Islamabad United boast the record of the most number of Pakistan Super League (PSL) titles since the inception of the league in 2016. We thus look at five factors that play in Islamabad United’s favour and could see them once again lift the coveted trophy:
New vibrant leader
Islamabad United will have the services of Shadab Khan as their new skipper for the fifth season. This marks a dramatic departure from their previous leader of the side, Mohammad Sami, who proved to be a bit inept in his decision-making skills in PSL 4. With Shadab hungry to make his impact as the Islamabad United captain, he will be hoping to lead from the front.
Misbah’s tactical acumen
Another major change instituted for the fifth PSL season for Islamabad sees Misbah-ul-Haq make his debut as the PSL coach. Already serving as the head coach and chief selector of Pakistan’s national side, Misbah would be better equipped with the shrewd tactical analysis to make informed decisions and assist young leader Shadab navigate his way through PSL 5.
Wealth of power-hitters
For any T20 side to succeed, it is imperative for them to have several power-hitters in their side. Luckily, Islamabad United have players who have either already made a mark on the PSL or have performed in leagues elsewhere. Asif Ali, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi and Amad Butt provide the requisite firepower to launch blistering attack on oppositions.
The experience of Steyn
Dale Steyn goes down in history as one of the greatest fast bowlers to ever play the game. The veteran Proteas bowler has made it clear that despite being in the twilight of his career, he is ever ready to wreak havoc on opponents in a bid to secure his spot in the national team for the T20 World Cup later this year and the PSL will perhaps work as a Launchpad for him. He will offer a lot of experience to Islamabad United’s relatively inexperienced local pace bowling options.
Islamabad are blessed with the inclusion of three left-handed batsmen in the middle-order – Hussain Talat, Colin Ingram and Dawid Malan. Ingram and Malan have made a lot of runs playing for Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi respectively and now playing under the same team, all three will have plenty to offer in PSL 5.