The defending champions, Karachi Kings, will be fired up to defend their title and have almost covered all the bases in the PSL 2021 draft. Captain Imad Wasim, after taking some time off from international cricket, will be raring to go in PSL 6.
Similarly, Mohammad Amir will be looking to silence his critics with his return to the spotlight after his retirement from international cricket.
The poor form of star batsman Babar Azam will be a worrying sign for Karachi, but as we have seen over the years with Babar, it only takes one good inning for him to come back into form. Karachi has a strong pace attack formed entirely of Pakistani pace bowlers, and they will be relying on the attack to dismantle the opposition batting line-ups.
- Captain: Imad Wasim
- Coach: Herschelle Gibbs
- Assistant coach: Dougie Brown
- Bowling mentor: Wasim Akram
- Best finish: Champions (PSL 5)
- Last year finish: Champions
The core of Karachi Kings has been intact for four seasons and it was one of the main reasons for their triumph in the previous edition of PSL. Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, and Imad Wasim are not only world-class players but they also cover three important bases for the team.
Babar is one of the best batsmen in the world and is the leading run-scorer in PSL. Mohammad Amir is a magnificent T20 bowler and can demolish the opposition bowling lineup single-handedly. Imad Wasim is one of the most underrated players in T20 cricket and his accurate bowling and power-hitting in the lower order is a real asset for Karachi Kings.
Karachi Kings revamped their squad with some highly-rated domestic youngsters. Danish Aziz, Zeeshan Malik, and Qasim Akram have put in sublime performances in domestic cricket recently and will be looking to stake their claim in the national setup by performing well in PSL 6.
Waqas Maqsood, Arshad Iqbal, and Aamer Yamin were a crucial part of their title-winning campaign, and they will also be looking to break into the national setup.
Mohammad Nabi and Dan Christian provide them with exciting all-round options as well. Both can hit big and bowl with accuracy if required.
The spin attack of Karachi Kings seems light as compared to the other teams. Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nabi, and Qasim Akram are the three available spinners in the team. Given the nature of pitches in Karachi and Lahore, they should have opted for a renowned leg spinner.
Although Imad and Nabi have been in the circuit for a long time and are brilliant bowlers, they do not spin the ball too much, which could see them concede runs.
The other point of potential weakness for Karachi Kings could be a fragile middle-order. Colin Ingram, Chadwick Walton, Dan Christian, and Mohammad Nabi can be destructive on their day, but the middle-order lacks a solid option. Karachi was heavily reliant on Babar Azam for runs, and if he fails, it will put a daunting task for the middle-order to score big runs.
Opposition can exploit this weakness and will be looking to target an early breakthrough to expose the light middle-order of Karachi.
Who else but Babar Azam? Babar is currently ranked number two in ICC T20I batsmen rankings and will be itching to go after a subpar T20I series against South Africa. Babar has recently recovered from a thumb injury and looked rusty in his comeback series against the Proteas.
Pakistan’s all-format captain is the highest run-scorer in the tournament’s history and will look to add to his tally in PSL 2021. Babar set the tone at the top of the order for Karachi Kings last season, and he will look to continue his role as the opener of the side.
Babar and Sharjeel make up a fearsome opening partnership, with Babar playing the anchor role. His highly criticized low strike rate is a thing of the past as well. He played at a much better strike rate in the previous season.
Karachi Kings fought off competition to draft in the highly-rated young all-rounder, Qasim Akram. The youngster will be making his PSL debut this season, and he has the ability to take the league by storm.
Akram played a significant role for Central Punjab in their title-winning campaign in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy this season. He bats in the lower middle order and can clear the boundary with ease. His off-break bowling can be a vital weapon for Karachi on turning tracks as well.
Karachi has a solid squad, and they will be looking to retain their title. They do have some weak points in their squad this time around.
With the introduction of a new head coach, Herschelle Gibbs, things could go sideways as they will have to adapt to the new strategies. The added pressure of defending their championship could prove to be fatal as well. One thing is for sure that they will provide a tough fight in the tournament.
Our predicted finish for Karachi Kings is third. Karachi will be one of the best teams in the group stages, but going into the playoffs, the pressure of retaining their title will catch up with them.
Karachi Kings Squad
|Imad Wasim (c)||Babar Azam||Mohammad Amir|
|Colin Ingram||Mohammad Nabi||Dan Christian|
|Aamer Yamin||Sharjeel Khan||Chadwick Walton (wk)|
|Waqas Maqsood||Joe Clarke (wk)||Danish Aziz|
|Mohammad Ilyas||Zeeshan Malik||Qasim Akram|
|Arshad Iqbal||Noor Ahmed||Abbas Afridi|
Karachi Kings Schedule
|1||Saturday, 20 February||Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators||2:00pm||National Stadium Karachi|
|2||Wednesday, 24 February||Karachi Kings v Islamabad United||7:00pm||National Stadium Karachi|
|3||Saturday, 27 February||Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans||2:00pm||National Stadium Karachi|
|4||Sunday, 28 February||Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars||7:00pm||National Stadium Karachi|
|5||Wednesday, 3 March||Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi||2:00pm||National Stadium Karachi|
|6||Friday, 5 March||Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings||8:00pm||National Stadium Karachi|
|7||Sunday, 7 March||Islamabad United v Karachi Kings||7:00pm||National Stadium Karachi|
|8||Wednesday, 10 March||Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings||7:00pm||Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore|
|9||Saturday, 13 March||Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings||2:00pm||Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore|
|10||Sunday, 14 March||Lahore Qalandars v Karachi Kings||7:00pm||Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore|
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