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  1. #1
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    PSL 6 preview : 2020 winners, Karachi Kings, look to prove their win not a flash in the pan



    After reaching the playoff stage in each of the first 4 editions of the PSL, the Karachi Kings last year finally went one step further and lifted the trophy, under the stewardship of captain Imad Wasim. What’s on the agenda this year? Becoming the first ever PSL side to successfully retain their crown, tying Islamabad United for the most titles in the process.

    Going into the 2021 edition, the Kings have retained the majority of the core of their title-winning team. The dynamic opening partnership of Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan, the seasoned all-round abilities of captain Imad Wasim, and the highly successful pace bowling duo of Mohammad Amir and Arshad Iqbal were all key facets of Karachi’s triumph last season that we are sure to see in action this year.

    But a lot has changed since Imad and co. lifted the trophy 4 months ago. After the passing of the late Dean Jones, Karachi have brought in the relatively inexperienced Herschelle Gibbs as their Head Coach. The Kings have also released a number of high profile names from the team. The big hitting Alex Hales was traded to Islamabad United for Colin Ingram, while the T20 stalwart Chris Jordan, the highly rated young spinner Umer Khan and the man in form for Pakistan, Mohammad Rizwan were all released. Just how costly these releases will be remains to be seen.


    Strengths

    When considering the Kings’ strengths, one cannot look past the batting megastar Babar Azam, the leading run scorer of PSL 5 by some distance. While he has struggled for form lately for Pakistan, the former number one ranked T20I batsman is undoubtedly Karachi’s biggest asset. In Mohammad Amir, the Kings have still one of the world’s leading white-ball bowlers, and one who has recently committed his career to leagues such as this one. The franchise has also massively bolstered their middle order options at the PSL draft, bringing in the likes of Dan Christian, Mohammad Nabi and Danish Aziz. Unlike last year, the Kings should have no issues finishing an innings.


    Weaknesses

    In acquiring a lot of middle order batsman and all-rounders, the Kings’ squad has been left slightly unbalanced. The loss of Alex Hales, who scored his 272 runs last season at an S/R of 149, leaves a gaping hole at number 3, which is most likely to be filled by Zeeshan Malik, Joe Clarke or Colin Ingram, all of whom are unlikely to provide the consistency and strike rate that Hales did. Similarly, the losses of Umaid Asif and Chris Jordan, who was Karachi’s joint-second highest wicket taker last year, leaves a dearth of quality fast bowling, especially at the death. In a team not blessed with top quality spinners, there will be big pressure on the likes of Aamer Yamin, Waqas Maqsood and Mohammad Ilyas to fill this void.


    Players to watch out for

    One very astute acquisition that the Kings made at the PSL Draft was that of enterprising all-rounder Danish Aziz, who caught the eye of many with his big hitting performances striking at 155 in Sindh’s middle order in the National T20 Cup 2020. If he is given the platform to finish the innings on a regular basis, expect the 25 year-old to show just how good he is.

    With the loss of Hales in the top order, the acquisition of Joe Clarke is a very interesting one. His outstanding displays batting at number 3 and striking at 175 in the Vitality Blast 2020, including a 44-ball century, earned him Nottinghamshire’s Player of the Tournament award. If Karachi are to gamble on Clarke to replace his fellow Englishman, it might just pay off.


    Verdict

    If the superstar duo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Amir can fire once again, and the new middle order acquisitions can bed in quickly, Imad Wasim’s side has every chance of retaining their title. However, with the slight imbalance of the squad and the lack of a top quality bowling attack, a finish as runners-up or a place in the playoffs seems the more likely route for the Karachi Kings.


    Squad:

    Imad Wasim (C), Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Chadwick Walton, Dan Christian, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nabi, Sharjeel Khan, Danish Aziz, Joe Clarke, Waqas Maqsood, Zeeshan Malik, Noor Ahmed, Mohammad Ilyas, Amir Yamin, Arshad Iqbal, Qasim Akram, Abbas Afridi


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  2. #2
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    Pictures courtesy of the PCB

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  3. #3
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    Has to be one of the favourite teams of all department click for them. Openers will play crucial role so will the bog three all rounders especially the spinner in nabi and Imad.

    Babar
    Sharjeel
    Ingram
    Danish Aziz
    Imad
    Walton
    Nabi
    Christian
    Amir
    Waqas
    Arshad

  4. #4
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    Based on Amir's latest form - I feel he will let down his side and their faith in him may be tested. Colin Ingram is a great addition (back) and should get them to the top 4


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  5. #5
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    Hoping Danish Aziz will step up this year and stake a claim for the national side


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  6. #6
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    Joe Clarke is the wildcard.

  7. #7
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    My team would be

    Sharjeel
    Babar
    Zeeshan malik/danish aziz
    Ingram
    Qasim akram
    Walton
    Imad
    Nabi
    Yamin
    Amir
    Arshad iqbal

  8. #8
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    I repeat again - Amir is the weakest link and will put pressure on Arshad.


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  9. #9
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    Some pics from PCB

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    I repeat again - Amir is the weakest link and will put pressure on Arshad.
    Amir should not have been allowed to play this season of PSL, he's been nothing short of a disgrace with his repeatedly poor attitude and inability to take criticism.

  11. #11
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    Karachi: Karachi Kings’ head coach Herschelle Gibbs has highly praised the local talent of the Kings ahead of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six.

    The 46-year-old Gibbs, who is on his first stint in PSL with the defending champions Karachi Kings, has stated that the local talent has a lot of depth which is quite exciting.

