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  1. #1
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    Pakistan Super League 2020 Preview: Lahore Qalandars

    By @Saj




    The Lahore Qalandars can be regarded as the perennial triers, the guys who are desperate to do well but rarely do. Over the years, they have assembled some big names in their squads such as AB de Villiers but things tend to fall apart for one reason or another. Whether itís strange selections, bickering amongst some of the players and coaches, inflated egos, unusual tactics or interesting choices as skippers, the Qalandars have had it all.

    One should never underestimate their efforts in locating and producing talent via their talent-hunt programs which have seen the rise of Haris Rauf to international honors. But when it comes to the Pakistan Super League, the Qalandars have flattered to deceive and have underachieved.

    So what lessons have the Qalandars learned from previous editions of the PSL and what can we expect from the Rana brothers owned team this time around. Will it be more looks of anguish from Fawad Rana or will it be huge smiles from the popular owner?


    Strengths

    Qalandars have assembled what on paper looks like an impressive bowling unit. In Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Usman Shinwari, the Qalandars have what appears to be a bowling attack that could blow away any batting line-up. All three Pakistani pacers are not only excellent with the new ball, but all have the ability to come back at the end of the innings and blow away the lower order. On a good day, this pace-bowling trio could destroy the opposition batting unit. Add to the aforementioned bowlers David Wiese, Samit Patel and potentially Mohammad Hafeez and the Qalandars appear to have a bowling attack that could match the best at this yearís Pakistan Super League, as long as the captain and think-tank manage their resources accordingly.


    Weaknesses

    Sohail Akhtar as the choice of skipper will have raised a lot of eyebrows, particularly when previous editions of the PSL have shown that the Qalandars have never been the most harmonious squad amongst the PSL franchises. The problem that Sohail has is that he has a number of experienced and high-profile colleagues within the squad who may be rather difficult to handle. Whilst Akhtar is an experienced cricketer, captaining at a high-profile tournament such as the PSL may be rather more difficult than he would have anticipated. In addition, the Qalandars batting has the look of a team that will rely heavily, once again, on Fakhar Zaman who has struggled of late. Support in the batting for Fakhar should in theory come from Mohammad Hafeez, Chris Lynn and Ben Dunk, although other batting options look rather limited. In fact, some of the batting selections by the Qalandars could well be classed as bizarre.


    Players to watch out for

    Haris Rauf - A star in this yearís Big Bash League and now picked by his country in the Twenty20 format, Harisí career can only be described as a dream come true. Aggressive, intelligent, skillful and a match-winner, Haris should be one of the stars of the tournament and amongst the leading wicket-takers at this yearís PSL.

    Shaheen Shah Afridi's rise has been astounding. Now respresenting Pakistan in all three formats, this young man continues to improve in every format and almost with every match he plays. Whether itís the five-day format, the 50-over version or twenty-over matches, Shaheen is a captainís dream. In tandem with Haris Rauf and Usman Shinwari, Shaheen will be the bowler who the Qalandars will look to for consistency and the bowler who will be looked at, to target the key opposition batsmen.

    Usman Shinwari - Unpredictable and at times inconsistent, Usman is a bowler who has the ability to turn a match on its head. However, he is also a bowler who has at times let the skipper and team down with some misfiring spells. Now with experience, maturity and the confidence of playing for his country, Usman should be one of Qalandars' go-to players at this yearís PSL. With Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi and David Wiese there to support him in the pace-bowling department, Shinwari should be able to raise his game and have a good tournament.

    David Wiese - 34 years of age and having played in T20 leagues all around the world, South African Wiese could provide the Qalandars with the experience and know-how to settle what has been a volatile team. Steady with the ball and explosive at times with the bat, Wiese could this time around provide the X-factor that has been needed from Qalandars overseas players but has rarely been visible. His experience also could be beneficial to skipper Sohail Akhtar at key times.

    Chris Lynn is another of the played-around-the-world in Twenty20 Leagues brigade. Lynnís twenty-over statistics are impressive, with an average of over 32 and a strike-rate of more than 142. The Qalandars will want him to provide them with that exceptional skill of winning matches from a lost cause. He is an experienced player who needs to be there to guide the younger players and help Qalandars raise their game this year. Lynn is explosive with the bat and the Qalandars will be hoping that he is on top of his game.


