Peshawar Zalmi along with Karachi Kings are the only side in the history of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) to make it to the playoffs stage every year. From 2017 to 2019, they featured in three finals while winning the trophy in 2017 against Quetta. Last year, Zalmi had an average year. They could not find any momentum and won only four games.
This time around, they will miss the services of their star all-rounder Kieron Pollard who has been instrumental in many of their wins in the past. Darren Sammy’s change of role in the franchise has also left a huge gap to fill. Sherfane Rutherford from West Indies and David Miller have been drafted in to provide the much-needed firepower.
Ravi Bopara has joined the team recently in the supplementary category in place of Liam Livingstone. Although, the Englishmen had a terrible PSL 5 and averaged just 15.33 for Multan Sultans but his recent performances in the Abu Dhabi T20 league has been great and will be looking to do the same in PSL as well. Haider Ali, Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik will be the Pakistani contingent to complete Zalmi’s batting line up.
Last year they stuggled in the spin department and to cover that they have brought in Mujeeb ur Rehman. After the departure of Hasan Ali, their pace attack looks a bit thin. Captain Wahab Riaz will have support of Umaid Asif and young Amir Khan.
Experienced Muhammad Irfan has been picked up but with an ageing body and not very impressive performances in the recent past, it will be difficult to rely on him alone.
In Shoaib Malik, Zalmi has a seasoned campaigner. He finished the last season as their highest run-scorer with 278 runs at an average of 34.57. He is fifth on the list of all-time run-scorers in T20I. He will be the mainstay of Zalmi’s middle order and will also help other players around. With him being out of Pakistan national squad for almost six months, Malik will certainly be looking to make a mark in the upcoming edition of the PSL.
One of the finds of the last year’s PSL, Haider Ali will be looking to leave an impression this time around as well. The 20-year-old scored 239 runs at a healthy strike rate of 157.23. Since then he has represented Pakistan and shown glimpses of what he can do. With international experience on his back, Ali will be looking to make the most of the opportunity and will be a driving force in Zalmi’s charge to the title this year.
Peshawar’s captain, who has been a real force for Zalmi’s in the PSL will be hoping to lead his team from the front. Riaz has 76 wickets at an economy of 7.01 in 55 PSL appearances and also starred for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in autumn, taking 3 for 36 in the final to finish the competition with 15 wickets.
Mujeeb ur Rehman
The leg spinner from Afghanistan is making his PSL debut. He has dominated of all major T20 leagues around the world and would be looking to spin his magic in Pakistan as well. With an economy of 6.64 he has 145 career wickets to his name. Furthermore, Mujeeb has a great record bowling in the Power Play which gives captain an attacking option. In the recently concluded Big Bash League (BBL), he grabbed 14 wickets in eight games so don’t get surprised if you see him leading the bowling charts in PSL as well.
After some key personnel changes, Peshawar Zalmi will be keen to find their winning combination early in the tournament and with previous experience of playing pressure matches they can certainly challenge for this year title.
Peshawar Zalmi squad for PSL 2021
Wahab Riaz, Abrar Ahmed, Kamran Akmal, Haider Ali, Umaid Asif, Ravi Bopara, Amad Butt, Iman-ul-Haq, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir Khan, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Saqib Mahmood, Shoaib Malik, David Miller, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sherfane Rutherford.