Pakistan Super League Team-by-team Guide: Kings look vulnerable

In Martin Guptill, Najibullah Zadran, Liton Das, Thisara Perera
Out Colin Ingram, Mohammad Nabi, Dan Christian, Joe Clarke
Run rate For 9.7 (1st)
Run rate Against 9.0 (4th)

Analysis Karachi Kings are the league leaders (on net run rate) and favourites. Yet they have suffered more than any other team due to the postponement because they have lost their top- and middle-order. Joe Clarke, Mohammad Nabi, Colin Ingram and Dan Christian were finishing off teams after fast starts from openers Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan. Yet there is no excuse for replacing those style of batters with Martin Guptill and Liton Das, both openers. It is bizarre recruitment considering they have the best opening duo in the tournament. They are shaping up to be a solid lay on the outright.

Possible XI Babar, Guptill, Sharjeel, Das, Zadran, Imad Wasim, Perera, Amir, Arshad, Ilyas, Waqas

In Fabian Allen, Rovman Powell, Fidel Edwards
Out Mujeeb, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood, Ravi Bopara
For 8.9 (2nd)
Against 8.6 (2nd)

Analysis Zalmi have an identical win record as Karachi Kings and are only positioned second in the table on win rate. But they are virtually a new team with all their overseas player replaced. The biggest losses are 12-wicket leader Saqib Mahmood and middle-order rock Ravi Bopara. There is continuity in their new picks, however. The three West Indian selections cover all bases. We are particularly enamoured with Fabian Allen who is surely overdue a breakthrough season with a foreign franchise. Retaining a strong, tight record in the field should be achievable.

Possible XI Kamran Akmal. Imam, Shoaib Malik, Haider Ali, Rutherford, Powell, Allen, Wahab, Umaid, Edwards, Irfan

In Usman Khawaja, Janne Malan
Out Alex Hales, Lewis Gregory, Phil Salt
For 8.3 (=5th)
Against 8.1 (1st)

Analysis For a side which struggled for quick runs to lose Alex Hales is cruel. They have done their best to replace him with Usman Khawaja and Janne Malan, but are they in the same class as opening thrusters? And how will the pair cope with stodgier conditions in the UAE? Where United are strong is with homegrown all-rounders. Faheem Ashraf and Shabab Khan are as good as it gets. They would certainly be wise to get Faheem, in terrific form, in as quickly as possible. They need a much-improved effort from Iftikhar Ahmed who is being left behind by the duo. He was sluggish with the bat and barely bowled. Their unaffected tight bowling group should ensure progress.

Possible XI Khawaja, Malan, Nazir, Asif Ali, Talat, Faheem, Iftikhar, Shadab, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim, Fawad

In James Faulkner, Joe Burns, Callum Ferguson, Seekkuge Prasanna
Out Rashid Khan, David Wiese, Joe Denly, Tom Abell, Samit Patel
For 8.3 (=5th)
Against 8.7 (3rd)

Analysis Lahore have suffered in terms of player drain. Rashid Khan, arguably the most sought-after commodity in franchise cricket, is unavailable. His replacement, Shakib-al-Hasan, has now been ruled out because of Bangladesh duties. They are reliant, then, on the Aussies. If they lose a couple from their three new recruits - and the established Ben Dunk - they could be in a world of trouble. Most franchises could probably scarpe through with two overseas players in an XI but not Lahore. At least they can pair Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf in the pace department.

Possible XI Zaman, Sohail, Ferguson, Hafeez, Dunk, Salman, Prasanna, Faulkner, Afridi, Rauf, Daniyal

Out Chris Lynn, James Vince, Carlos Brathwaite, Adam Lyth
In Mahmadullah, Gurbaz, Linde, McCoy
For 8.8 (3rd)
Against 9.1 (5th)

Analysis The Sultans have lost two big players in James Vince and Carlos Brathwaite. Vince was their second highest runscorer with 174 runs at 135 while Brathwaite was neat and tidy with the ball. Vicne’s departure puts more pressure on Mohammad Rizwan, the top tournament runscorer. Still, Chris Lynn and Adam Lyth are hardly disastrous losses. Lynn had been awful while Lyth didn’t play a game. South Africa all-rounder George Linde is also a very solid replacement for Brathwaite and we are prepping for taking big prices about him taking individual top runscorer honours.The really interesting capture, though, is Rahmanullah Gurbaz. The Afghan keeper could well open the batting with Rizwan so look out for top-bat value.

Possible XI Rizwan, Gurbaz, Masood, Mahmudullah, Maqsood, Kuhishdil, Linde, Sohail Khan, McCoy, Imran Tahir, Imran Khan,

Out Tom Banton, Dale Steyn
In Russell
For 8.2 6th
Against 9.2 (6th)

Analysis Quetta have only one win in five. They are going to need to win at least three of their last five to stand a chance of the play-offs. But they have been largely unaffected by squad churn in a negative sense. Losing the ineffective Tom Banton and Dale Steyn and bringing in Andre Russell is an upgrade. They may also welcome back Ben Cutting now the tournament goes ahead in the UAE. Had it been Pakistan quarantine rules and travel corridors could have made it tricky. They were also unfortunate with the coin flip in the first half of the tournament. Four times the chasing bias went against them and they lost. They did, however, manage to defend a target against Multan Sultans in Karachi (15 of last 17 won by bat second) which is some achievement.

Possible XI Gayle, Du Plessis, Usman Khan, Saim Ayub, Sarfaraz, Russell, Nawaz, Shinwari, Qais, Hasnain, Anwar Ali

The Cricket…Only Bettor crew preview the PSL

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