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The heartbeat of Pakistan Super League (PSL), Lahore Qalandars overcame all odds to make it to the PSL final last year, but ultimately they fell short against their arch-rivals Karachi Kings in the final. Lahore’s success last season was largely due to their excellent recruitment and their fast bowling unit. Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi and Dilbar Hussain were magnificent throughout the tournament and were influential in their run to the final. So as expected they were 3 out of the 8 players retained prior to the PSL 2021 draft.
Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, David Wiese, Ben Dunk, and captain Sohail Akhtar were the other five players that were retained by Qalandars, providing them with the perfect platform to go one step further this time and lift their first-ever PSL trophy.
Lahore picked the number one T20 bowler in the world, Rashid Khan, as their platinum category player. His addition to the Qalandars squad will provide them with the boost to claim the trophy. Rashid’s leg-spin and his hard-hitting in the lower order will provide the team with that extra bit of quality.
Samit Patel was a revelation for Lahore in PSL 5, he picked up wickets at crucial stages with an excellent economy rate and his contribution with the bat was of utmost importance for Lahore. According to their coach, Aqib Javed, Samit’s pick is what has excited him the most for PSL 6. Such high praise from the coach surely means he will be the first name on the team sheet.
Lahore also added hard-hitting somerset batsman Tom Abell to their ranks. Abell has been one of the top performers in English domestic T20 and can be the trump card for Lahore in the upcoming tournament.
Lahore management will surely have a selection headache in the upcoming season, it could prove to be either a good thing or a bad thing. Mohammad Hafeez, Sohail Akhtar, Fakhar Zaman, Ben Dunk, Tom Abell, David Wiese, Salman Ali Agha, and Zeeshan Ashraf are the available batsmen in the squad, it will be interesting to see what the management will go with.
Zeeshan Ashraf and Ben Dunk are the two available wicket-keepers in the squad, while both are not supreme wicket-keepers, they surely can hit the ball hard. Aqib Javed has his work cut out to chose from the two.
Lahore’s weakness comes in the emerging category. They have always preferred to pick the players from their talent hunt program, but it hasn’t served them too well in the past. One of Maaz Khan, Ahmed Danyal, and Zaid Alam will be expected to start and that can have an adverse impact on the team.
Lahore’s bowling unit looks complete though. Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Dilbar Hussain, Rashid Khan, Samit Patel, David Wiese and Mohammad Hafeez is a bowling attack that any team in PSL would love to have. The variety of options available to Lahore is exceptional and they will be relying on their bowling in the tournament once again.
Lahore Qalandars have the perfect squad for a T20 side and they will be raring to go as soon as PSL 6 starts.