Karachi Kings have made a number of leadership changes ahead of this season, with Babar Azam taking over as captain from Imad Wasim and Peter Moores replacing Hereschelle Gibbs as the head coach.
In addition to having an English coach, the Kings, for some reason, have also added a number of English players to their roster as signified in the signings of Joe Clarke, Chris Jordan, Lewis Gregory and Ian Cockbain.
Clarke and Cockbain’s additions boast a batting unit that already boasted names such as Babar and also Sharjeel Khan, who can be devastating on his day.
While the batting has been bolstered, the same cannot be said about bowling, which still looks weak, just as it did last year when the Kings had major troubles defending totals, although that was a general problem, too, for everyone else.
The Kings are not blessed with roster depth either, meaning a couple injuries – or God forbid infections – could really stretch them for quality.
On the opposite side and in charge of Multan Sultans will be his international accomplice and batting partner, Mohammad Rizwan, who has had the Midas touch over the past year or so.
He led the less heralded Sultans to their first PSL title last season immediately after taking over from Shan Masood. After that, he had himself a stellar international season as well, of which we do not need to tell anyone. His accolades speak for themselves.
During the offseason, the Sultans retained much of their title winning core except for losing James Vince, Shahid Afridi and Sohail Tanvir – all of whom joined Quetta Gladiators. Usman Qadir, who was severely underused last year with Imran Tahir blocking his way, has also left for Peshawar Zalmi. Tim David is the notable addition and he’d add to the Sultans’ power hitting ability.
Multan’s top seven pack decent batting talent but their tail can be on the long side if they go with all their first-choice bowlers. Spin department is also a bit short, having seen both Afridi and Tahir depart. Tahir is probably too old at this stage to be asked to do the duty the entire tournament.