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The yellow storm had a disappointing campaign in PSL 5, having managed to scrape past Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United to finish in the play-off position, they were dismantled by Lahore Qalandars in the 1st Eliminator. Peshawar’s main strength since the inception of PSL has been their amazing team combination and their fast bowling unit. Hasan Ali’s persistent injury problems, along with losing Umaid Asif and Chris Jordan to Karachi Kings created a void in their bowling unit last season, which ultimately led to their downfall.
Zalmi only retained five players out of a possible eight, making their intentions clear that they are looking to rebuild their team.
Darren Sammy was changed as captain last year with fast bowler Wahab Riaz named as his replacement. Wahab’s captaincy did not inspire a similar kind of reaction as Sammy’s and that led to persistent problems both on and off the pitch for Zalmi. But Peshawar is a team that can never be underestimated due to their strength in every department. Wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal is the highest run-scorer in PSL history and has the most number of centuries in PSL as well. Wahab Riaz is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament history, with Hasan Ali in second place. Although Hasan has moved on from Zalmi, he still served them exceptionally well for five seasons.
Zalmi needed to freshen up their squad after a disappointing campaign and they did exactly that with the recruitment of superstars David Miller and Mujeeb-ur-Rehman. They both have the ability to win the matches on their own and will provide Zalmi with the x-factor.
After a poor bowling performance in the previous season, Zalmi almost completely changed their bowling unit for PSL 6. Wahab Riaz is still the spearhead of this bowling unit, with the additions of Mohammad Irfan, Umaid Asif, Amad Butt, and Saqib Mehmood, the fast bowling unit looks complete. Young spinner Abrar Ahmed along with Afghanistan’s Mujeeb-ur-Rehman are the two spinners in the bowling line-up, which provides Zalmi with a variety of options.
Zalmi’s batting unit looks solid as well. Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik are the experienced heads in the dressing room and on the pitch for Peshawar, with young and exciting talents such as Haider Ali and Sherfane Rutherford adding an extra bit of energy. David Miller and Liam Livingstone are the big hitters in the squad and will be crucial to provide the momentum at the backend of the innings. Imam-ul-Haq will provide stability on the top of the batting line-up as well.
One of the most exciting young talents on the show last year was Mohammad Amir Khan, he has been picked in the supplementary category by Peshawar Zalmi, along with veteran English batsman Ravi Bopara.
Peshawar has all the ingredients to go deep into the tournament, they have all the bases covered and will be one of the teams to beat in PSL 2021. With four senior Pakistan international players in the squad, Zalmi is going to be a force to be reckoned with.