delicacy to score at run-a-ball. Mahmudullah Riyad has done wonders for Bangladesh. He is a cool customer who has evolved as the one who can adjust in any format of the game. His batting skills are not hidden from anyone and he will, in fact be a real danger for the oppositions.
The bowling line-up:
The bowling department seems balanced to me. It will surely be headed by Umar Gull and the ferocious Tymal Mills who has depicted his sheer pace and variation in the English domestic set-up. Umar gull is a T-20 specialist but he needs to find his rhythm.
Once he is on song, it makes arduous for the batsmen to understand him. We all remember the toe-crusher he was in the first two T-20 world cups. They will be companioned by Anwar Ali and Tisara Perera who are experienced players with a knack of picking up wickets at night-biting situations but can give plenty too. Bismillah Khan is available too. The spin department is stabilized as well. They have Zulfiqar Babar to bamboozle the batsmen with his loopy deliveries and Muhammad Nawaz to castle the batsmen with his flat trajectory and straighter ones. They will be a killing combination is they bowl well.
Players to look out for:
Nathan McCullum, Thisara Perera and Luke Wright will be the stand-out players in the play-offs for me. McCullum is a very useful player to have in the T-20s. He can bat, bowl and is a tremendous fielder. Perera have the guts to hit the bowl out of the ground at any time and can bow crucial overs as well. Luke Wright is a master-class with the bat. We saw him in the previous season as well.
He can time the ball sweetly down the ground and can utilize the midwicket region with the similar ease.
We will have to wait and see if the Gladiators can continue their form of the previous season to go on and win the cup this time.