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Tuesday, July 23, 2024  
16 Muharram 1446  

Meet Multan Sultans: Batting nightmare with average bowling

They will be hosting Lahore Qalandars in the opening fixture
Photo: PSL
Photo: PSL

Multan Sultans came so close to defending their Pakistan Super League crown, but Shaheen Afridi’s Lahore Qalandars spoiled the fun in the final by clinching the title in 2022.

Now Sultans are back, and they could not ask for a better venue to kick things off, as they will be hosting the defending champions Qalandars at the Multan Cricket Stadium in the opening fixture on February 13.

Since 2021, they are on a roll, they formed a formidable lineup, covering all of their weaknesses and improving their strengths to become one of the big forces in the tournament.

Under Mohammad Rizwan’s leadership, Sultans have come miles ahead as they became the most successful team (by win ratio) in the tournament, despite starting their journey in 2018 – two years after the inaugural edition.

Playing in their home ground also increased the expectations of the fans from them. Without further delay let’s move toward the squad before we would break it down to their strengths and weaknesses.

Squad

Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah, Rilee Rossouw, Shan Masood, Shahnawaz Dahani, Tim David, Abbas Afridi, Ihsanullah, David Miller, Josh Little, Akeal Hosein, Usama Mir, Usman Khan, Sameen Gul, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Sarwar, Arafat Minhas, Kieron Pollard, Amad Butt

Partial replacements: Wayne Parnell and Izharulhaq Naveed

Strengths

Batting has always been their strength especially when they are chasing. They have a variety of batters in their XI starting from settle Rizwan and Shan Masood, explosive batters like Rilee Rossouw, Tim David, and David Miller, and finishers like Khushdil Shah and Kieron Pollard – a nightmare for any bowling attack in T20 competitions.

Tim David and in-form Rilee Rossouw were an integral part of their squad and now with the inclusion of David Miller – who played for Peshawar Zalmi last year –, you know what is in the store.

Moreover, the Sultans also signed Kieron Pollard, who has tons of experience in T20 cricket and Khushdil Shah, who can be handy with the bat and also useful with the ball.

As far as their bowling is concerned, they have versatile spinners like Akeal Hosein and Usama Mir to make things difficult for any franchise.

Weaknesses

With this squad, it seems like they will be heavily relying on spinners this season. They only have Wayne Parnell as an experienced pacer in the lineup.

Though, they have Shahnawaz Dahani too, who has played a couple of seasons with the franchise. He was part of the Pakistan squad for a number of tours last year but hasn’t featured much in the XI.

Joshua Little, is another exciting prospect in their attack, but his lack of experience in the sub-continent would be something that Sultans should have looked at.

Conclusion

Multan Sultans are surely one of the title contenders this year despite, what seems like struggling when it comes to bowling power. Their foreign cricketers are well aware of the conditions and with leaders like Rizwan, it is icing on the cake for them.

The big question is, will they be able to deliver on the day?

Fixtures

13 Feb: Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars

15 Feb: Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators

17 Feb: Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi

19 Feb: Multan Sultans v Islamabad United

22 Feb: Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings

26 Feb: Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans

4 March: Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans

7 March: Islamabad United v Multan Sultans

10 March: Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans

11 March: Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans

Probable XI

Mohammad RIzwan (c), Shan Masood, Rilee Rossouw, David Miller, Tim David, Khushdil Shah, Usama Mir, Shahnawaz Dahani, Josh Little, Amad Butt and Arafat Minhas

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