After four underwhelming seasons, Karachi Kings seemingly have turned things around this season. It is a pity that Corona Virus Pandemic might take the gloss off a little bit, but Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans have been impressive. Both teams have services of two experienced coaches in Dean Jones and Andy Flower. They have brought unique insight and new ideas.
One such idea that has worked for the Karachi Kings but might be raising alarms for the Pakistan coach and captain is Imad Wasim not being considered a premier bowler for the team. For a long period of time, Imad has been Pakistan’s designated new ball bowler. Looking at the HBLPSL teams, most have veterans performing that role barring Lahore Qalandars with Shaheen Shah Afridi. The rest, Rahat Ali, Sohail Tanvir, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Irfan, and Rumman Raees are unlikely to be in the discussion for the World T20 squad.
Given how the pitches have turned out, Imad’s overall numbers are fairly decent. In 8 matches he has four wickets and has gone for under 7.5 runs per over. Yet, the all-rounder has failed to complete his quota of overs in three matches. Tactically, he has tried to stay away from left-handers. As captain, he has had the advantage to sneak an over here and there. Most tellingly, he has opened the bowling in just three games.
These are not alarmingly bad numbers. But given the wickets in Australia are expected to be flat and hard, Imad might find himself struggling to complete his quota of overs. Pakistan will come up against Australia, West Indies and New Zealand (and two qualifiers). So, you can expect David Warner, D’Arcy Short, Colin Munro, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran to be in the opposition top order. How will Imad cope?
Shadab Khan sudden brilliance with the bat, especially in terms of power hitting will put further pressure on the Kings’ captain. Pakistan having been swept off the ground in the recent T20 series in Australia will look to find new ways to combat the threat. If Imad’s form doesn’t improve, Misbah might be forced to go with another pacer. Neither Faheem Ashraf nor Amad Butt has had the best of HBLPSL’s either. That might tip things in favour of Imad Wasim.
Yet a question mark hangs over his place.
All this assuming we get to see this global tournament.