It’s the defending champs against the PSL’s new entrant Multans.
Retained players: Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Shakib al Hasan, Kamran Akmal, Darren Sammy, Hasan Ali, Haris Sohail, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Asghar
Players picked in the draft: Dwayne Bravo, Tamim Iqbal, Hammad Azam, Saad Nasim, Taimoor Sultan, Sameen Gul, Ibtisam Sheikh
Supplementary players: Andre Fletcher, Rikki Wessels (replaced Evin Lewis), Khalid Usman, Muhammad Arif
Emerging category players: Khushdil Shah, Sameen Gul, Ibtisam Sheikh
Player Covers: Liam Dawson (cover for Shakib al Hasan), Umaid Asif (cover for Hasan Ali)
Smith, Tamim, Akmal (wk), Hafeez, Sohail, Sammy, Hammad/Khushdil, Jordan, Riaz, Asghar, Sameen Gul
Shoaib Malik, Kieron Pollard, Kumar Sangakkara, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Irfan Khan, Kashif Bhatti
Players picked in the draft: Imran Tahir, Darren Bravo, Ahmed Shehzad, MohammadAbbas, Nicholas Pooran, Abdullah Shafique, Saif Badar
Supplementary players: Hardus Viljoen, Umar Gul, Umar Siddiq, Ross WhiteleyEmerging category players: Shan Masood
Player Covers: Thisara Perera (cover for Imran Tahir)
Shehzad, Sanga, Bravo, Malik, Maqsood, Pollard, Tanvir, Saif Badar, Junaid, Irfan, Tahir
(Sultans can also open with Shan Masood)
FCG’s players to watch out for:
Malik: Pakistan‘s one of the best players in T20’s will be Sultan’s most valuable player this season with both bat & bowl.
Due to lack of off spinning options in their side, Malik will most likely bowl 2-4 overs in almost every game.
Shehzad: Ahmed Shehzad is one of those strange cricketers who are either too good when they gets going & extremely bad when he doesn’t.
But, he’s been in great touch in recent time & will be very important player for
Junaid & Tanvir: Sultans bowling attack is full of left arm seamers with Junaid, Tanvir & Irfan making a very strong attack.
Smith & Akmal: Akmal is the man of the tournament last season & also the man of the tournament of National T20 cup 2018.
Though both Smith & Akmal had a disastrous HKT20 Blitz but both loves UAE conditions & also smashed in the practice games scoring with over 200 strike rate in every game.
Riaz: With Hasan & Bravo out, Riaz becomes the only wicket taking threat in Zalmi’s squad right now along with Jordan.
Batsman: Shehzad, Iqbal, Bravo/Sohail
All-rounders: Malik, Smith
Bowlers: Riaz, Tanvir, Junaid, Tahir, Jordan.
FCG’s Match Verdict:
Defending champs are favourites to win but are a depleted side without Hasan Ali & Bravo. Also, Hafeez cannot bowl who gives balance to Zalmi & Pakistani side by giving an extra bowling option.
Therefore, backing Sultans at current odds is a good bet to begin PSL 2018
Also, Malik/Shehzad Top bat for Sultans
& Smith/Akmal top bat for Zalmi’s looks appealing.