It was in 2016 the Pakistan Super League (PSL) when the first season kickstarted. There were just five teams back then and it was sort of a shot into the unknown. However, it’s got bigger and better every season. There are six teams now with the addition of the Multan Sultans since 2018.
We have seen stars from all across the globe take part in the PSL. In fact, foreign stars even lead some of the franchises. However, like all other leagues, most Indian players don’t participate in the PSL. The Indian players are excellent T20 players and have done well in the IPL and other Indian domestic and international T20 cricket.
Moreover, these Indian stars are also captains of their respective IPL and state franchises. Thus, here we take a look at six Indian players who can lead the different PSL franchises.
1. MS Dhoni – Karachi Kings
MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)
There’s absolutely no doubt that MS Dhoni will go down as one of the best captains in Indian cricket history. He is also one of the most successful IPL captains. The former Indian skipper has led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to three IPL titles (2010, 2011, 2018). Moreover, he has led his side to the playoffs in every single edition of the IPL.
Karachi Kings have faltered in a couple of playoffs in the previous seasons. Moreover, they have missed a powerhouse in the middle-order. Thus, MS Dhoni might fit very well in the Karachi Kings side. Not only would Dhoni add power in the middle and act as a finisher, but also lead the side. Dhoni is one of the best captains the world has ever seen in the modern era.
Moreover, he has a very good T20 record. The Ranchi-born wicketkeeper has played 317 T20 games and has scored 6621 runs so far in the shortest format. He has an average of almost 40 and a strike-rate of 135.62. Thus, he could be a great addition to the Karachi Kings side.
2. Virat Kohli – Islamabad United
Royal Challengers Bangalore. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)
Islamabad United have been the most successful side in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). They won the PSL in 2016 and 2018 and also made it to the playoffs in the other two seasons as well.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has been fabulous in T20 cricket over the last few years. He has churned out runs for fun and has been really consistent in the shortest format. However, there’s one small piece that’s missing in Kohli’s career. The current Indian skipper has never won a T20 tournament in his career. Be it the IPL, the World T20 or the Champions League, Kohli has never been on the winning side.
In multiple T20 tournaments, he’s single-handedly carried the teams he’s represented but hasn’t been able to win any final. He’s lost multiple finals and semi-finals as well. Thus, he would love to win a T20 title. Hence, Kohli might be the best fit for Islamabad United and leading them may help him end the T20 trophy drought.
3. Shreyas Iyer – Multan Sultans
MS Dhoni and Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Multan Sultans were the last team to join the Pakistan Super League (PSL). However, they haven’t really got going. They finished fifth in both seasons they’ve played. In fact, Multan has won just seven games out of the 20 they’ve played.
Shoaib Malik has been the skipper but hasn’t really been able to inspire much. Thus, they might need a breath of fresh air. Shreyas Iyer may be a really good fit as far as leadership is concerned. He has been really good as captain in the recent past. He has quite a bit of captaincy experience as well where he’s led Mumbai, India ‘A’ and Delhi Capitals.
In fact, Iyer was at the forefront of Delhi Capitals’ turnaround this year. He led Delhi to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Thus, the 24-year-old might be a great option as a leader and as a top-order batsman. In fact, he is a pretty underrated T20 batsman. Hence, Iyer may be the perfect choice to lead Multan’s turnaround.
4. Rohit Sharma – Lahore Qalandars
Rohit Sharma. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Rohit Sharma’s turnaround in his career kickstarted from the time he started leading the Mumbai Indians in 2013. It was that year when Mumbai first won an IPL title and that was the very year, Rohit was promoted to open the batting in international cricket as well. Since then, he hasn’t looked back.
At the moment, India’s limited-overs vice-captain is one of the best white-ball openers in world cricket. Be it ODIs or T20Is, Rohit has been simply brilliant. He is the leading run-getter in T20I cricket as well. Moreover, as captain, he’s done wonderfully, both for India (when he’s had the opportunity) and for Mumbai Indians (MI).
In fact, he’s led MI to four IPL titles, making them the most successful IPL team. They never had a great start. They struggled a lot in the initial years, just like Lahore Qalandars have. In four seasons, Lahore has never made it past the group stages. Mumbai never made it past the group stage for the first three years.
Hence, it was under Rohit’s leadership that things changed drastically. Hence, the Mumbaikar would be a perfect option for the Lahore side.
5. Ravichandran Ashwin – Peshawar Zalmi
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Peshawar Zalmi have been a very consistent side in the Pakistan Super League. Barring the first season, they have made it to the final in every season. They won the title in 2017 but ended up second best in the previous two seasons.
Darren Sammy has been the skipper since 2017 and they have done extremely well. However, the West Indian all-rounder’s powers are diminishing and hence, they will need a new mastermind. Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the smartest cricketers going around. The way he thinks about the game is certainly different. Hence, he might be an apt replacement for Sammy as skipper.
Moreover, Ashwin is a very good T20 bowler. He tries to outsmart the batsmen and is a wily customer. Hence, he may not have led Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to glory in the two seasons he’s led them, but he is one of the smartest brains in Indian cricket.
6. KL Rahul – Quetta Gladiators
KL Rahul. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Quetta Gladiators is another team that has done well in the past. They have finished as runners-up in two seasons and won the title earlier this year. Sarfaraz Ahmed has been leading the side since the first game and has done well.
However, KL Rahul may be a good option to lead the side and replace Sarfaraz and relieve him of the captaincy duties, considering that he is the captain in all forms of cricket that he plays.
Rahul may not have a lot of captaincy experience but is a dynamic player. He can add a lot of value to any T20 side. He can keep wickets if needed, can field in the outfield and is a magnificent T20 batsman.
Moreover, Quetta needs an aggressor at the top. Thus, Rahul can play that role and from the time he’s moved to Kings XI Punjab, he’s been very consistent as well. Moreover, he has a great understanding of the game and has been around for a while. Thus, he may a good captaincy option.
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