So the T20 Global League is the newest league in the town and they had their draft recently to assemble the squads. Cricingif’s staff takes a look into the draft and attempts to break down it down
Unlike some of my friends, I haven’t spent a lot of time poring over the data of who is actually the most ‘moneyball’ pick. Gut instinct goes with Dwayne Bravo, who feels like the most value for money amongst a host of slightly over the hill players.
Alex Hales is one of the most exciting stars in the shorter format. He’s been amassing runs like it’s nobody's business. The Stellenbosch Monarchs must be beaming excessively and showing off their superstar to all the other teams. Hales has been outrageous making totals in the County circuit for Nottinghamshire; including a 95 off 30 balls against Durham and 101 runs of a mere 47 balls against Workshire. With the kind of form he’s in he can singlehandedly shift the dynamics of a match. With Faf at the helm, the Monarchs have some strong individual batters in there.
Ahsan Iftikhar Nagi:
Umm. Junaid Khan. The guy had tweeted a day before the draft that he will not be taking a part in the T20 Global League because of his contract obligations with BPL’s Khulna Titans, but still Nelson Mandela Bay Stars opted for him. Which is bizarre since he won’t play for his side NMBS unless his BPL side is knocked out early.
I have already signed a contract with @khulnatitans and will be playing with them in BPL.— Junaid khan 83 (@JunaidkhanREAL) August 26, 2017
I am not participating in CSA Global leauge..
I think Stellenbosch Monarchs have done a superb job in picking Alex Hales. The English opener is guaranteed to set the stage on fire. His recent record breaking knock of 187 not out for Nottinghamshire in the One-Day Cup final at Lord’s against Surrey was nothing less than magical.
Chris Morris. Local player, scores at 9 an over, wicket taker (SR 17.2), experienced. If this was an auction, he would have gone for a million dollars. Also hoping for Calvin Savage who was picked by Benoni Zalmi to do well, just for the pun quality his surname has.
I’m not going to go with a player on this, but the fact that no less than two teams in South Africa are named after extremely specific Pakistani terms. It is a proud moment as well as a very postmodern one.
I have a lot of questions.
With serious question marks over his fitness and exclamation marks over his attitude, Umar Akmal is a liability to any side he’s in. He hasn’t played a match winning innings in eons and his selection is even more inexplicable given the strong batting line-up the Benoni Zalmis already have with names like Quinton de Kock, Jason Roy and Albie Morkel in the mix. Graeme Smith, Zalmi’s coach, better watch his back!
Umar Akmal fails to maintain his fitness often
Ahsan Ifthikar Nagi:
It has to be Anwar Ali (picked by Nelson Mandela BayStars). He had only six wickets in the nine PSL games for Quetta Gladiators earlier this year at an abysmal average of 47. He bowled at an economy of nearly 10 an over. He put up 57 with the bat during the tournament over five matches.
Anwar Ali has to be the weirdest pick for me. I mean sure I am happy that he got selected but how on earth did that happen? The guy hasn’t played international cricket since 2016. In the 16 T20Is he averages 15.57 with the bat and has an economy rate of 8.31 with the ball. He plays for Quetta Gladiators in the PSL. It wasn’t an eventful PSL for him this year despite his team making it to the final. Anwar Ali managed to take only 6 wickets and scored 57 runs. (it’s time QG gets rid of him to be honest) Good luck dealing with Anwar Ali, Nelson Mandela Bay Stars.
It wasn’t an eventful PSL for Anwar Ali
Umar Akmal, his issues with fitness are well documented. It was strange that Zalmi believed he was worth the $100,000 at a stage when they were better players left in the draft. I mean yeah, he has the talent, but do you really want to gamble with someone who has more issues than runs in the past few months?
A cursory glance later, I feel that it’s the Qalandars from Durban who have the most varied bowling attack which numbers show is usually your best chance at winning a T20 league.
All the teams seem to have bulked up their batting resources, stacking their batting line-up with power hitters. While there’s nothing wrong with having aggressive batters in your line-up, this a T20 league after all, it doesn’t hurt to have some good bowlers in there too. That’s why the Cape Town Knight Riders have me salivating with the right combination of bowling and batting superstars. You’ve got Chris Gayle and JP Duminy heading the batting, while the bowling is in the hands of Adil Rashid and Dale Steyn (who is eager to make a comeback). To top it all off, they’ve balanced their powerhouses with some intelligent selections from the younger lot.
Ahsan Ifthikar Nagi:
It has to be Qalandars for me because of their perfect mix of seniors and youngsters in the side. They have Hashim Amla, Mohammad Hafeez, Eoin Morgan, and Chris Morris at one hand and Fakhar Zaman, Bjorn Fortuin, and Junior Dala on the other.
All the 8 teams have their share of strengths and weaknesses. Some are loaded with big hitters while others have gone with all-rounders. Sure T20 is all about scoring lots and lots of runs - who doesn’t like seeing sixes being hit out of the park - but the bowler in me would say otherwise. I love how JoBurg Giants have picked genuine bowlers. I don’t care if Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Yasir Shah aren’t ideal T20 bowlers, just imagine this bowling line up. Then they also have Brendon McCullum, Colin Ingram, Adile Phehlukwayo, Temba Bavuma and the veteran all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe.
