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  1. #1
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    Pakistan Super League 2019 Preview: Lahore Qalandars

    By @ARK Rafay




    Lahore Qalandars is one of the most loved teams in the PSL but their performances in past editions of the tournament have been far from satisfactory. In the first edition, they had some good T20 players in the likes of Chris Gayle, Umar Akmal, DJ Bravo and the then Pakistan national team and Lahore Qalandars captain Azhar Ali. The team managed to win only two games that year and ended up at the bottom of the points table. Umar Akmal was the only player from Lahore Qalandars who performed exceptionally well as he ended up being the highest run-scorer of the tournament, while Chris Gayle proved to be a complete failure while DJ Bravo got injured.

    The second and third editions weren't too different from the first, except for the captain who was now Brendon McCullum. Whilst players like Chris Gayle and Azhar Ali were released after the first edition, there wasn’t that much improvement in Qalandars' fortunes with Brendon McCullum and Umar Akmal not providing as much value to their team as was expected. Whilst the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Yasir Shah, Sunil Narine and Anton Devcich provided quality and depth to the line-up, the fact is that Lahore Qalandars had to face many challenges due their largely imbalanced squad. They did show some promise in the third edition but still ended up at the bottom of the points table, once again.

    While some say it was Brendon McCullum's overly aggressive captaincy that brought tears in the eyes of Lahore Qalandars fans, one could also argue that they were simply unlucky. 2019 could be different, though, as this year they've gone all out and have signed some big names. They seem to have found just the right balance and their squad is arguably the best it’s ever been.


    Strengths

    Top-order - Lahore Qalandars have one of the greatest T20 top-order batsman in AB de Villiers. Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez will be expected to play crucial roles at the top of the order. They also have players like Sohail Akhtar, Agha Salman and Anton Devcich who all played roles in previous editions of the tournament.

    All-rounders - Qalandars have a good group of all-rounders this time around and they have genuine variety. In the spin all-rounders department, they have their captain Mohammad Hafeez alongside the likes of Anton Devcich, Haris Sohail and Agha Salman. In addition, players like Carlos Brathwaite, Corey Anderson and David Wiese are some of the best T20 pace-bowling all-rounders and Lahore will be stronger with these players in their ranks.

    Spinners - More than half of the PSL will be played in the UAE and it has in the past proved to be a paradise for spin bowlers. With the likes of Hasan Khan, Yasir Shah and Sandeep Lamichhane in their line-up, Lahore Qalandars' spin options are better than most of their rivals.


    Weaknesses

    Wicket-keeper - Lahore Qalandars have had a problem in this department in the past and they might have to face this issue once again. They've signed three wicket-keepers this season in the forms of Brendon Taylor, Gauhar Ali and Umair Masood. Out of these three, Brendon Taylor is the most complete batsman and in this day and age in the T20 format, you need wicket-keepers who are not just specialists but who can bat as well. As Brendon Taylor is a foreign player, he may find it hard to get a spot in the playing XI with the likes of de Villiers, Brathwaite, Anderson, Lamichanne and Devcich likely to be higher in the pecking order. Both Umair Masood and Gauhar Ali don't have a good domestic record with the bat but could surprise all in their first appearances in the PSL.


    Players to watch out for

    AB de Villiers is obviously the first player who other teams will look out for. His successful international career speaks for itself. His amazing hitting ability in any part of the ground will hurt any team if he gets going, and if he does get going then no one can stop him. Fakhar Zaman has proven to be very successful so far in the PSL and will be looking to replicate his past performances this year also. His aggressive style of play and no fear attitude has brought him great success and on his day, he can destroy any bowling line-up.

    Mohammad Hafeez, the Professor, is the captain of Lahore Qalandars and is in good form, if you were to go by his batting in South Africa. He's a complete package as he can bat, bowl and is an able captain. With his current form, he can make it to any PSL team with his bowling or batting alone. He'll be the glue holding the Lahore batting together this year. Shaheen Shah Afridi is young, energetic and calm and quick. So far, he's proven to be a diamond for both his international and PSL teams as he showed by his bowling in South Africa. He can bowl at any stage of the game and has the intelligence and ability to turn the game on its head. Much more will be expected of him this time around and given his supreme talent, he is unlikely to disappoint.


