Currently, PSL is the talk of the town when it comes to Pakistan cricket. Fans are eagerly awaiting the start of the second season of the tournament, and with a successful first season already behind plus the addition of some new players, the second season of the tournament promises to be bigger and better. This year, all the franchises strengthened their squads by making some changes and bringing in some new faces in their lineups. So today, just hours before the start of the tournament, let us take a look at the top individuals who are most likely to create an impact in the tournament.
- Brendon McCullum
Coming into the first season, Lahore Qalanders were touted as the hot favorites to win the tournament. However, the franchise had a mediocre campaign, failing to qualify for the playoffs and getting eliminated in the first round. After the disastrous campaign, the franchise owners clearly felt that the team needed a change of direction thus; they bought in Brendon McCullum to take charge of the team from Azhar Ali. With 259 Twenty20 games and 7278 runs at a strike rate of 138.28, McCullum is perfectly suited to open the innings for the Qalanders and provide them with a good start. McCullum possesses the skill to dismantle any bowling line up on a good day and turn the match in the favor of his team. Not only will McCullum play an instrumental role for the Qalanders as an opener, the former New Zealand captain’s leadership skills will also play an important role in the Qalanders’s campaign. In the past, McCullum single-handedly changed the mindset of the black caps during his tenure as a captain hence; we can trust him to bring the Lahore Qalanders back on track.
- Mohammed Amir
It was in the 2009 T20 world cup when Mohammed Amir first came to prominence. The left arm fast bowler surprised the world with his accuracy, pace, and swing. All these attributes still make Amir one of the most dangerous fast bowlers in the world despite the fact that he hasn’t been able to perform up to his potential. With Amir leading the Karachi Kings attack, the left arm quick will play an instrumental role as a part of the franchise and will certainly increase Karachi’s chances of winning the tournament. In a format where bowlers are often made to look like sacrificial lambs, Amir’s accuracy and pace can trouble any batsman in the world thus, making him one of the most important members of the Karachi Kings line up.
- Sharjeel Khan
Sharjeel Khan is one of those players who can single-handedly dominate the opposition bowling line up with his aggressive batting style. The left-hand opening batsman has been in great form as of late and he was one of the key figures of Islamabad United’s successful campaign in the first season of PSL. With a Twenty20 strike rate of 141, Sharjeel Khan is a perfect opener for Islamabad United who can help them to get off to a quick start. Sharjeel was the only batsman to score a century in the first season and if his current form is anything to go by then we can expect Sharjeel to play an important role for his team.
- Shahid Afridi
It is nearly impossible to omit Shahid Afridi from the list of players to look out for in any tournament. His unpredictable nature and his capability as an all-rounder make him an important asset of any lineup. Over the years, it has been pretty clear that T20 cricket is tailor made for Shahid Afridi. The flamboyant all-rounder’s hard hitting batting style and leg spin bowling variations are perfectly suited to T2O cricket. Moreover, Afridi’s experience and his match winning ability means that yet again all eyes will be on the former Zalmi captain who will play a key role for his team in the tournament.
- Sarfaraz Ahmed
It is safe to say that Sarfaraz Ahmed is one of the most beloved cricketers of the country. The wicket-keeper batsman has over the years won over fans with his struggle and consistent performance. His hard work has also led him to the T20 captaincy of Pakistan where he has captained the side brilliantly. For Sarfaraz, his road to international captaincy actually started during the first season of the PSL, where he led the dark horses of the tournament, Quetta Gladiators to the finals. His captaincy was one of the key reasons why Gladiators became hot favorites of the tournament and in the last year, Sarfaraz’s growth as a batsman and a wicketkeeper clearly makes him one of the most important members of the Gladiators lineup. With his past record and his proven consistency, we can expect Sarfaraz Ahmed to deliver again and help his team to live up to the expectations of the fans.
Which players among the above mentioned is your favorite? Leave your opinion in the comments below and stay tuned to GenY for more coverage on the second season of the PSL.