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Islamabad United Vs Quetta Gladiators: Predictions And Expectations

Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 5 is the most anticipated event of the year. And this year, it is expected to be the most exciting season of PSL, as for the first time all the matches are being held in Pakistan. The matches will be played in Multan, Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi stadiums. It is expected that the pitches for this season will be batting friendly. The organisers will want the average score of the tournament to be at least 150 plus so the crowd can have maximum entertainment.

The season 5 of the league will start today in the national stadium Karachi with a match between two of the most successful teams of PSL’s history, Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators. If you look at it on paper, these are two strongest and well balanced team of this season. It won’t be wrong to call today’s game ‘clash of the Titans’.

Let’s take a brief at what Islamabad United has to offer us in this season.

Prospects of Islamabad United (IU) in PSL 5:

Background:

They are the most successful team of PSL. They not only know how to win matches but also Tournaments. They have won PSL twice and are considered most successful teams of play offs under high pressure.

  • Components Of IU

  1. a) Captaincy

IU is lucky that they will be captained by Shadab Khan. The player which started his career from their emerging category. He is their poster boy and has a very sharp cricketing mind. Interestingly, when Pakistan’s former head coach Mickey Arthur’s term ended, he suggested the name of Shadab for future captaincy of Pakistan. His personal form has been out from quite sometime. But this stage is a golden opportunity for him to prove his all-round abilities. He is a leg spinner but he relies more on Googlies and top spin. He has to improve his leg spin deliveries to be a sustainable leg spinner. He gives advantage with his bowling in the middle overs by taking wickets to break the flow of innings of the opposition. He considers himself a proper batsman and he might be aching to play at the number 3 spot. Besides that, he can also be useful in the lower middle order.

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b) Fast Bowlers:

They have a great seam attack: Dale Steyn, Musa Khan, Rauman Raees and Faheem Ashraf. Steyn is a very big Test and ODI bowler. He might not be as renowned in T20’s but the skill he has with the new ball can be equally effective across formats. He will have this responsibility to take them early wickets to spear head this bowling attack. Rauman Raees is a very smart bowler who unfortunately missed a lot of cricket in last year due to his injury. He will be making a comeback. He can be useful with the new ball but his ability to bowl good variations makes him a very useful death over bowlers. It will be hard to score quick runs against him in last over. Musa Khan is young and very interesting talent and he has good pace. If he pitches the ball in the right areas and try to hit the stumps then with his pace he can be effective.

c) All rounders:

Faheem Ashraf is a decent bowler but IU will be eyeing on his batting. If he can perform well, it will give a lot of flexibility to the team. Shadab and Faheem will be very useful in the lower order. Faheem has the ability to hit the ball hard for big hits.

d) Openers:

Their openers Colin Munro and Luke Ronchi are very destructive big hitters. If they are on song, they can take Maximum advantage of the first 6 over batting power play in which only 2 fielders are allowed on the boundary.

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e) Middle Order:

The addition of Ingram from Karachi Kings give a lot of stability to this middle order. We have seen Dawid Malan play for Zalmi. He has the ability to anchor the innings. Then comes the two blue eyed boys of IU i.e. Hussain Talat and Asif Ali. Hussain Talat can go deep and play at a decent strike rate. His speciality is that he can keep his nerves under control in Pressure situations. Asif Ali is a big hitter of the ball. IU will expect him to be their finisher.

  • Top 2 players:
    Shadab Khan and Luke Ronchi will be the kind of players that if they performed in their respective roles, it will be hard to beat IU.
  • Weak points: Islamabad has relied a lot on its openers whether it be Sharjeel in the past or Ronchi and Munro Early wickets to dismiss their openers can really put the middle order under pressure. It is clear that if you want to defeat Islamabad United it will be through good bowling to restrict them to small totals.
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