    Verdict

    Lahore Qalandars on paper appear to be the team that could well be first time finalists. But given their history in the PSL, there will be a lot of scepticism about how far they can actually go. All that could change with Mohammad Hafeez at the helm. He has a good captaincy record and with a squad full of players like AB de Villiers, Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Corey Anderson, Brathwaite and Sandeep Lamichanne, the new Lahore Qalandars captain may not have a hard time guiding his side to the finals, and anything can happens once it reaches that point.


    Squad

    Fakhar Zaman, AB de Villiers, Mohammad Hafeez ©, Yasir Shah, Carlos Brathwaite, Anton Devcich, Rahat Ali, Sandeep Lamichhane. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Agha Salman, Sohail Akhtar, Hasan Khan, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Imran, Umair Masood, Brendan Taylor, Gauhar Ali, Aizaz Cheema, Harris Rauf, Saad Ali. Cover: Hardus Viljoen, David Wiese


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  2. #2
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    AB should bat in the top 3 in T20s. In the IPL when he has been at his best it was when he batted at 3. He can take advantage of the PP overs and once set when the spinners are on he can take the game away from the opposition.

    Hopefully one of the younger keepers plays. Taylor is good enough to play as a batter.

    They have a good squad. Lahore should aim to get to the play offs and take it from there.

  3. #3
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    Interesting to see which emerging player(s) they utilise.


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  4. #4
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    Time to win the PSL once and for all!


    IN PAKISTAN LIES OUR DELIVERANCE,DEFENCE, AND HONOUR.
    -Muhammad Ali Jinnah

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Interesting to see which emerging player(s) they utilise.
    I really want to see them play Umair Masood as our WK-Batsman.

    Idk of Hasan Khan is emerging but he should definitely play. Hoping Saad Ali and Haris Rauf get some games too.


    IN PAKISTAN LIES OUR DELIVERANCE,DEFENCE, AND HONOUR.
    -Muhammad Ali Jinnah

  6. #6
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    This should be our Playing XI for the first game

    1. Fakhar Zaman
    2. Anton Devcich
    3. Ab De Villiers
    4. Agha Salman
    5. Mohammad Hafeez (C) (Bash those bowers down the order. #4 Wouldn’t be a bad place either but Salman is more suited to that role.)
    6. Umair Masood (WK)
    7. Brendon Taylor
    8. Carlos Brathwaite
    9. Hasan Khan
    10. Yasir Shah
    11. Shaheen Shah Afridi

    We can throw in Saad Ali and Haris Rauf and the others once we get a few wins under our belt.


    IN PAKISTAN LIES OUR DELIVERANCE,DEFENCE, AND HONOUR.
    -Muhammad Ali Jinnah

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by QalandarFan View Post
    I really want to see them play Umair Masood as our WK-Batsman.

    Idk of Hasan Khan is emerging but he should definitely play. Hoping Saad Ali and Haris Rauf get some games too.
    Hasan Khan is silver.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Hasan Khan is silver.
    Yeah thought so, hoping one/two spinners really have a standout PSL and get picked for the Aus ODI’s.


    IN PAKISTAN LIES OUR DELIVERANCE,DEFENCE, AND HONOUR.
    -Muhammad Ali Jinnah

  9. #9
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    Even though the Qalanders always end up last they keep being the most exciting team. There always been that Bazz + superstars spark. The kamikaze style unfortunately always backfired.

    They brought in some stability this time in the name of ABDV + M. Hafeez. So I do expect some performances alongside exciting matches.

    Like Islo United the Qalandaris will be the guys to watch again this season.


    "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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    Seem to have made the same mistake as the 1st edition - a rubbish bowling attack.

    Had the highest run scorer during that season, but still finished last because their bowling was trash and it is no different this time either.


    I can't think of anything else but this machine. I sell here, Sir, what all the world desires to have - POWER

  11. #11
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    It seems the Qalandar's would again fall short of the winning line considering the bowling line up they have chosen for this edition of the PSL too. Their batting is gun though like every other season..



  12. #12
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    They will always Remain the PSG of cricket so much star value and always aspiring greatness.

    They will field the probably strongest t20 team out in world cricket imo, Hafeez promoted to captaincy might be stroke play..

