PSL 8 Preview: All You Need to Know About Quetta Gladiators

Quetta Gladiators have been disappointing over the past three editions as they have failed to make it to the playoffs. Gladiators were, perhaps, the most successful side in the first four editions as they won the title once and finished runner-ups in two seasons. They have since fallen off as they have been unable to get over the line in crunch situations.

Quetta have tried to rectify the mistakes of the previous campaigns by picking up T20 superstars such as Wanindu Hasaranga, Odean Smith, and Martin Guptill. The team will be led by Sarfaraz Ahmed and has the services of star Pakistani players such as Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Naseem Shah. The likes of Will Smeed and Jason Roy add extra quality to a solid core of players.

Gladiators will be determined to return back to their glory days and make it to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.

Quetta Gladiators PSL 8 Squad

Quetta Gladiators will be captained by former Pakistan captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed. The team includes star Pakistani players while their overseas contingent of Hasaranga, Odean Smith, Will Smeed, Jason Roy Naveen-ul-Haq, and Martin Guptill is one of the best in the league.

Here is their 18-man squad:

Sarfaraz Ahmed (c) Wanindu Hasaranga Naseem Shah Mohammad Nawaz Odean Smith Jason Roy
Iftikhar Ahmed Ahsan Ali Mohammad Hasnain Umaid Asif Mohammad Zahid Will Smeed
Umar Akmal Naveen-ul-Haq Aimal Khan Abdul Wahid Bangalzai Omair bin Yousuf Martin Guptill

Previous PSL Finishes

Quetta were the most consistent side in the initial seasons of PSL. They finished as runners-up in the first two editions of the tournament before winning the trophy in PSL 4. Since then, they have been a shadow of their former selves as they have finished bottom of the table once and at the second last position twice.

Here is how they have performed throughout PSL:

PSL Edition Year Position finished
1 2016 Runner-up
2 2017 Runner-up
3 2018 4th
4 2019 Champions
5 2020 5th (2nd Last)
6 2021 6th (Last)
7 2022 5th (2nd Last)

Strengths

Strong Bowling Attack

Quetta’s strength this time lies in their bowling unit. The likes of Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain have developed into magnificent fast bowlers while Mohammad Nawaz has also developed his game further. The inclusion of world-class spinner, Wanindu Hasaranga and West Indies’ T20 specialist, Odean Smith, provides Quetta with a well-balanced star-quality attack. The likes of Naveen-ul-Haq and Umaid Asif provide depth and quality to the overall squad.

Here’s the overall T20 record of Quetta’s bowling unit:

Player Innings Wickets Average Economy Rate
Wanindu Hasaranga 130 186 16.74 6.74
Naseem Shah 61 58 30.01 7.90
Mohammad Nawaz 190 170 26.60 7.48
Odean Smith 67 75 25.02 9.64
Mohammad Hasnain 91 109 26.25 8.62
Naveen-ul-Haq 122 153 22.09 7.94
Umaid Asif 107 114 26.23 7.94

T20 Specialist Batters

Gladiators have invested in T20 specialist batters from all across the globe. The likes of Jason Roy, Will Smeed, and Martin Guptill are revered over the world for their explosive batting. Coupled with an explosive middle-order of Umar Akmal and Iftikhar Ahmed, Quetta look set to take the attack to the opposition.

The only worrisome sign for Quetta will be the form of the batters. Jason Roy and Martin Guptill have been in a horrid run of form lately while the jury is still out on Umar Akmal and his ability to handle the pressure in big games.

Will Smeed has been one of the consistent performers in T20 cricket while Iftikhar Ahmed has sprung to life recently in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). The likes of Ahsan Ali and Abdul Wahid Bangalzai can also hit big if they are called up to the starting XI.

Here is the overall record of Quetta’s batters:

Player Innings Runs Average Strike Rate
Jason Roy 294 7,761 27.71 141.77
Will Smeed 54 1,471 29.42 146.66
Martin Guptill 302 8,710 31.33 130.36
Umar Akmal 247 5,631 28.72 131.31
Iftikhar Ahmed 181 3,809 28.63 126.92
Ahsan Ali 67 1,453 23.06 128.01

Weaknesses

Bench Strength

Quetta’s biggest issue in PSL 8 will be their bench strength. The drop in quality from their starting XI to the available options on the bench is huge which may have an adverse impact on their chances in the tournament.

Quetta have picked up young players such as Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Omair bin Yousuf, Aimal Khan, and Mohammad Zahid as the backup players in the squad. The likes of Umaid Asif and Ahsan Ali, good players in their own right, do not possess the same ability as they did a few years ago.

Gladiators will have to be smart in picking additional two supplementary players, which provide them with adequate backup in case any of their starters face any injury or form issues.

X-Factor

Sri Lankan all-rounder, Wanindu Hasaranga, was one of the marquee signings in PSL 8. The world’s number-one T20 bowler has been a revelation since his debut in international cricket and has proven his credentials all around the world.

Hasaranga’s all-round ability and his reputation to perform in big-pressure games make him a big asset to Quetta Gladiators. Hasaranga has a sensational record with the bowl and has also showcased his class with the bat on a number of occasions.

The 25-year-old has already picked up 186 wickets in his short T20 career so far. His 186 wickets have come at an average of 16.74 and an economy rate of 6.74. He has also scored 1,418 runs at an average of 17.08 and a strike rate of 136.60 in 136 matches he has played in the shortest format of the game.


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