As of today’s date, men’s ODI cricket has witnessed 54 bowlers take at least four wickets on debut.
The successful season of Pakistan Super League 2020 has been postponed due to COVID-19 that has spread all over the world.
After the struggle of the last four years, the PSL came back home. All the matches this season were played in Pakistan. The return started when the final of PSL 2 was played in Lahore then the playoffs of PSL 3 were played in Lahore and Karachi and then the last eight matches of PSL 4 were held in Karachi.
The PSL was about to end, with just three matches left (semi-finals and finals), when the coronavirus hit Pakistan so the PCB decided to stop the PSL there. Fans were an integral part of this season and they came out in large numbers to support cricket in Pakistan. There were full stadiums, especially in Rawalpindi and Multan, and the crowd remained blazing during the whole season.
Now, what have we got from this season? Pakistan is known as a pace factory and we have seen some exciting fast bowers this season as well. While Pakistan’s bowling always remains their strong point, their batting is a main concern. But we have also seen some exciting batsmen who could cement their spot in the national team.
1. Haider Ali
The 19-year-old Haider Ali had a fantastic season of PSL, scoring 239 runs in nine matches with an impressive strike rate of 160. His consistency is a little bit of an issue because he scored 239 runs at an average of just 29 with one 50 to his name. But for a young guy who is playing on the big stage for the first time, these are phenomenal numbers.
He has a batting technique similar to Virat Kohli and Babar Azam. One thing I like about him is that he doesn’t think much while hitting – what he decided, he will go for it. If he continues playing like this, he could make his way into the World Cup squad later this year.
2. Zeeshan Ashraf
The wicketkeeper-batsman Zeeshan Ashraf started the PSL season on a high note but his form began to taper off as we moved ahead in the season. He scored 169 runs in nine matches, scoring two 50s, with a strike rate of 133. He was batting down the order in the early matches but was promoted to the top of the order after some matches.
He is a good wicketkeeping option for Pakistan and can fill the spot of an opener. He is consistent and has a good strike rate as an opener. He can take the innings deep and when there is the need to accelerate the innings, he can offer some power hitting. This guy has a lot of talent and will be my first-choice wicketkeeper in the T20 World Cup.
3. Azam Khan
Azam Khan, the son of ex-cricketer Moin Khan, is another player to invest in. He did not have a dream PSL season but his talent is far ahead of his numbers. He scored 150 runs in nine matches with an average of 18.75 including a 50. The thing I like most in him is his calm nature. He handles pressure situations easily and could be the match-winner with his firepower. A strike rate of 130.43 this season shows that he is capable of playing big shots.
With his fitness, though, he doesn’t deserve to be in the national side. Despite his fitness, he built some crucial partnerships in the middle order to take his team over the line. He should focus on his fitness to make his way into the national team.