    Saying abdv plays most games they would field

    Fakhar
    AB
    Haris
    Hafeez
    Agha Salman/Lamichane
    Braithwaite
    Devchic/Anderson
    Gauhar Ali/ Taylor
    Yasir
    Afridi
    Rahat/Rauf/Aizaz

  13. #13
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    No mention of Saad/Haris/Rauf?

  14. #14
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    UA didn't make the squad this time, shouldn't surprise me but it does somewhat.

    Hopefully the batting can actually live up to the hype this time, especially with the bowling attack not looking too good this time either.

    Honestly I don't have high expectations because this method of a batting heavy squad has only been a disaster so far. Hears hoping we don't finish last this time.

  15. #15
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    I hope they do well.

    It's difficult not to feel sorry for the Qalandars and this year could be their year.



  16. #16
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    Qalanders are just unlucky and shall remain so under current management and team name.

    Need to get rid of the world Qalander

  17. #17
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    I wonder how they'll cope with losing AB after the group stage... At any rate, if they somehow finish last again then may as well pack up and shut down LQ.


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  18. #18
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    Lack of depth re pacers could hurt them; really they should have signed Ahmed Bashir rather than Saad Ali as their 21st pick.

    Interested to see what combo they go for.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    I wonder how they'll cope with losing AB after the group stage... At any rate, if they somehow finish last again then may as well pack up and shut down LQ.
    Lol, they might have some interesting "strategic" decisions...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Lol, they might have some interesting "strategic" decisions...
    With Aqib in the mix, nothing can be surprising.


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  21. #21
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    Great start for them.

    Fakhar, Sohail, AB and Hafeez have the potential to be a superb top 4.



  22. #22
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    I don't get why LQ keep picking Yasir Shah.

    He gets hammered nearly every match, offers nothing with the bat and his fielding these days isn't very good.



  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    I don't get why LQ keep picking Yasir Shah.

    He gets hammered nearly every match, offers nothing with the bat and his fielding these days isn't very good.
    Changed captain and still no luck as well.


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  24. #24
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    Need to bring in Agha Salman next game.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    I don't get why LQ keep picking Yasir Shah.

    He gets hammered nearly every match, offers nothing with the bat and his fielding these days isn't very good.
    Their line up today made no sense, literally had no middle order. Need to play at least one of Haris and Agha.

  26. #26
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    Sohail Akhtar is not an opener and he looks uncomfortable up top. Out of his depth even though he did score some runs.

    As someone who is supporting Lahore, I'd really want Haris to be in this team. Unsure of how good Agha as a batsman is. Haris should probably open with Fakhar and AB to be at 3 and Hafeez can float a little.

    Devcic isn't an A lister and if they aren't utilzing his bowling, there's no point in having him. This team has developed a culture of losing and it needs to break that culture which is probably the hardest thing to ever do in sports.

    Also just like Babar, Haris should try his hand at opening and see how it goes. He'd probably be much better than Akhtar who shouldn't be anywhere close to opening the batting.


    Azaadi. InshAllah.

  27. #27
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    Drop Devchich, Drag in Haris and rest should be fine.


    Love for all hatred for none.

  28. #28
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    Desperately need Corey Anderson to replace to Carlos Braithwaite as soon as he's in the UAE.

  29. #29
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    They need Haris in. They collapsed again and should have got 180+ after that start.

  30. #30
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    Not good am afraid. Need more from likes of Hafeez and a cameo from ABdV is not good enough - he's the best you have - needs to score 50+

    Also Yasir Shah situation needs to be addressed. Why LQ feel they HAVE to select him is beyond me.


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  31. #31
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    Pakistan Super League 2019 Preview: Lahore Qalandars

    Although they shouldn´t lose heart over just one loss as there´s still a long, long way to go, but I´m not sure what Lahore else have to do to be able to win matches. Some have said that they should´ve strengthened their bowling lattack more as the batting line-up was already fine, but I disagree on that. I thought their batting would mess up things very often with all those collapses, but the bowling was going alright with the likes of Shaheen, Narine, Yasir Shah etc. at their disposal. So it´s good for them to have strengthened their batting. I don´t think that it´s a matter of players or skills. It seems more like a mental issue or maybe just pure (lack of) luck. Either way, here´s hoping that they turn things around this edition.


    "It sounds like you have a great strength of character and strong will" - Ellyse Perry about me.


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