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  1. #1
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    Pakistan Super League 2019 Preview: Islamabad United

    By @Titan24




    Islamabad United are the defending champions and winners of 2 out of 3 PSL editions overall. Since the very first edition, things to look out for in the Islamabad United franchise have been their professional management and the atmosphere they provide for their players to flourish. The number of players that have graduated from Islamabad United to represent Pakistan proves that they are definitely doing something right. Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Sami, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Sahibzada Farhan are amongst the players who Islamabad provided a platform for, and they went on to play for Pakistan.

    One of the things to keep in mind is that there's a number of United players who are looking for redemption this year, to revive or ignite their careers. Sahibzada Farhan wasn’t able to perform up to expectations in his debut edition of PSL last year and wasn’t able to create the anticipated impact at the international level either during the limited opportunities he got; he will surely be working hard to show his talent and improvement to the fans and selectors. Asif Ali gained popularity after hitting three sixes to CT 2017 Man of the Tournament Hasan Ali against Peshawar Zalmi - his international performances have frustrated both fans and selectors but his ability to hit the ball is undeniable. Whether he can improve his consistency and hitting zones and finish matches in PSL can be a deciding factor for his international career. Hussain Talat will be another one who will be looking to show he can win matches for his team rather than just being another player who is decent but not looked at as dangerous.


    Strengths

    All-rounders - They have a pretty solid outfit this time around with their main strength being all-rounders who provide both batting and bowling depth to the team. Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Samit Patel, Wayne Parnell and Hussain Talat are some of the all-rounders who have represented their national teams while Amad Butt is one to look out for though he is yet to play international cricket.

    Variety in bowling attack - They have all kinds of variety in their bowling attack with the pace of Mohammad Sami and Muhammad Musa, movement with new ball and variations of Rumman Raees and Waqas Maqsood, decent height with good pace and movement from Amad Butt and who can forget the highest wicket taker of the last edition of PSL, Faheem Ashraf. Hussain Talat provides some medium-pace variety and can contribute a few useful overs occasionally while Cameron Delport provides slower version of medium pace which can be handy on slower tracks. They have all the bases covered in the spin department as well, with the leg spin/googly of their vice-captain Shadab Khan, slow left-arm spin from promising youngster Zafar Gohar and veteran Samit Patel, along with left-arm chinaman via Afghan spin sensation Zahir Khan.

    Emerging players - Mohammad Musa and Rizwan Hussain are two of the most promising young players in the league and considering one emerging player is a must in the playing 11, a strong emerging player can play a big role in the outlook of the team.


    Weaknesses

    One of the weakness for Islamabad United will be their leadership with the absence of their successful and experienced captain Misbah-ul-Haq who won them two editions as captain and was also the captain of the World #1 ranked Test team in 2016. Misbah will be playing for Peshawar Zalmi in this edition of PSL. Newly appointed captain Mohammad Sami is a very experienced campaigner himself and one of the main bowlers for United and has some experience of captaincy at domestic level; what he can deliver as captain in PSL is yet to be seen.


    Players to watch out for

    Amongst the batsmen, Luke Ronchi was the highest run-scorer in the last edition of PSL with a SR of over 180. Ian Bell will provide the much needed experience and stability in batting and will be playing the role of an anchor. Rizwan Hussain and Phil Salt are two of the young batsmen who have showed a lot of promise in their domestic setups and it won't be surprising to see these youngsters setting this edition of PSL on fire if given the opportunity.

    With the ball, Shadab Khan will be a threat, with his variations and ability to outplay the batsman. Faheem Ashraf was the highest wicket-taker last year and can again create an impact with consistent lines and the extra bounce he generates through his action. Rumman Raees, though he will be making a comeback after a long injury lay off, has skills with the ball, both new and old which can’t be ignored. Muhammad Musa impressed everyone with his pace and nip in the Under-19 World Cup and is definitely an emerging player to watch out for.


    Verdict

    On paper, the team has a good chance of reaching the finals yet again but the leadership of Mohammad Sami can be the deciding factor. Along with Misbah, the absence of Andre Russell in the squad is a big miss - he is one player but he's won the most T20 leagues around the world which shows his value. It will be a challenge for Islamabad United to retain their title.


    Squad

    Luke Ronchi, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Asif Ali, Mohammad Sami , Ian Bell, Rumman Raees, Samit Patel, Phil Salt, Hussain Talat, Waqas Maqsood, Sahibzada Farhan, Zafar Gohar, Cameron Delport, Mohammad Musa, Nasir Nawaz, Wayne Parnell, Zahir Khan, Amad Butt, Rizwan Hussain
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 9th February 2019 at 12:37.


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  2. #2
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    I really hope Zafar Gohar and Muhammad Musa can play often and perform well for IU.

  3. #3
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    Islamabad united are missing an overseas hard hitting all rounder, in previous editions they have had Shane Watson and Andre Russell. Ben Cutting would be ideal if they have an injury or a player pulling out, hit an incredible 80 from 30 balls today and is a very good seam bowler.

