Islamabad United to ride on Hasan Ali’s resurgent form in PSL6

Hasan Ali is firing on all cylinders and Islamabad United will make sure to use that to their advantage during PSL6

Abdul Majid January 12, 2021

Twice Pakistan Super League champions Islamabad United will be looking at newly picked Hasan Ali to change their fortunes when they fight it out in the sixth edition to add another silverware in their trophy case.

Islamabad retained eight players before the PSL players draft for the 2021 edition, including England opener Alex Hales, all-rounder Shadab Khan, New Zealand big-hitter Colin Munro, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, batsman Hussain Talat, batsman Asif Ali, pacer Musa Khan and spinner Zafar Gohar.

When it came to picking their third player from the platinum category, Islamabad surprised everyone as they plucked Hasan. Hasan, who represented Peshawar Zalmi earlier, was not retained the Javed Afridi-owned franchise and after a lot of confusion it was cleared that the pacer himself requested the departure.

In the diamond category, Islamabad picked English pacer Lewis Gregory, who represents Somerset County Cricket Club to boost their bowling department and find a worthy partner for Hasan.

Islamabad’s gold pick was Phil Salt, who is a right-handed, aggressive opening batsman and plays for Sussex in the English County.

In the silver category, wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir was plucked from Multan Sultans, while Iftikhar Ahmed was picked again to don the Islamabad jersey. Another player selected in the silver category was English left-arm pacer Reece Topley.

In the emerging category, Islamabad opted for Mohammad Wasim Jr, who has represented Pakistan in the U19s and is considered to be one of the rising bowling all-rounders. He was accompanied in the emerging category by Ahmed Safi Abdullah, primarily a slow left-arm bowler, who had represented Islamabad in the 2020 edition as well.

Islamabad’s supplementary picks saw English death-bowling expert Chris Jordan being picked, while a 20-year-old pacer Akif Javed also made it into the PSL 6 as a supplementary player.

Batsmen to watch: Phil Salt

Islamabad have once again loaded themselves with match-winners, one reason they have lifted the PSL trophy twice and this time they have one of the best new prospects of English county in their squad in the form of Salt.

Salt has played 84 T20s in his career till now and boasts a strike rate of 154 with 15 fifties to his name. Islamabad must’ve picked him for his solid striking skills at the top of the order and together with Munro, the duo can form one of the deadliest opening partnerships in PSL6.

He can be considered one of Islamabad’s best picks as he can bring in the experience of playing the Big Bash League and the Caribbean Premier League.

Bowler to watch: Hasan Ali

It would be a lie to say that people would be looking at any other bowler than Hasan Ali when Islamabad United take the field during PSL6.

The pacer has returned from a long absence due to back pain and later a groin injury during the recently concluded Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and has made sure he left a mark in his primary role as a bowler and secondarily with the bat as well.

Hasan last played a T20 for Peshawar Zalmi in March last year when Multan Sultans beat Peshawar Zalmi by three runs, before the league was suspended due to Covid-19.

He then represented Central Punjab and in the final of the QeA Trophy and bagged the player-of-the-final award for his five wickets in two innings and also a late flurry to tie the match against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Hasan scored a fast-paced century to help team reach 355 in pursuit of a 356-run target.

So even if he doesn’t deliver with the ball during PSL6 for Islamabad United, they might benefit from his power-hitting down the order.


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