    Verdict

    The bowling is as good as you will see in this yearís PSL and wicket-taking should not be a problem for the Qalandars. However, whilst the bowlers look special, the batting looks rather short of match-winning options and heavily reliant on some familiar names like Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez. What will be key is the performance of the likes of Wiese, Lynn and Dunk and if they do well, this could be the difference between a poor campaign and a good campaign. Winners Ė No. Better performance Ė Yes.


    Squad

    Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Chris Lynn, David Wiese, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Khan Shinwari, Sohail Akhtar (c), Haris Rauf, Samit Patel, Salman Butt, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ben Dunk, Farzan Raja, Jaahid Ali, Mohammad Faizan, Dane Vilas, Dilbar Hussain.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 14th February 2020 at 15:50.


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  2. #2
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    Decent team can be made with current squad but the remaining emerging pick (If its gonna happen as LQ mentioned) can be really important for the combo.

    Fakhar Zaman
    Chris Lynn
    Mohammad Hafeez
    Mohammad Faizan
    Ben Dunk (WK)
    Samit Patel
    Sohail Akhtar (C)
    David Wiese/ Prasanna
    Haris Rauf
    Shaheen Shah
    Usman Shinwari
    Last edited by Titan24; 14th February 2020 at 00:37.

  3. #3
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    If Lynn or Zaman click, then they have a great chance of victory.

    Overall, dud team and will end up last again.

  4. #4
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    Aqib jaaved needs to GO .....

    batting is weakest of the lot.. bowling is excellent but then who else doesnt lol

  5. #5
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    Fakhar,lyn,hafeez,wiese,akhtar,faizan,patel,shinwa ri,shaheen,rauf.

    Best bowling line up in the tournament

  6. #6
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    Easily the worst team in the tournament.

  7. #7
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    Sohail Akhtar is a bizarre choice as captain.

    The batting is really weak - nobody in the squad can reliably score runs. Fakhar and Lynn can be destructive, but are hit or miss. Hafeez has a huge role to bat through for Lahore, especially when the openers can easily flop.

  8. #8
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    All I want is Rana Sahib to be happy!

    Seriously speaking, with this squad - if Qalandars dont get into the play-offs this time, they might as well give up!

    They have the cream of Pakistan's T20 squad in their bowling line-up ; What more do they need?


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  9. #9
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    Not sure what to make of this team. They keep repeating the same blunders.

    The best 11 they could put is

    F Zaman
    C Lynn f
    M Hafeez
    S Akhtar c
    B Dunk + f
    S Patel f
    M Faizan e
    D Wiese / S Prasanna f
    S Afridi
    H Rauf
    U Khan

    At least theyíve a decent pace attack this time around

  10. #10
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    Last position waiting for them again

  11. #11
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    Would like to see Lynn click this year, has somewhat under achieved in the PSL to date.

  12. #12
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    People not happy with Aaqib Javed

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  13. #13
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    Seeing Lahore lose brings a massive smile on my face. Clowns.


    You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan, designed and directed by his red right hand.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul View Post
    Seeing Lahore lose brings a massive smile on my face. Clowns.
    But they might win today.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    But they might win today.
    Unfortunately old habits die hard.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    But they might win today.
    Its never over for Lahore, until its REALLY over.

    The most comic team in franchise cricket.

  17. #17
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    Lahore's batting fired and they still lost. The team can't get get any worse at this point.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    But they might win today.
    Too bad they didn't.


    You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan, designed and directed by his red right hand.

  19. #19
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    I'm afraid Sohail Akhtar is being found out as skipper pretty quickly.

    Some very strange decisions as captain.



  20. #20
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    Early stages but Haris Rauf has been a bit disappointing. He was probably the most hyped player coming into the PSL after his heroics in the BBL, but has not provided the support for Shaheen.

    I hope he gets his mojo back quickly. I believe he can be the best death bowler for Pakistan in the World Cup.