  4. #4
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    Has seen a lot of prise for Muhammad Musa here, looking forward to see him, if he get’s some games.


    Ki Mohammad (saw) sey wafa tu ney tou hum terey hain
    Yeh jahaan cheez kya hai Loh-o-Qalam tere hain

  5. #5
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    If Musa can be the next Shadab from IU then that would be a great service to Pakistan.


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  6. #6
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    This squad is good enough to win the tournament. Hoping we give younger players a chance like we have done for 3 seasons. But very disappointed with Sami being made captain.

  7. #7
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    Good team.

    However, their main strength Misbah is no longer there, don't think they'll win this time.

    Zalmi strong chance.


  8. #8
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    Ronchi almost single handedly changed every crucial match last year inside first 10 overs, though age is not on his side but IU management will be hoping he can repeat such performances this year as well.

  9. #9
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    So either Rizwan Hussain will play or Mohammad Musa as the emerging player. I guess Rizwan will miss out on quite a few games then.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  10. #10
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    Rizwan Hussain should play more matches.

  11. #11
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    Luke Ronchi was inetgral to their success last season. I don't think he will fare as good this time so others need to step up. Bell needs to fill the void left by Dumminy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Pakistan View Post
    So either Rizwan Hussain will play or Mohammad Musa as the emerging player. I guess Rizwan will miss out on quite a few games then.
    You never know as they have quite a lot of pacers in Sami, Faheem, Amad, Rumman, Waqas Maqsood.

    Also IU has been only team to play two emerging players in more than 1 occasion.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAJ View Post
    Has seen a lot of prise for Muhammad Musa here, looking forward to see him, if he get’s some games.
    keep your expectations low.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAJ View Post
    Has seen a lot of prise for Muhammad Musa here, looking forward to see him, if he get’s some games.
    He was pretty good in the U19 WC. Not sure if he increased his pace recently

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/video/602774

  15. #15
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    What is the point of removing Misbah and picking Bell?? Misbah was a good captain atleast

  16. #16
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    Islamabad should win this again. Their management is far ahead from rest of the teams.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhony View Post
    What is the point of removing Misbah and picking Bell?? Misbah was a good captain atleast
    Blunder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenstorm View Post
    Islamabad should win this again. Their management is far ahead from rest of the teams.
    Not too smart this time from them though. 100% can tell you that they won't win this time as they don't have Misbah's brains with them.

  18. #18
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    Do they have 3 emerging players?

    Rizwan, Nasir and Musa?

    or one of them is not in emerging category?


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Do they have 3 emerging players?

    Rizwan, Nasir and Musa?

    or one of them is not in emerging category?
    All three are in emerging.

    Two emerging players have to be picked by each team, more can be picked in the emerging category during supplementary picks. Lahore Qalandars did the same thing, I think. They picked Mohammad Imran and Umair Masood in the draft in emerging category, then picked Harris Rauf in the supplementary draft, in the emerging category.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    All three are in emerging.

    Two emerging players have to be picked by each team, more can be picked in the emerging category during supplementary picks. Lahore Qalandars did the same thing, I think. They picked Mohammad Imran and Umair Masood in the draft in emerging category, then picked Harris Rauf in the supplementary draft, in the emerging category.
    You the man.
    Thanks.

    Other teams should have picked 3 emerging players too. :/


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    You the man.
    Thanks.

    Other teams should have picked 3 emerging players too. :/
    Just double checked and I think most teams have done that.

    IU have Mohammad Musa, Nasir Nawaz and Rizwan Hussain.
    KK have Ali Imran, Abrar Ahmed and Umer Khan. Not sure if Jaahid Ali is in emerging or silver category.
    PZ have Sameen Gul, Nabi Gul and Ibtisam Sheikh. Samiullah jr is probably in the emerging category as well.
    LQ have Mohammad Imran, Umair Masood and Harris Rauf.
    MS have Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Junaid and Ali Shafiq.
    QG have Ghulam Mudassar, Mohammad Hasnain and Azam Khan.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Just double checked and I think most teams have done that.

    IU have Mohammad Musa, Nasir Nawaz and Rizwan Hussain.
    KK have Ali Imran, Abrar Ahmed and Umer Khan. Not sure if Jaahid Ali is in emerging or silver category.
    PZ have Sameen Gul, Nabi Gul and Ibtisam Sheikh. Samiullah jr is probably in the emerging category as well.
    LQ have Mohammad Imran, Umair Masood and Harris Rauf.
    MS have Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Junaid and Ali Shafiq.
    QG have Ghulam Mudassar, Mohammad Hasnain and Azam Khan.
    Thats great then. Thanks.

    Lets see kitnu ko chance milta hai.

    I believe 2 from emerging category should be a must in playing X1.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Just double checked and I think most teams have done that.