Durban Qalandars, they have picked smart players. Players who can dominate a T20 game, they have picked players with T20 skills rather than the big names. Also Cape Town Knightriders have picked smartly, some good unknown quantities and some experienced names. Picking smart is now part of the Knightriders system.
Teams? Giants, Mavericks, Qalandars, Stars.
Cape Town Knight Riders. Pretoria Mavericks. Joburg Giants. Bloem City Blazers.
The Blazers have an experienced batting order in David Miller and Dwayne Smith, complemented by smart picks from the younger lot with the likes of Janneman Malan.
Looking at the bowling line-up of the Joburg Giants I look up to the heavens and whisper thank you: Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, and Yasir Shah. On top of that you have the beast that is Brendon McCullum.
I’ll be honest here, put AB de Villiers next to a lump of coal and I am there, all covered in the glorious batting charcoal there is to offer. But the Mavericks hold up on their own as well with Dwayne Bravo, Morne Morkel, Farhaan Behardien and Steven Finn in the side.
Ahsan Ifthikar Nagi:
Bloem City Blazers, Durban Qalandars, Zalmi, Pretoria Maverick.
Anam Nadeem: Benoni Zalmi: With a super balanced squad and Graeme Smith as coach, can’t wait to see how this team does.
Stellenbosch Monarchs: The duo of Stephen Fleming and Faf du Plessis with a more than decent squad will be quite the threat.
Bloem City Blazers: Packed with power hitters and decent all-rounders.
Pretoria Mavericks: AB’s time to get going once again.
Durban Qalandars, Cape Town Knightriders, Stellenbosch Monarchs & Bloem City Blazers. All 4 sides have picked a good bowling unit, which compliments their batting. And as we all know, a good bowling unit is key to winning tournaments.
KP and Tahir because of their well worn passports and National ID cards.
Confession: I surprised myself here because despite my overwhelming bias in favour of AB de Villiers, I did not pick the Pretoria Mavericks pair.
The sound of an aggressive batting-bowling duo always has some poetic beauty to it. The formidable and undeniable brilliance of Brendon McCullum contrasted with the promise of Kagiso Rabada’s talent is giving me Jo’burg Giants feels. McCullum is destructive batting personified, while the South African quickie is fast bowling at its best.
Ahsan Ifthikar Nagi:
Benoni Zalmi and Pretoria Mavericks have the best Marquee duos. But if I have to choose a particular franchise in this regard, it would be Zalmi because they have gotten their opening pair in exciting form with the presence of Quinton de Kock and Jason Roy.
I had a tough time choosing between Benoni Zalmi and JoBurg Giants. The head wants to pick Benoni Zalmi but I’d listen to my heart and say JoBurg Giants. The combination of Kagiso Rabada and Brendon McCullum just says it all for me- the fast and the furious.
Kagiso Rabada and Brendon McCullum. Young and the experienced. Bat & Ball. Both aggressive in their respective departments. Rabada the leader of the bowling attack, McCullum the leader with the bat. Aggressive cricket guaranteed.
Pretty good for Qalandars, rather risky for Zalmi.
Zalmi has made some bizarre choices by picking perhaps the most inconsistent bowling-batting combination in Umer Akmal and Wahab Riaz. Wahab leading an inexperienced bowling attack is far from ideal, given his propensity to well... gift bucket loads of runs to the opposition while taking as little wickets as possible—the opposite of what your leading bowler should do. The batting, on the other hand, is quite exciting with some power hitters in there.
As for Qalandars, they actually have a good team on their hands. Their batting is quite solid, and with the right combination and good planning they can put together some competitive performances. Though the bowling line-up will be their biggest weakness given the dearth of recognizable names.
Ahsan Ifthikar Nagi:
Qalandars did a better job than Zalmi. Their squad gives a good blend of experience and young talent. They bagged Mohammad Hafeez in the international picks and Bjorn Fortuin in the locals. So for me, Qalandars have done a better job.
Benoni Zalmi have been very clever with their picks. In the batting department they have the likes of Jason Roy, Quinton de Kock, David Wiese and also the once upon a time talented Umar Akmal with some promising local talent as well. We’ll see Mohammed Nawaz back in action alongside Wahab Riaz who will be the leader of the bowling attack. (not sure if this move will payoff or not)
Durban Qalandars have gone with the experienced Hashim Amla and Eoin Morgan who have shown their capabilities in the T20 format all over the world. They also have the Champions Trophy star Fakhar Zaman. It will be interesting to see how he bats in South Africa. Then they have Professor Hafeez, Chris Morris, Sam Billings and Mitch Mcclenaghan.
They have missed a trick in not picking a genuine bowler who’d be the leader of the attack and help the youngsters cope under pressure. The Qalandars will only realise this once the tournament starts. May this league bring Fawad Rana the much needed luck.
Clive Azavedo: Zalmi picked an average squad, with some decent picks. But none stand out, other than their marquee picks. Also Zalmi had some bizarre picks in Wahab Riaz and Umar Akmal, neither of whom have been inspiring selections in the T20 format.
Durban Qalandars dominated the draft and gave themselves a good chance with the draft by assembling a really good set of players. They have batsmen who are really good at this T20 format and they have bowlers who pick wickets regularly.