Quetta Gladiators’ campaign in the Pakistan super league 2017. Even though they were not able to cross the final barrier last year, this time, however, it’s possible for them to lift the title.
In the second season the Quetta-based franchise is possibly hoping that the team can repeat it’s heroics from the first edition but for that to happen, some of their key players would really have to raise their game.
The talented right-handed opening batsman has fallen out of favor with the selectors on the international field but that does not cancel out the fact that he has been in red hot form in the domestic circuit. This is definitely a good sign for his franchise.
Shehzad was the best batsman for the Gladiators in the first edition of PSL 2017, making close to 300 runs at a strike rate of more than
140 along with a couple of half-centuries. He is an experienced player and the team needs his experience to bring it to the top.
Shehzad, like many other Pakistani players in the league, will be acclimatized to the conditions in the UAE, which is why he needs to use that to his advantage and contribute generously with the bat and place a solid platform for the Gladiators at the top of the order.
The colorful English player Kevin Pietersen is an essential part of the Gladiators team. He is the type of player who can command respect on the field with his approach towards the game. Due to his experience playing in the T20 format, Pietersen always has a suggestion for Captain Sarfraz Ahmed, which is obvious from the first edition of the PSL. This kind of advice is vital, especially during the critical situation moments of a match.
Pietersen has been piling on the runs in the on-going Big Bash League in Australia which is a good sign for the Gladiators because they would want his purple patch to continue until the end of PSL since it will bring a lot of constancy to their batting line-up.
A match winner like Pietersen is a blessing in cover for any cricket franchise because a player of his caliber can single-handedly win matches, no matter how anxious the situation may seem.
Nawaz was one of the great finds during the first edition of the PSL. He stole the fame with his all-rounder capabilities, especially his bowling. His perfect control with the ball and capability to pick up wickets at crucial moments made him an indispensable player. He was the highest wicket-taker for the Gladiators in the first season of the PSL, with 13 wickets and an amazing economy rate of less than seven runs an over.
He is a handy left-handed batsman with a cool head on his shoulders, which is rare for a Pakistani player at such a young age. Although he was not able to contribute to the best of his abilities with the bat during the first PSL edition, that does not point out that he is not a fine player.
The 29-year-old wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed is a usefulness player who can score quick runs at the top of the order or even lower down in the batting line. His actions in and around the crease can trouble even the best bowlers in the business and his batting plays a key role in maintaining the balance of the side.
As the skipper for the Quetta Gladiators, Ahmed has always impressed with his captaincy qualifications. He marshaled the troops extremely well during the opening edition, which was obvious from his clever fielding placements and suitable choice of bowlers. Even well-known analysts and commentators heaped praise on how he led the side during the entire tournament but was unfortunate not to cross the final obstacle.
Ahmed was the strongest candidate to be appointed as Pakistan’s ODI skipper, especially after Azhar Ali’s mediocre tenure as captain.
Although cricket is a team game, the Quetta Gladiators will be keen to see these players fire on all cylinders during the second edition of the league. You can be rest assured that if these players live up to their expectations, the Gladiators will most definitely end up on the winning side and maybe even go on to settle Pakistan’s most popular trophy.