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A defeat against the arch-rivals Karachi Kings would surely be a disappointing turn in Lahore Qalandars’ campaign in this year’s Pakistan Super League, but still, one can not ignore them considering the type of bowling attack they have.
Multan Sultans on the other hand have found no issue at all so far. The only problem they had was the unavailability of their premium pacer David Willey who is back in the lineup now. Does it make them the hottest team of PSL 2022?
At the start of the tournament, Islamabad United looked the most dashing side but a lot of injuries and unavailability or lack of form of a couple of guys have put them on the back foot. Zalmi looks like a much better team now while Quetta Gladiators almost and Karachi Kings surely, are out of the tournament.
So, the question is, who is the hottest team? It’s Multan Sultans, any layman can also say this after watching their only one game. How?
Who has the best Skipper?
To judge captains on the performances of their sides is a harsh way of doing this but it is important to assess how successful captains have remained in this PSL.
Shaheen Afridi swings the ball back in and has changed the course of the games through his first two overs. Shadab Khan is in the form of his career while Rizwan is as consistent as he always is. Other skippers especially Babar Azam, are struggling.
It’s difficult to understand it’s Rizwan’s captaincy or team management’s join effort that has helped Multan play the way they have this year. Every player is giving his hundred percent and they seem to enjoy their game. You need to watch any one game of Multan Sultans and you would know that the man behind the stumps has a big role. Somehow, it’s his hardworking charismatic personality that makes Sultans the hottest team of PSL 2022.
Rizwan and Shan are consistent and they can score quickly on good tracks. In a game against Qalandars, both scored more than 70% of the target at the stand of the first wicket and scored at a run rate of over 10. Against Gladiators on February 18, both scored 119 in 12 overs.
Once one of them gets out, their core comes in and scores very quickly. Khushdil and David have the best strike rates in the PSL7, latter has hit most sixes in the tournament as well.
Rossouw scored an extraordinary 71 off 26 against Quetta – Just a highlight of his ability to go big at the bowlers. Khushdil Shah has taken 15 wickets in PSL 2022, the second-most in the tournament. His specialty still is to deal in boundaries in the death overs. He hit four fours against Haris Rauf when they needed 16 off the last over. This exceptional batting depth also makes them the hottest team.
They Have Same Plot for Each Match
There is a template set for Sultans. Rizwan and Shan play the first 10 overs and then suddenly a power hitter in David or Rossouw comes in who sends the opposition’s bowlers and fielders back on the backfoot.
In the last 5 overs, the hottest team of PSL 2022 can score as much as they wish. Against batting heavy Islamabad, they scored 107 in the last six overs and scored 70 in the last 5 overs against Karachi Kings while chasing.
In the bowling, Sultans don’t have a bowling attack as threatening as Qalandars have but they somehow manage to take wickets regularly, thanks to Tahir’s leg-spin and Willey’s brilliant variations.
Do Sultans Struggle in the Bowling?
On paper, it looked as if they have 2-3 weaker bowlers in the lineup but with Asif Afridi and Rumman playing and Willey coming back in, they have 5 good bowlers. Khushdil Shah is their wildcard – Whenever he is thrown the ball, doesn’t matter if it’s the first over or the 16th, he always delivers.
His consistency to take wickets surprises cricket greats also as he is supposed to bowl some economical overs only. He can take wickets also but nobody had ever imagined that he would take so many wickets.
Tahir and Willey have some exceptional bowling skills and both have adopted the Pakistani conditions very well. Shahnawaz Dahani is not as impressive as he was in the last season but still has managed to keep his place in the side. The utilization of Raees will be an area where Rizwan needs work more because the medium-pacer has more on offer than what he has done for his side so far.
Can the Hottest Team Win Also?
Obviously, they are the hottest team to lift the trophy for the second time but nobody knows how a great spell of Shaheen or outstanding hitting of Livingston may change the course of the knock-out games. In the previous season, United chocked in the knock-outs but Sultans seem to be more experienced and prepared. Nobody can predict another side the winners except Multan Sultans. This is the reason why they are the hottest team of PSL 2022.