Islamabad United has everything a T-20 team can ask for. It is a well-balanced team with a potent bowling attack and with Asif Ali and Luke Ronchi in the side as the two big-hitters, the two-times PSL Champions will give a tough time to Lahore Qalandars.
However, Lahore Qalandars has arguably the biggest name in PSL – AB de Villers. Captaining the side is the experienced Hafeez aka Professor. The combination of Fakhar Zaman, Corey Anderson, and the destructive AB de Villers can wreak havoc on any opposition team in this 4th edition of PSL.
When it comes to the spin department, both teams have high-quality spinners. Shadab Khan, the vice-captain of Islamabad United will be a key player if they are to win the title again. Samit Patel or Zafar Gohar will give a supporting role to the ace spinner (Shadab).
On the other hand, Lahore Qalandars have Yasir Shah and the Nepalese sensation Sandeep Lamichhane. Moreover, Hassan Khan is another spinning option. And not to forget the skipper himself.
The anchor role for Islamabad United can be played by Hussain Talat or Ian Bell whereas Lahore Qalanders will be pinning hopes on Hafeez and Agha Salman.
The pace department of Islamabad United has a slight edge over Qalandars. Sami, the captain of United, Rumman Raees, and Faheem Ashraf will form the pace trio. But keep in mind, Shaheen Afridi could well be the difference between the two sides if he knocks out the top-order of Islamabad United.
The problem for Lahore is that they don’t have a quality pacer other than Shaheen. Rahat Ali can provide a good hand but the third-seamer option is not promising.
All in all, the first clash of the PSL 2019 is a mouth-watering one.