    “The local talent has impressed me. They are very keen and their work ethic is fantastic” Gibbs said in pre-tournament virtual presser.

    “Mohammad Ilyas, Arshad Iqbal, Qasim Akram, Danish Aziz, Waqas Maqsood are the guys that excite me and I am impressed with the depth” he added.

    Meanwhile, Gibbs has no concern about the current form of Kings’ top performers a Babar Azam and Mohammad Amir.

    “Babar is among top five batters in all formats of the game and top players also go through a bad phase. Babar knows his game and what role he needs to play. It’s not like he is through a bad patch but his standards are so high, people expect him to score 50+ in every time he plays and it’s unfair,” Gibbs added.

    “Amir is an all-round performer and his numbers speak for itself. I have no qualms and everybody is looking forward to come to 20th [opening fixture],” he maintained.

    Note, Karachi Kings will be up against Quetta Gladiators in the opening fixture of the PSL 6 on February 20 at National Stadium, Karachi.

    ARY


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    I repeat again - Amir is the weakest link and will put pressure on Arshad.
    Amir will be the mainstay of KK attack this year too, as has been the case since PSL 1. Even when he had a mediocre PSL last year, he was superb during that crucial super over in the Qualifier. Big game players are a rarity in Pakistan so let's try and support them while we can.
    Last edited by MenInG; 18th February 2021 at 22:42.

  13. #13
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    Would ideally like to see Zeeshan Malik, Qasim Akram, and Danish Aziz get many games. Zeeshan and Danish might, not sure about Qasim. But I do hope Qasim gets a few chances, would be some great exposure at his young age. Also, need Joe Clarke to start ahead of Walton this year. I think he's a better and much more explosive batsman than Walton.

  14. #14
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    Huge test for Gibbs also coming up - Deano had the ability to inspire the side - not sure if Gibbs can?


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  15. #15
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    Karachi clearly quite happy with the work they did at the draft - all 4 overseas players in the XI today (Ingram, Clarke, Nabi, Christian) are newly acquired players.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    I repeat again - Amir is the weakest link and will put pressure on Arshad.
    Looks like dropping Amir from the national side has shown some results.

  17. #17
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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Players to watch out for

    With the loss of Hales in the top order, the acquisition of Joe Clarke is a very interesting one. His outstanding displays batting at number 3 and striking at 175 in the Vitality Blast 2020, including a 44-ball century, earned him Nottinghamshire’s Player of the Tournament award. If Karachi are to gamble on Clarke to replace his fellow Englishman, it might just pay off.
    Karachi went for it, and it's clearly paying off. 32 from 19 already, and taking the game well away from Quetta


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  19. #19
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    Absolutely dominant and crushing win from Karachi. What a way to start PSL 6 from the reigning champions. Karachi are the team to beat at the moment


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  20. #20
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    Joe clark is a massive upgrade over the useless walton.


  21. #21
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    Imad Wasim after the win over Quetta Gladiators today:

    The way we bowled was fantastic. Arshad deserves a round of applause he’s been doing this for the last year or so. It’s a good thing that emerging players are emerging.

    We have so many options in our bowling, In fact Nabi didn’t bowl a single ball and sometimes it’s good to have so many options. I thought Nabi shouldn’t bowl here because it was difficult for the spinners. Our pace bowlers executed our plans really nicely.

    The way Joe Clarke started, he’s a gun player, he’s absolutely fantastic to watch. I’ve played with him before and I’m very happy that he has announced himself at the PSL. And Babar whatever he does is magic and we finished it off with Colin Ingram and Mohammad Nabi so I couldn’t ask for any more.

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    Last edited by MenInG; 21st February 2021 at 00:17.



  22. #22
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    I think they will do well under Herschuelle Gibbs chilled out approach. Gibbs always believes in letting players express themselves naturally on the pitch and not doing a lot of excessive coaching.

  23. #23
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    Good win for my team, really happy for Amir the way he bowled.

  24. #24
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    I felt this was a terrible match and a real bad advert for PSL. The lack of quality in the QG was alarming, only stalwarts such as Gayle were able to add any sort semblance to proceedings.

    Teams need to be putting up 180+ totals first up, then the games will be a lot better. T20 is here for entertainment purposes, not tuk tuking along and more than half your team's out even before you've reached 100.

  25. #25
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    Pictures of practice

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  26. #26
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    Wasim Akram speaking....



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  27. #27
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  28. #28
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    Imad Wasim speaking after loss to Islamabad.

    "I think it was a good game and I feel we were short by 20 runs; We will sort out our problems but credit to Hales and to Asif Ali at the end"

    "The ball wasn't spinning that much initially but then started to spin which could have been the dew"

    "I gave Nabi the 18th over as he was the best bowler tonight, I would have been very annoyed if I didnt bowl him for 4 overs, I think Nabi bowled really well"

    "You don't lose a tournament just because you lost the second game, we will rectify our problems and comeback stronger in the next game"

    "Sharjeel Khan played brilliantly - I think the class he showed that he is back in form and very much up there with the very best that Pakistan has and I hope he continues to perform like that"

    "I think we bowled really well and bowled according to plans but couple of overs went for runs which happens in T20 cricket so there is nothing to worry about"


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  29. #29
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    Are Karachi missing Dean Jones inspirational presence?

    Gibbs seems a little lost if TV pics are anything to go by


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  30. #30
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    Hope Karachi can defend better - Even with a 100 from Sharjeel they couldnt win!


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