Pakistan Super League 8: Team Analysis - Multan Sultans
Multan Sultans' practice session (Source: Twitter/@MultanSultans)
The eighth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) unfurls in less than a week. After an exhibition match between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi on February 5, the first match begins on February 13. Multan Sultans will lock horns against defending champions, Lahore Qalandars at the Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan.
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With plenty of overseas and local flavour in the competition, it will be interesting to see how each team shapes up on paper. We have already covered an analysis report on various other franchises and it's time to audit the Multan Sultans ahead of the PSL 2023.
History of Multan Sultans
The Multan Sultans first featured in the PSL in the year 2018 and it took them three years to clinch the maiden title. They went into the playoffs for the first time in 2020 and the next year they ended up as the champions. They've made it to the knockout stages for the third consecutive time last year and bid adieu as the runner's-up.
Multan Sultans Squad
Mohammad Rizwan (c), Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, David Miller, Khushdil Shah, Rilee Rossouw, Usama Mir, Abbas Afridi, Ihsanullah, Md Sarwar, Arafat Minhas, Tim David, Joshua Little, Sameen Gul, Akeal Hosein, Usman Khan, Anwar Ali, Adil Rashid, Izharulhaq Naveed (partial/full replacement of David Miller), Wayne Parnell (partial/full replacement of Adil Rashid)
Now let us do a post-mortem of the squad
Batters: Mohammed Rizwan, Rilee Rossouw, Shan Masood, Khusdil Shah, David Miller, Usman Khan
All-rounders: Tim David, Mohammed Sarwar, Arafat Minhas, Kieron Pollard, Anwar Ali
Bowlers: Shahnawaz Dahani, Abbas Afridi, Josh Little, Sameen Gul, Izharulhaq Naveed, Wayne Parnell, Amad Butt, Usama Mir, Akeal Hosein, Ihsanullah
So let us deep dive into the Formadibility of the Sultans for PSL 2023
- An array of match-winners: From Mohammed Rizwan to David Miller and Kieron Pollard to Rilee Rossouw, Multan Sultans have plenty of match-winners in their ranks. Barring these, the likes of Shan Masood, Joshua Little, Akeal Hosein and Tim David adds more solidity in the squad.
- Proven Finishers: If talked about finishing a match, Multan Sultans could be one of the top contenders for this role. They have one of the best in the business at the lower-middle order. Kieron Pollard, David Miller and Tim David have won matches globally and the unit will expect them to replicate the acts. Baring this, Akeal Hosein is someone who can play a huge role at the latter stage of a game with the willow.
- Pool of local talent: If one looks at the history of champions in any franchise leagues, it will be understood that the local players have a great role to play. The Sultans have some exciting talent pool in the form of Mohammed Sarwar, Arafat Minhas, Sameen Gul, etc. The presence of emerging stars such as Usman Khan (360 degree top order batter) and Izrharulhaq Naveed (excting Afghan leggie) encapsulates a forge of rebellions.
- Lack of slog over specialist: The Multan-oriented franchise possesses an array of fast and medium fast bowlers who are good with the new ball and in the middle phases. But when it comes to the shorter formats, operating in the death overs is a pivotal aspect. The likes of Joshua Little and Wayne Parnell forms a good new ball duo. Although the Irish left-arm pacer has evolved well in all the phases, the unit might lack proper support. Shahnawaz Dahani is someone who will have to take huge responsibilities on shoulder.
- Who's going to open the innings with Mohammed Rizwan? It could be either Rilee Rossouw, Usman Khan or Shan Masood. Most likely, Shan Masood and Khusdil Shah will form the backbone in the middle order. So, it opens opportunities for Usman. The flamboyant batter have proven his worth around the franchise leagues the past year. Furthermore, it would be an apt opportunity to test the skillset in one of the riveting tournaments of the world.
- Managing the temporary available players: One of the challenges that the Rizwan-led side will face is to fill the void of the temporary available players. Tim David will miss the first seven games owing to workload management. In addition David Miller will be missing the last few games. Also, Josh Little will be missing the playoffs due to Bangladesh series. Rubbing salt to the wound, Wayne Parnell is dicy as he sustained a groin injury recently in the SA20. So, with all these developments around the corner, it will be challenging for the Sultans to get along with.
The Multan Sultans have a very good balance of overseas and local players. It looks like a well rounded team and I won't be surprised if they make it to finals once more, even they could go one better this time and be the champions.