    IU have Mohammad Musa, Nasir Nawaz and Rizwan Hussain.
    KK have Ali Imran, Abrar Ahmed and Umer Khan. Not sure if Jaahid Ali is in emerging or silver category.
    PZ have Sameen Gul, Nabi Gul and Ibtisam Sheikh. Samiullah jr is probably in the emerging category as well.
    LQ have Mohammad Imran, Umair Masood and Harris Rauf.
    MS have Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Junaid and Ali Shafiq.
    QG have Ghulam Mudassar, Mohammad Hasnain and Azam Khan.
    Yar there was a thread with all squads in it, can you send me the link of that?


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Yar there was a thread with all squads in it, can you send me the link of that?
    http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/showthread.php?281304

    Updated squads are here.


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Fit, thanks.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  26. #26
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    2-3 emerging players should be must in the playing 11. Otherwise, there is no point.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    Blunder.



    Not too smart this time from them though. 100% can tell you that they won't win this time as they don't have Misbah's brains with them.
    I am impressed by their decision to get rid of 44 years old uncle Misbah. Dean Jones and a proper professional setup is the reason behind Islamabad's success. For example, they selected an unknown named Rizwan Hussain who appears to be a real talent.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Just double checked and I think most teams have done that.

    IU have Mohammad Musa, Nasir Nawaz and Rizwan Hussain.
    KK have Ali Imran, Abrar Ahmed and Umer Khan. Not sure if Jaahid Ali is in emerging or silver category.
    PZ have Sameen Gul, Nabi Gul and Ibtisam Sheikh. Samiullah jr is probably in the emerging category as well.
    LQ have Mohammad Imran, Umair Masood and Harris Rauf.
    MS have Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Junaid and Ali Shafiq.
    QG have Ghulam Mudassar, Mohammad Hasnain and Azam Khan.
    Jaahid is in the Silver category

  29. #29
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    Islamabad United have the most well-balanced squad. They are the favorites to retain the title.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arham_PakFan View Post
    Jaahid is in the Silver category
    Thanks.


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  31. #31
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    For me yet again the favourites and very exciting team to watch thanks to those Pak talents they always pick and back.

    I'll for sure watch all Isloo related games.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  32. #32
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    New developments for IU this year

    Positive: Misbah is not part of it this year.

    Negative: they could not find any captain other than Sami.

  33. #33
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    Good write up, but surprised OP did not mention Nasir Nawaz as one to watch one for.

    On paper, IU and QG have most balanced squads.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Good write up, but surprised OP did not mention Nasir Nawaz as one to watch one for.

    On paper, IU and QG have most balanced squads.
    I believe Rizwan Hussain is the one to watch ..he can definately hit a ball

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omer2002 View Post
    I believe Rizwan Hussain is the one to watch ..he can definately hit a ball
    He's talented but there are issues with his game (posted previously) that will need addressing.

  36. #36
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    Time for Mohammed Sami to shine as a captain and bid good-bye to cricket on a winning note..



  37. #37
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    Islamabad to win again this year. They have the most balanced squad, full of match winners. Only slight doubt is Sami as captain but he might prove the doubters wrong> Talat, Sahibzada and Asif Ali have their sights set on that one place in the Pak ODI world squad that I believe will be given to one of these batsmen. Healthy competition amongst these three. Fahim ashraf and Shadab Khan both are key players and important to pakistans plans for the world cup. It all looks good for the triple crown.

  38. #38
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    Farhan/ Rizwan
    Ronchi
    Bell
    Talat
    Asif
    Delport/ Salt
    Parnell/ Patel
    Shadab
    Faheem
    Sami
    Raees

  39. #39
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    Squad looking quite good as is usually the case. If their players are in form and they can make a good combination out of that squad, they can win their third title.


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  40. #40
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    The number of players that have graduated from Islamabad United to represent Pakistan proves that they are definitely doing something right. Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Sami, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Sahibzada Farhan are amongst the players who Islamabad provided a platform for, and they went on to play for Pakistan.
    Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, and Mohammad Sami? They cant be included with the other names.


  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Good write up, but surprised OP did not mention Nasir Nawaz as one to watch one for.

    On paper, IU and QG have most balanced squads.
    Thanks.

    To be honest there were already decent number of players to watch out for so I had to filter them. I was pretty close to include him but very small sample size for him restricted me to make any judgment.

    As of now we have seen just one impactful innings of his which was of 42 runs and he hasnt played much as well. While for Rizwan Hussain, he has first class centuries and Musa was impressive throughout the U19 world cup and whatever domestic cricket he has played.

    Nasir Nawaz surely has showed some talent in that innings but He hasnt played or performed a lot to be considered a player to look out for however he can definitely surprise.

    Also I think Rizwan and Musa will be considered before him as emerging players so he might not get as many chances.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynBrawler View Post
    Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, and Mohammad Sami? They cant be included with the other names.
    They were recalled to the Pakistani side after playing and performing for Islamabad United so it was a platform for them as well.

  43. #43
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    They are missing Misbah this year


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