The Gladiators were the most consistent team in the first 4 years of the Pakistan Super League. They played in the finals of the first two PSL seasons but lost both of them, unfortunately. Then, they qualified for the final of the tournament yet again in 2019. This time around, they made sure not to end up on the losing side and claimed the trophy.
But after winning the trophy, their performance has certainly declined. Quetta hasn’t qualified for the playoffs in the last 3 seasons. They finished in the 5th position in PSL 2020 and PSL 2022. In PSL 2021, they found them at the bottom of the points table. Will they be able to end the dry run and enter the playoffs this time? Let’s analyze their squad to find out.
Quetta Gladiators Squad Breakdown
Batsmen: Sarfaraz Ahmed(c&wk), Jason Roy, Will Smeed, Martin Guptill, Saud Shakeel, Omair Bin Yousuf, Ahsan Ali, Abdul Bangalzai, Umar Akmal, Iftikhar Ahmed
All-Rounders: Mohammad Nawaz, Wanindu Hasaranga, Odean Smith, Dwaine Pretorius, Will Jacks
Fast-Bowlers: Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Umaid Asif, Naveen ul Haq, Aimal Khan, Nuwan Thushara
Spinners: Muhammad Zahid, Qais Ahmed
QG Squad Strengths
The following are the strengths that the purple team will bank on:
A Versatile Batting Lineup
Image 1: cricketpakistan.com.pk
Quetta Gladiators have plenty of quality T20 batters available in their squad. Sarfraz Ahmed, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammed Nawaz, Umar Akmal, Ahsan Ali, and Saud Shakeel are their prominent local batting options. Their overseas batting lot includes the likes of Will Smeed, Martin Guptill, Jason Roy, Will Jacks, and Odean Smith. Wanindu Hasaranga and Dwaine Pretorius are the two bowling all-rounders who also give solid batting options.
The English duo of Will Smeed and Jason Roy will likely open the batting for them. Both the batters play in an aggressive fashion and look to maximize the powerplay. Both of them also have the ability to bat long and score big after getting in. These two could be followed by another Englishman named Will Jacks at #3. The 24-year-old has had an illustrious career in the format, with an average of 29.6 and a strike rate of 155.6. If either of these three gets unavailable, the experienced Martin Guptil can take his position.
The three English stars might precede three Pakistani stars in the batting order. Sarfraz Ahmed, who will be leading the franchise for the 8th year, will come next. He has been in fine form of the late and will play the anchor role in this batting lineup. Iftikhar Ahmed and Umar Akmal will strengthen Quetta’s middle order. Both are known for their power-hitting skills and can go big from ball one.
That’s not it about the Gladiators’ batting unit. The all-rounders Mohammed Nawaz and Wanindu Hasaranga will add depth to this batting lineup. These two guys hit a long ball and have a tendency to perform under pressure. With such powerful T20 batters as their top 8, Quetta will be confident of scoring above-par totals.
The Naseem-Hasnain Duo
Image 2: crictracker.com
Mohammed Hasnain debuted for the Quetta Gladiators in the 2019 season. He helped his team become the crowned champions in his debut season and won the Player of the Final and Player of the Tournament awards. But you may be surprised to know that Hasnain wasn’t part of the original QG squad and came as a replacement in that season.
Any guesses who he replaced in that season? He replaced Naseem Shah, who was 16 years back then and was ruled out of the tournament due to an injury. Now, these two are the backbone of Quetta’s bowling lineup and can destroy opponents with their pace.
Image 3: cricketnmore.com
Mohammad Nawaz and Wanindu Hasaranga will be the two main spinners for the purple team. The former is the second-highest wicket-taker amongst the spinners in PSL history. Also, he conceded runs at just 7.26 runs per over. While the latter has picked 186 T20 wickets at an economy rate of 6.75. Will Jacks, who has been exceedingly impressive with his off-spin bowling, will further strengthen the spin attack. Iftikhar Ahmed can also provide a few economical overs if needed.
QG Squad Weaknesses
Let’s take a look at the only flaw in the Gladiators’ squad:
Absence of An Experienced Pacer
Image 4: crictackle.com
Naseem Shah will lead QG’s inexperienced pace attack. Mohammed Hasnain and Umaid Asif might play alongside him, while Naveen ul Haq, Aimal Khan, and Nuwan Thushara may warm the bench. Apart from Umaid Asif, all these pacers are young and heavily inexperienced. Umaid has also played for different franchises over the years and hasn’t shown any skills to lead a bowling attack. Such a pace battery can always crumble under pressure.
Ideal Starting XI
Here’s how Quetta’s best available team shapes up:
- Jason Roy
- Will Smeed
- Will Jacks
- Sarfaraz Ahmed(c&wk)
- Umar Akmal
- Iftikhar Ahmed
- Mohammad Nawaz
- Wanindu Hasaranga
- Umaid Asif
- Naseem Shah
- Mohammad Hasnain
Performance Prediction for Quetta Gladiators
Image 5: propakistani.pk
The Gladiators have formed a strong squad, and their players are well-suited for the Pakistani conditions. Both their batting and bowling look reliable, but the pace attack is short on experience. Also, their overseas batsmen might struggle in these conditions. Bearing all these things in mind, we are expecting Quetta not to reach the playoff stage yet again. They will likely finish in 5th or 6th position and won’t be making it to the final 4 teams for the 4th time in a row.