    Shaheen and Amir opening, Hasnain in the middle and Rauf at the death. Now that is some attack.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum363 View Post
    Early stages but Haris Rauf has been a bit disappointing. He was probably the most hyped player coming into the PSL after his heroics in the BBL, but has not provided the support for Shaheen.

    I hope he gets his mojo back quickly. I believe he can be the best death bowler for Pakistan in the World Cup.

    Shaheen and Amir opening, Hasnain in the middle and Rauf at the death. Now that is some attack.
    I told people here that he's being overhyped.
    He barely took any meaningful wickets in the BBL.
    He's not as good as people are making him out to be

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    All I want is Rana Sahib to be happy!

    Seriously speaking, with this squad - if Qalandars dont get into the play-offs this time, they might as well give up!

    They have the cream of Pakistan's T20 squad in their bowling line-up ; What more do they need?
    If this is the cream of Pakistan's T20 squad then may Allah have mercy on us for the T20 world cup
    All are jokers except Shaheen.
    Haris Rauf is overrated
    Shinwari... i cba with this guy anymore

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronaldo7 View Post
    I told people here that he's being overhyped.
    He barely took any meaningful wickets in the BBL.
    He's not as good as people are making him out to be
    It's not the wickets he took, it's the way he bowled.

    145+ consistently targeting the stumps and nailing Yorkers. Ideal death bowling.

    He should take a leaf out of Malinga's book and spend all his time practising death bowling (ie bowling at a shoe in front of the stumps, slower balls etc). He could have decent career for Pak in LO cricket and in leagues around the world.

  24. #24
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  25. #25
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  26. #26
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    Interesting to see they dropped David Wiese -- whos been one of their better players but it worked...may need to look beyond Fakhar - hes really struggling


    Full credit to Micky Arthur for realizing Babar Azam was born to bat at 3 in all formats.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canistani Hero View Post
    Interesting to see they dropped David Wiese -- whos been one of their better players but it worked...may need to look beyond Fakhar - hes really struggling
    Alternatives are the likes of Salman Butt and Jaahid Ali


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  28. #28
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  29. #29
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    They had a poor draft.

    Their overseas players are inconsistent and barring Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, their Pakistani players are not match-winners. In addition they have chosen several players who would not be anywhere near any of the other squads at the PSL.



  30. #30
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    Interesting poll results!


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  31. #31
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    Can Haris Rauf come back if he regains fitness..


    Full credit to Micky Arthur for realizing Babar Azam was born to bat at 3 in all formats.

  32. #32
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    Lynn and Rauf for Villas and Shinwari and they might just dunk into playoffs


    Full credit to Micky Arthur for realizing Babar Azam was born to bat at 3 in all formats.

  33. #33
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  34. #34
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  35. #35
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  36. #36
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  37. #37
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  38. #38
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  39. #39
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    I knew there was a decent team in there somewhere.

    Great to see them showing what they can do.



  40. #40
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    The Qalandars have woken up

    Fawad Rana needs to stay away I think

  41. #41
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    Lynn, Weise, Dunk and Patel are their best 4 overseas.

    Next year I would like to see David Weise in a Darren Sammy like role and they invest in a new all-rounder. They can be lethal with a player like Ben Stokes.

  42. #42
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    People may laugh at PSL because they have Samit Patel as one of its key overseas players. However, I feel that the guy is a very underrated player often overlooked because of his physique. He will produce the same kind of performances in the IPL if given then chance I recon

  43. #43
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    I am telling you guys now Sohail Akhtar needs to stop pretending like some world class opener and let better batsmen in the team bat ahead of him. He is a strange batsman and also eats up a lot of balls. Wont even make it to a Pakistan D team.

    Rest looks good for Lahore.

  44. #44
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    I really like their bowlers Salman and dilbar. Amazing that a team in the psl took a punt on these guys. Hope they win psl5

  45. #45
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    When a captain marshals his troops from the front it has an affect on the rest of the team. He was batting at #6, hasn't bowled for 2 seasons now and mostly is seen during erratic field changes. Both times Lahore won he was at front taking responsibility. Check the rest of the batting lineup and check Hafeez performance. You'll find a huge difference.

  46. #46
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    The team finally yelled together, playing for the team rather then playing for themselves


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