PSL 8: SWOT Analysis of Multan Sultans
Multan Sultans, the franchise with the highest win percentage in the PSL history, has a creditable equilibrium in the squad in almost every department; at least on paper, their team looks most balanced and formidable. They’ll return to their home ground, “Multan Cricket Ground”. The 2021 champion, Multan Sultans, will kick off their drive on the opening day against the defending champions, Lahore Qalandars. Multan Sultans has returned strongly from their earlier seasons’ dismal performances under Mohammad Rizwan’s captaincy, winning the PSL 2021 trophy convincingly. Multan have only lost two matches out of their last 15 appearances. The team, led by Pakistani T20i sensation Mohammad Rizwan, will hunt for their second PSL title this season.
Multan Sultans lost the final of last year’s Pakistan super league edition. They failed to chase down 180 against the powerful bowling attack of Qalandars and lost by 42 runs. Interestingly, the Sultans only lost two games during PSL-7, both to the Qalandars. However, they regularly dominated the tables as two of their players finished among the PSL-7’s top five run scorers. Players like Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, David Miller, Tim David and Shahnawaz Dahani will be considered as top weapons of Sultans this season. Here is the SWOT analysis of their squad.
The biggest strength of the Multan Sultans is their well-balanced squad. Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, and Rilee Rossouw as top-order batters, Tim David and David Miller as finishers, Anwar Ali, Khushdil Shah, Kieron Pollard, and Ammad Butt as all-rounders. They also have a decent bowling attack with bowlers like Usama Mir, Shahnawaz Dahani, Wayne Parnell, Akeal Hosein and Sameen Gul.
Multan Sultans also has a strong pool of local players, including Abbas Afridi (keeping in mind how well he bowled in the last season), Arafat Minhas, and Usman Khan, who is just coming off after a fantastic BPL season.
Multan Sultans contains a perfect T20I batting order, complete mixture of anchors and aggressors. Mohammad Rizwan won numerous matches for Pakistan in the last few years with his rather sensible approach. With Miller and David, Rizwan can be a severe threat to the opposition because he doesn’t have to go hard every time and can play the role he does perfectly. We know the extent of damage Rizwan-Tim David combo did to the opposition last year, this time too both will look to get as many triumphs as possible.
Although the Sultans have a formidable batting order and versatile spin attack, they still seem to be missing an experienced Pakistani fast bowler who can bowl with the new ball and in death overs. Shahnawaz Dahani, Anwar Ali, Abbas Afridi, and Ammad Butt are first-change bowlers, and we haven’t seen them regularly used by Rizwan as new ball bowlers in previous year’s outings. Shahnawaz Dahani has had a forgettable T20i season with the Pakistani side in 2022.
He is the one that Rizwan might look at, but his consistency and accuracy in death overs will remain the critical factor.
The franchise also has two foreign pacers, Joshua Little and Wayne Parnell. Wayne Parnell can solve Rizwan’s new ball headache, but after his return we haven’t seen him bowling for South Africa in death overs. Throughout the world cup 2022, South Africa used Parnell as a new ball bowler. Josh Little, the emerging star of last year, will be the one to watch out for. But questions stay the same; with the emerging superstar’s significantly less experience, will he be able to adjust on flat Pakistani tracks and combat the dew factor under lights? This also adds a vital question mark: Can this attack match the teams having death bowlers like Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, and Mir Hamza. It will be interesting to see how Rizwan will manage his resources throughout the season.
A few promising young players like Usman Khan, Ihsan Ullah, and Arafat Minhas also have an opportunity to rise to the occasion and impact the team. All eyes will be on the two under-19 players, wicket-keeper Ihsan Ullah and the slow left-arm orthodox Arafat Minhas. They will be eager to make a mark in the PSL 2023 edition.
After Adil Rashid’s unavailability, Usama Mir has the best opportunity and time to showcase his skills. The leggy had a fantastic white ball series against the Kiwis earlier this month. Usama Mir can create an impact, considering that he will play half of the league matches on the pitch that suits spinners most.
Ammad Butt, who had an excellent domestic cup with bat and ball, also has an opportunity to prove his worth as a fast bowling all-rounder, which the national side has been looking for quite a while now.
One of the issues the franchise will face is the partial availability of foreign players as three of their prominent overseas players, Tim David, Akeal Hosein, and David Miller, will be partially available.
As I alluded to in the weakness section, Sultan’s death bowling is a big issue. They just need to buy more ammunition to match the likes of Shaheen, Haris, Naseem and Wahab.
Read also: https://icasportsplus.com/shaheen-shah-afridi-makes-some-big-revelations-before-his-comeback/
There is also a problem of plenty for Sultans as there are too many local talented individuals in the squad. It will be a task for them to pick up their playing XI.
Mohammad Rizwan (C), David Miller, Josh Little, Khushdil Shah, Shan Masood, Rilee Rossouw, Shahnawaz Dahani, Akeal Hosein, Tim David, Abbas Afridi, Ihsan Ullah, Usama Mir, Arafat Minhas, Ammad Butt, Kieron Pollard, Wayne Parnell, Izharulhaq Naveed, Mohammad Sarwar, Anwar Ali, Usman Khan, Sameen Gul.