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Islamabad United is the most successful team in PSL history with two PSL championships in their trophy cabinet. United was below par last season under a new captain and new management. They failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in history and finished at the bottom of the table.
Islamabad’s success in PSL has been down to their excellent recruitment with the likes of Luke Ronchi, JP Duminy, Ian Bell, Samit Patel, and Andre Russell contributing heavily to their success over the years. The team looked below par last season and had a weak bowling attack, with Dale Steyn joining the squad later on in the tournament.
Islamabad got the number one draft pick in PSL 2021 due to their last-place finish and they put all their chips on the wild card pick of a rejuvenated Hasan Ali. Islamabad’s pace bowling attack will heavily rely on Hasan, with Musa Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Reece Topley, and Mohammad Waseem Jnr. providing much-needed support.
English all-rounder Lewis Gregory can be the match-winner for Islamabad United, with his medium-pace bowling and hard-hitting ability, Gregory could create a similar impact to Samit Patel’s in PSL 3.
Islamabad’s spin bowling department looks a bit thin on paper, with Zafar Gohar and Ahmed Safi Abdullah the only two front line spinners in the squad. Iftikhar Ahmed’s part-time off-spin can come in pretty handy as well.
The batting unit of Islamabad is their main strength despite losing their top run-scorer and wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi. Islamabad traded in Alex Hales in place of Colin Ingram with Karachi Kings, providing the much-needed stability at the top of the order. Colin Munro, Hussain Talat, Rohail Nazir, Phil Salt, Asif Ali, Lewis Gregory, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Shadab Khan provides them with strength in the middle and lower order.
The opening partnership of Alex Hales and Colin Munro can be destructive on their day. The balance with the left and right-hand combination and the big-hitting ability of both these batsmen can help Islamabad post huge totals on the board.
Islamabad faced a conundrum after Luke Ronchi became unavailable due to his responsibilities as New Zealand batting coach. United picked up young and upcoming wicket-keeper batsman Rohail Nazir and English wicket-keeper batsman Phil Salt. Both the wicket-keepers have the ability to hit big and Islamabad can go with any of them in the field without affecting the team combination.
United has been famous for relying on all-rounders and once again they have picked up multiple all-rounders, either bit-part or genuine. Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Zafar Gohar, Lewis Gregory, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Hasan Ali, and Colin Munro can all provide the impetus with both the bat and the ball.
Chris Jordan and Akif Javed were the supplementary players picked up by Islamabad United, adding strength to their fast bowling department and can be called into action if required.
Islamabad United have assembled a strong squad and have all the required tools to challenge for the PSL 6 trophy.