PSL team guide: Islamabad United

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How do you think the franchises will fare in 2017? Which players are looking forward to seeing play? Do you believe the PSL final will be played in Lahore?

Join the debate by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR?

It was a great year for Islamabad United, who claimed the inaugural PSL title and unearthed a number of talents that have gone on to play for the Pakistan national side.


Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam and Khalid Latif were the real success stories, while Mohammad Sami’s resurgence was also a high point.








Their title win was far from routine, finishing third in the league stage after losing four of their eight group matches and having to negotiate two qualifying matches to reach the final.


Once there, they despatched the much fancied Quetta Gladiators in the showpiece to ensure Misbah-ul-Haq lifted the trophy.


WHAT IS NEW THIS YEAR?


To be honest, not a lot.


Islamabad went into the draft for this year’s tournament with the mindset of ‘what got us here last year, will get us there again’.


The big overseas change is Steven Finn coming in for Andre Russell, the West Indian’s drug ban seeing Islamabad as the first franchise to suffer with his absence.


England’s Ben Duckett is the other new foreign face while Azam has moved to Karachi in one of the draft’s biggest switches among the Pakistan nationals.


Elsewhere, all-rounders Shadab Khan and Zohaib Khan are new to the team.



HOW WILL THEY DO?


Time will tell whether less is more for Islamabad but they still boast a considerably talented team which has great balance.


Expect them to reach the final once more and eventually retain the title.


SQUAD LIST


Captain: Misbah-ul-Haq


Batsmen: Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali


All-rounders: Shadab Khan, Zohaib Khan


Bowlers: Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Sami, Rumman Raees, Amad Butt, Imran Khalid


Overseas: Shane Watson (Australia), Dwayne Smith (West Indies), Sam Billings (wk – England), Ben Duckett (wk – England), Samuel Badree (West Indies), Steven Finn (England)




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PSL team guide: Karachi Kings

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How do you think the franchises will fare in 2017? Which players are looking forward to seeing play? Do you believe the PSL final will be played in Lahore?

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WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR?

Karachi were a massive disappointment last year as their team, riddled with big name players, failed to deliver.


They scraped through to the qualifying finals with just two wins to their name, nudging ahead of Lahore Qalandars on net run-rate alone.








The Kings didn’t make life easy for themselves either, captain Shoaib Malik stepping down in the immediate aftermath of their final match of the group stage.


Ravi Bopara shouldered the responsibility but there was no inspired change as Karachi were easily dismissed by Islamabad in the second qualifying final.


WHAT IS NEW THIS YEAR?


The captaincy issue has been addressed, Kumar Sangakkara signed from Quetta to lead this year’s charge.


You would expect stability to follow Sangakkara wherever he goes but this is a dressing room packed with big names and personalities.


Chris Gayle is the stellar signing, joining from Lahore, while compatriot Kieron Pollard has also signed up.


Mahela Jayawardene will reunite with Sangakkara, with Ryan McLaren the other new foreigner in the camp, while Bopara is the only overseas player to retain his place.


Babar Azam is a huge domestic recruit as is Rahat Ali, who will provide much needed assistance to Mohammad Amir and Sohail Khan.



HOW WILL THEY DO?


This team looks to have far more balance and if they click and egos are kept in check then they can go all the way.


That’s easier said than done but, for us, they’ll lose to Islamabad in the final.


SQUAD LIST


Captain: Kumar Sangakkara (wk/overseas)


Batsmen: Babar Azam, Khurram Manzoor, Shahzaib Hasan


All-rounders: Shoaib Malik, Kashif Bhatti, Imad Wasim, Aamad Alam


Wicket-keeper: Saifullah Bangash


Bowlers: Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Usama Mir, Abrar Ahmed, Abdul Ameer


Overseas: Chris Gayle (West Indies), Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka), Ryan McLaren (South Africa), Kieron Pollard (West Indies), Ravi Bopara (England), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)





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PSL team guide: Peshawar Zalmi

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How do you think the franchises will fare in 2017? Which players are looking forward to seeing play? Do you believe the PSL final will be played in Lahore?

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WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR?

Peshawar were the form team going into the business end of the 2016 tournament, topping the group stage with six wins out of eight and with a better net run-rate than Quetta Gladiators.


But they came crashing down to earth in the qualifying finals, first losing to Quetta and then Islamabad as they missed out on a finals place they will have surely felt was deserved.








It was a disappointing end to an otherwise marked first season and the pain of falling short in such a manner will have left the team smarting.


WHAT IS NEW THIS YEAR?


Quite a lot, with Shahid Afridi stepping aside as captain and Darren Sammy taking on the role of skipper.


Elsewhere, both the batting department and overseas contingent have had a complete overhaul.


Mohammad Hafeez remains at the top of the order but that’s about it, with Iftikhar Ahmed, Sohaib Maqsood, Khushdil Shah and Haris Sohail notable domestic signings to bolster the batting.


Sammy is the only overseas retained, with Andre Fletcher, Marlon Samuels, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Chris Jordan and Tillakaratne Dilshan all new faces.


Wahab Riaz again leads the attack alongside Imran Khan, Hasan Ali and Junaid Khan.



HOW WILL THEY DO?


Someone has to finish bottom and, necks on the line, it’s going to be Peshawar.


This is largely down to the team being an ageing one but anything goes in T20 cricket and we’re more than happy to be proven wrong.


SQUAD LIST


Captain: Darren Sammy (overseas)


Batsmen: Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah


All-rounders: Shahid Afridi, Haris Sohail


Wicket-keeper: Kamran Akmal


Bowlers: Mohammad Asghar, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Hasan Ali, Irfan Khan


Overseas: Andre Fletcher (West Indies), Marlon Samuels (West Indies), Samit Patel (England), Eoin Morgan (England), Chris Jordan (England), Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka), Darren Sammy (West Indies)




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