PSL 8 Preview: Karachi Kings Strengths, Weaknesses and X-Factor

Karachi Kings created an unwanted record in last year’s PSL as they managed to win just one of their ten group games. The team finished at the bottom of the table after a disappointing outing and will be determined to bounce back quickly in PSL 8.

Before the horror show in the previous edition, Karachi had a solid record in the tournament and were one of the teams to have qualified for the playoffs in each of the six seasons of the competition.

The Kings have since made major changes to their squad which included swapping their captain Babar Azam for Haider Ali and Shoaib Malik for Peshawar Zalmi. They also brought in Imran Tahir and Matthew Wade to further strengthen their squad. They will be determined to make it to the playoffs of PSL 8 and have the squad to do so.

Karachi Kings PSL 8 Squad

Karachi Kings will be led by Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim. They have a strong core of Pakistani players including Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Sharjeel Khan and Haider Ali. They have picked up players like Imran Tahir, Matthew Wade and Andrew Tye, which adds extra quality to their well-balanced squad.

This is their 18-man line-up:

Imad Wasim (c)Matthew WadeImran TahirHaider AliJames VinceJames Fuller
Andrew TyeShoaib MalikMohammad AmirTayyab TahirMohammad AkhlaqSharjeel Khan
Mir HamzaAamer YaminIrfan Khan NiaziQasim AkramTabraiz ShamsiMohammad Umar

Previous PSL finishes
Karachi’s performances have been full of ups and downs throughout their PSL history. After failing at the final hurdle in the first four editions, they lifted the PSL trophy in the fifth season. Last year, they were disappointing to say the least, failing to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in their history, winning just one game in the entire competition.

Here’s how they’ve performed throughout the PSL:

PSL EditionYearPosition finished
720226th (Last)

Kings strength this time lies in their excellent bowling unit. Their spin bowling attack is one of the best in the tournament, with Imran Tahir, Imad Wasim and Tabraiz Shamsi at their disposal. Karachi have a decent pace attack too after getting Andrew Tye. Tye, Amir, Mir Hamza, Aamer Yamin, James Fuller and Mohammad Amir form a steady pace unit.

The form of Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is also a positive sign for the franchise.

Here is the overall T20 record of the Karachi bowling unit:

PlayerInningsWicketsAverageEconomy Rate
Imran Tahir35846619.906.96
Imad Wasim27124625.346.52
Mohammad Amir23127122.357.11
Andrew Tye20529720.388.08
Mir Hamza515130.808.22
Tabraiz Shamsi20323922.037.25
Aamer Yamin1059130.258.30
James Fuller11613924.198.66

Top pop-up options

Karachi has two of the most talented youngsters in the country in their ranks. Former Pakistan Under-19 captain Qasim Akram and young batsman Irfan Khan Niazi are both exciting prospects in Pakistan cricket and are being hailed as future superstars. Both players will prove useful for Karachi throughout the PSL 8 campaign.

Qasim Akram is regarded as one of the best all-rounders in the country already and his recent form on the domestic circuit has been sensational. Akram has all the tools to become the next big superstar and Karachi will be happy to keep his exciting luxury.

Similarly, Irfan Niazi is highly regarded in the cricket fraternity for his batting prowess. The youngster has the technical ability and can also send the ball away. It will be exciting to see the players in action in the upcoming PSL edition.


Hit and Miss Batting Unit

Karachi’s potential weakness in PSL 8 is their batting unit. While there is no doubting the players’ ability, there is some skepticism about their consistency. This could eventually lead to their downfall as the players have not performed at a consistent level in a tournament.

The likes of Sharjeel Khan, Haider Ali, James Vince and Matthew Wade, have the firepower to hit it hard but lack the ability to absorb the pressure and perform over a series of matches. The responsibility of the entire batting unit will rest on the shoulders of the veteran batsman, Shoaib Malik, who will be the linchpin in this batting unit.

Homegrown performer Tayyab Tahir is a welcome addition to the side, but the hard-hitting all-rounder will have to prove his worth at the top level. Still, he has all the ingredients to form a solid middle order alongside Malik.

Expect a lot of collapses from this lineup.

PlayerInningsRunsAverageStrike Rate
Haider Ali891,82223.06135.16
James Vince3108,60230.83134.15
Matthew Wade1894,24327.02136.43
Tayyab Tahir1665746.92139.49
Sharjeel Khan1433,59426.04138.71

The X Factor

Karachi’s young all-rounder Qasim Akram is the star to watch out for in PSL 8. The superstar is tipped as a future international and has all the tools required to succeed at the top level. Qasim’s prowess with both bat and ball and his excellent fielding skills make him a real asset to any team in the world.

The youngster has put in some impressive performances on the domestic circuit and was one of the few positives from Karachi’s abysmal display last season. Qasim will be hoping to put up consistent performances and knock on the door of the Pakistan team in the near future.

Karachi will be hoping that the young star could give them an extra spark on the field and use his skills to win matches. He provides the Karachi team with the perfect balance that will allow them to shape their starting line-up.

Qasim has scored 451 runs at a strike rate of 141.82 and has taken 17 wickets at an average of 27.05 in his short T20 career of 37 matches so far. Qasim himself will be determined to put in strong performances and help his team go deep into the tournament.

MatchesRunsStrike RateWicketsBowling Average


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