The second edition of PSL ended earlier this month but it seems like a long time ago. I know how badly we want to see our players back in action, besides for people like me life without cricket (seeing your team in action) just comes to a halt.
Well the wait is almost over as the series against West Indies begins from the 26th of March. You don’t need to feel useless anymore, gear yourself for 4 electrifying T20I’s 3 super important ODI’s (direct WC qualification on the line for both teams) and to top it all up a 3 match test series. #testcricketistherealcricket
West Indies being the reigning world T20 champions will be looking to avenge the series loss against Pakistan in the UAE last year. And with our boys carrying their form from the PSL, it surely will be one exhilarating series.
Here are a few names you need to watch out for:
This 18 year old is some serious talent. He took the PSL by storm with his extraordinary leg spin, his ability to bat down the order and some electrifying fielding display. He took 9 wickets at an average of 19.11 and scored at a strike rate of 160.97. The figures are promising, now all he needs to do is carry this form to the national team and shine.
The 35 year old veteran is making a comeback in the side after almost 3 years and how. It’s only the second time in his career that he’s purely being selected on his batting ability. He’s the top scorer with 1035 runs at an average of 79.61 in the first class season and to top that he was in sublime form in the PSL. Not only was he the highest run getter but also the only centurion this edition.
If he can fire in the Caribbean as well, we all are surely in for a treat.
We all know what Pollard is capable of, he can be a part of any T20 team just on basis of his insane ability to take the most impossible of catches. Not only that but he can single handedly win you matches with his batting heroics. We witnessed that recently in PSL, he won Karachi Kings matches that weren’t for them to win.
He averaged 40.20 with the bat at a strike rate of 171.79 for Karachi Kings. On his day he can be super destructive. Pakistan better watch out.
The mystery spinner has bamboozled many batsmen over the years. He’s been in and out of the national side due to his bowling action a few times. Narine was in red-hot form during the PSL, not only with the bowl but also with the bat. He took 10 wickets at an economy rate of 6.46 and batted at strike rate of 181.25. He won’t be giving away any easy runs.
His T20 world cup heroics against England in the final last year have been etched in our memories forever. He is still new to the role of captaincy and needs time to prove his mettle as a captain but as an all rounder he’s one player to watch out for. He can hit the bowl a long way and can be useful as a bowler in the middle overs. It will be an interesting battle between his young side and a new look Pakistan team.
Powell will be making his T20 debut against Pakistan. He came into limelight after two impressive all round performances in the semi final and final of the CPL. He is a power hitter and will have to play a vital role for his team in the upcoming series.
It’s high time Ahmad Shahzad leaves a long lasting impression in the national side. He’s been in and out of the team for various reasons, disciplinary grounds being one of them. He has been selected for this tour after he played some noteworthy knocks in the PSL and he’s also hit 3 hundreds in the departmental one day cup earlier this year. If Sharjeel Khan wasn’t involved in the spot-fixing saga, Ahmed might not have had this chance of representing his country again. It will be interesting to see if he can display his full potential in the Caribbean. All eyes on you, Shahzad.
It won’t be wrong to call him the death over specialist. He was absolutely brilliant throughout the PSL, taking 12 wickets at an average of 13.50 and at an economy rate of 6.19 and in the death overs with an even better economy rate of just 5.79. His unique wicket celebration style was another highlight of this year’s PSL. Hoping to see more of that celebration in the Caribbean.
He will be an important arsenal in our bowling line up alongside Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Hassan Ali and Usman Khan Shinwari.
Another debutant for Pakistan, Fakhar has been selected in the team for his impressive performance in the PSL. He scored 177 runs at a strike rate of 138.28 for his side Lahore Qalandars. This bright young left-hander won’t mind playing his attacking game and no better platform than playing against the reigning world T20 champions.
Hassan has quietly been impressing us with his ability to take wickets when the pressure is not on the opposition. A nippy bowler with lots of variations under his belt and a zealous wicket celebration style, will keep the West Indian batsmen under check. Hassan has a decent international run so far followed by consistent performances for Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL. Hassan Ali is one for the future.