T10 League Preview: A closer look at the teams ahead of the Abu Dhabi showdown

Adithya Sundar 00:42 13/11/2019
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The third edition of Abu Dhabi T10 League is scheduled to start from Thursday, at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, in Abu Dhabi.

This edition has a plethora of international stars contesting in eight different teams for the coveted trophy, including the likes of Shane Watson, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga, two-time T20 World Cup-winning skipper Darren Sammy, Mohammad Nabi and the 2019 World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan

The Northern Warriors are the defending champions going into the 2019 edition which will feature 29 games. Let us take a closer look at how the teams line up this year.

Team Abu Dhabi

Icon Player: Moeen Ali

Key Players: Paras Khadka, Harry Gurney, Luke Wright, Corey Anderson, Ben Laughlin, Niroshan Dickwella, Hayden Walsh Jr.

World Cup winning coach Trevor Bayliss and skipper Moeen Ali lead this talented squad. It is a well-balanced squad with big-hitters in Luke Wright, Ali and Corey Anderson. CPL star Hayden Walsh Jr. is the main slow bowler in the team with Australian Ben Laughlin leading the pace attack.

Maratha Arabians

Icon Player: Chris Lynn

Key Players: Dwayne Bravo (Captain), Lasith Malinga, Hazratullah Zazai, Najibullah Zadran, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Irfan

Another popular member of the England backroom staff, Andy Flower is the coach for the Arabians. Yuvraj Singh, following his stint in the Canada T20 League will be part of the Arabians outfit. He is expected to be a major crowd-puller for the tournament. The big-hitting Afghan duo of Hazratullah Zazai and Najibullah Zadran will miss the start of the tournament due to international duties. Mohammad Irfan and Lasith Malinga will form an interesting new ball pair.

Bangla Tigers

Icon Player: Thisara Perera

Key Players: Imrul Kayes, Farhad Reza, Ariful Haque, Yasir Ali, Robert Frylinck, Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Ingram, Andre Fletcher, Rilee Rossouw, Qais Ahmad, James Faulkner, Chirag Suri

The Kolpak pair of Rilee Rossouw and Colin Ingram provide top-order strength to the Tigers. They have superb fast-bowling all-rounders in New Zealand’s Colin de Grandhomme. Australia’s James Faulkner and of course their icon Thisara Perera. UAE’s first ever IPL cricketer and talented batsman Chirag Suri will be one to watch out for.

Deccan Gladiators

Icon Player: Shane Watson (c)

Key Players: Anton Devcich, Ben Cutting, Kieron Pollard, Tymal Mills, Mohammad Shahzad, Fawad Ahmed

The Gladiators coached by legendary leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed boast of seasoned campaigners in their ranks with Shane Watson, Kieron Pollard and Anton Devcich. Though T20 specialist Tymal Mills is a wicket-taker, they lack quality spin options in their squad. Chanderpaul Hemraj, the son of the Windies legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul is  also part of the squad.

Qalandars

Icon Player: Shahid Afridi

Key Players: Luke Ronchi, Chris Jordan, Tom Banton, Phil Salt, Imran Nazir

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision to deny permission to the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf has severely weakened the Qalandars. Exciting English T20 specialists in Tom Banton and Chris Jordan should provide some spirited performances during the course of the tournament. Keeper-batsman Salt who was a star player for the Northern Warriors last year, joins the Qalandars for this season.

Delhi Bulls

Icon Player: Eoin Morgan (c)

Key Players: Mohammad Nabi, Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Kusal Perera, Adil Rashid, Mohammad Hasnain, Sherfane Rutherford

Coached by the IPL-winning Stephen Fleming, the Bulls have a World Cup winning captain as their iconic player. They would be without the services of the experienced players Mohammad Nabi and Shoaib Malik but have one of the best leg-spinners in Adil Rashid in their ranks. One of India’s finest pacers, Zaheer Khan will be in action for the Bulls this season.

Northern Warriors

Icon Player: Darren Sammy

Key Players: Andre Russell, Chris Green, Sam Billings, Pravin Tambe, Lendl Simmons,  Sikandar Raza

Quite possibly the strongest lineup in the tournament with the Caribbean stars of franchise cricket in Andre Russell and Lendl Simmons being part of the squad. Zimbabwe’s star Sikandar Raza can finally play cricket with freedom after a year of administrative problems plagued the national team. The coach and captain of the Warriors couldn’t be more alike as players with Darren Sammy leading the team and Robin Singh in charge of training.

Karnataka Tuskers

Icon Player: Hashim Amla(c)

Key Players: Sandeep Lamichhane, Evin Lewis, Kesrick Williams, Johnson Charles, Ross Whiteley, Fabian Allen, Ahmed Raza

Hashim Amla returns to serious cricket after his international retirement. He is expected to open alongside big-hitting Johnson Charles. Nepal’s ace leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane is their main wicket-taker. The much sought after Tom Moody is the head coach of the Tuskers.

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