The sixth season of the Pakistan Super League or PSL 2021 is ready to begin on Saturday (20th February) with the opening match between Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators at National Stadium (Karachi).
While Karachi Kings won the PSL 2020 trophy, Quetta Gladiators won the PSL 2019 trophy, who finished in the fifth position in the last PSL season. However, Both teams are desperate for the fresh start with a victory in this PSL 2021 opening game.
PSL 2021, Match 1: Karachi Kings vs Quetta Gladiators – Match Preview
The PSL 2020 winners Karachi Kings will participate in the PSL 2021 as the defending champions. Captain Imad Wasim is ready to make a strong start to prove their team again.
All-rounder Imad Wasim is one of their very crucial names. But in the batting, they have the biggest name, Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who also won the Player of the Tournament award in the PSL 2020 after finishing as the leading run-scorer in that season (473 runs). Also, Sharjeel Khan and South African Colin Ingram are present in their batting line-up.
Apart from the skipper Imad Wasim, they have top overseas all-rounders like Australian Daniel Christian and Afghanistan Mohammad Nabi. Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir is obviously the big name in their bowling line-up while the other fast bowlers now have the great opportunity to prove themselves.
Imad Wasim (C), Aamer Yamin, Arshad Iqbal, Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Mohammad Amir, Sharjeel Khan, Waqas Maqsood, Chadwick Walton, Daniel Christian, Danish Aziz, Joe Clarke, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Ilyas, Noor Ahmed, Qasim Akram, Zeeshan Malik, Abbas Afridi
The PSL 2019 winners Quetta Gladiators ended their three successive playoffs streak in the last season where they finished in the fifth position in the points table.
Quetta Gladiators are the youngest side in this new PSL season where they have nine players under the age of 23-year-old. Captain Sarfaraz Khan is ready to lead this side again in the PSL 2021. Caribbean star Chris Gayle is ready to serve for this side, who missed out the last three PSL seasons. But if he miss out the later period of this tournament due to international commitment, Proteas star Faf du Plessis will replace him.
On the other hand, South African fast bowler Dale Steyn will miss at least Quetta Gladiators’ first two matches of this season due to family commitment. So, the 22-year-old spin-bowling all-rounder Hassan Khan has joined the squad as the partial replacement of Steyn.
Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Azam Khan and South African Cameron Delport are their known face along with their skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and last season’s joining Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting. Addition of English opening batsman Tom Banton is making their batting stronger. However, inexperience can affect the team game, especially if they fail to get the good start.
Sarfaraz Ahmed (C), Anwar Ali, Azam Khan, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Zahid Mahmood, Hassan Khan (partial replacement of Dale Steyn), Tom Banton, Usman Khan Shinwari, Cameron Delport, Qais Ahmad, Abdul Nasir, Saim Ayub, Arish Ali Khan, Usman Khan, Chris Gayle/Faf du Plessis (Faf is the partial replacement of Gayle)
PSL 2021, Match 1: Karachi Kings vs Quetta Gladiators – Match Prediction
The defending champions Karachi Kings have the better confidence while the many inexperienced cricketers can be a big challenge for Quetta Gladiators. However, Gladiators are leading the head-to-head contest by the 7-3 margin over Kings, including winning both the last two games in the PSL 2020.
But the upcoming match will be the new beginning for both these teams and both these teams will try their best to make a perfect positive start in the PSL 2021.