The second season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has arrived and it seems to be yet another blockbuster tournament. The first match of the PSL 2017 begins tomorrow when the defending champion, Islamabad United, takes on Peshawar Zalmi at the Dubai International Stadium.
Here we take a look at PSL teams and players to keep a close eye on in the second edition of the PSL.
1- Sharjeel Khan (Islamabad United)
Islamabad United have an explosive opening batter in Sharjeel Khan – who scored a century in the last year’s PSL to take his side to the final against Zalmi – and will be heavily relying on his power hitting game.
Sharjeel scored 299 runs at an average of 29.9 and strike rate of 148.75 from his 11 outings to the middle.
He is likely to open the innings with Shane Watson, the Australian veteran all-rounder, or Dwayne Smith, the West Indian hard hitting batsman.
2- Sunil Narine (Lahore Qalandars)
After their dismal run in the inaugural PSL season last year, Qalandars have made 14 changes to their squad, the most by any franchise. The man to look out for in the Lahore squad is Sunil Narine, the West Indies’ mystery spin bowler who is no short of reputation.
The slowness of the Dubai and Sharjah surfaces may assist Narine, who is very adaptable to these surfaces with his variations and off-spin bowling, and he might be the difference for Qalandars this time around.
3- Ravi Bopara (Karachi Kings)
The player to look out for in the Karachi Kings squad is Ravi Bopara, the England all-rounder who has the experience of playing in t20 leagues around the world.
Ravi Bapara had a fabulous last season for Karachi King as he scored 329 runs at an average of 54.83 and strike rate of 132.12. He also took 11 wickets in nine matches with his slow, accurate medium pace bowling.
4- Shakib Al Hasan (Peshawar Zalmi)
Peshawar has Shakib al Hasan in their firepower, the Bangladesh’s all-rounder who is arguably in the top three all-rounders list across all formats.
Shakib’s slow left arm spin and ability to contribute with the bat makes him the player to watch out for in the second season of the PSL.
5- Ahmed Shehzad (Quetta Gladiators)
Going into the PSL, Ahmed Shehzad – the stylish Pakistani opening batsman – has a point to prove to the Pakistani selectors and to himself that he is capable enough to regain the opening slot in the national side.
Shehzad scored 290 runs at an average of 29 and strike rate of 143.56 last year, including the blistering 64 off 39 balls in the final match, although it came in the losing cause.
Featured Photo Credit: PSL Facebook page