GeneralPSL 9: Quetta Gladiators Preview

PSL 9: Quetta Gladiators Preview


It took four consecutive group stage eliminations, but Quetta Gladiators finally gave in and made some changes to their structure ahead of PSL 9. First, Moin Khan moved to a team director role, allowing them to hire a new head coach – former Gladiator Shane Watson. With Nadeem Omar repeatedly hinting at a change in captaincy, that also materialized just a few days before the start of the tournament, with the returning Rilee Rossouw appointed captain and Saud Shakeel vice-captain. Quetta will hope that the adjustments change fortunes for a franchise that has promised a lot but struggled to deliver in the last four years. They begin their tournament with 3 matches in Lahore, then travel to Multan and Karachi for a match each. Up next is Rawalpindi for 3 matches before playing the last 2 games in Karachi.



  • Mohammad Amir
  • Mohammad Wasim Jr
  • Mohammad Hasnain
  • Abrar Ahmed
  • Sarfaraz Ahmed
  • Saud Shakeel
  • Sajjad Ali Jr
  • Usman Qadir
  • Omair Bin Yousuf
  • Sohail Khan
  • Bismillah Khan
  • Usman Tariq
  • Umar Amin


  • Rilee Rossouw
  • Sherfane Rutherford
  • Jason Roy
  • Wanindu Hasaranga
  • Will Smeed
  • Akeal Hosein
  • Laurie Evans


  • Adil Naz
  • Khawaja Nafay


Quetta Gladiators have no shortage of options in the top order. Jason Roy and Will Smeed return for another stint at the franchise, while Rilee Rossouw makes a comeback after a few years at Multan. Laurie Evans is also recruited, Saud Shakeel and Omair Bin Yousuf are also top-order options, while Khawaja Nafay (emerging), Bismillah Khan, and Sajjad Ali Jr (impressed in the National T20, also a backup wicket-keeper) round up their options for the top 3 positions. Late addition Umar Amin is yet another option for the top 3.

The same depth isn’t quite there in the middle order, where Sarfaraz Ahmed will likely reprise his role as wicket-keeper batsman. Sherfane Rutherford is an important recruit for the number 5-6 role, while Evans is expected to be considered for a middle-order role (where he has a good record). Omair may also be an option, while there have been some suggestions that Nafay could be tried in the middle order, too. Wanindu Hasaranga is their primary all-round option – but is once against facing availability issues (the latest update being that he’s unlikely to participate in this PSL at all) – and Akeal Hosein may need to bat at 7.

Two quality local pacer recruitments mean that Quetta’s fast bowling looks solid despite the loss of Naseem Shah. Mohammad Amir is a good replacement for him, while Mohammad Wasim Jr. can be an impressive addition if used correctly. Mohammad Hasnain will hope to remain fit for the whole campaign and make an impact after suffering an injury halfway through last season. Veteran Sohail Khan and emerging right-arm pacer Adil Naz are the other pace options in the squad.

Abrar Ahmed, another recruit via the Naseem trade, should be the leader of Quetta’s spin bowling for years to come. Wanindu Hasaranga and Akeal Hosein offer quality overseas spin options, while Usman Qadir is the backup wrist spinner in the squad. Mystery spinner Usman Tariq has also been added to the team after impressive performances in the Sindh Premier League.


Quetta has a well-rounded bowling attack with many options for all phases. Amir and Hasnain are a solid new-ball pair, while Abrar or Akeal can bowl in the powerplay as well. Hasnain, Wasim, and the spin options ensure that the middle overs are covered, too, and Amir and Wasim are a decent death-bowling pair, while Hasnain can chip in at the death, too. With most of their spinners being flexible enough to bowl in the powerplay or middle overs and one experienced and one young backup pacer in the squad, Quetta have room for maneuver.

With Rossouw, Saud, and Rutherford likely to start, Quetta have a good mix of RHB-LHB batsmen, ensuring they have a lineup that can disrupt opposition plans. This is something they have historically lacked since letting go of Rossouw, who remains their highest run-scoring left-hander with 750 runs. Mohammad Nawaz (728 runs) is the only other Quetta LHB with 150+ runs in PSL history.

The Gladiators will be eager to see how Rilee Roussouw goes on his return. During his time at Multan, the left-hander became a one-man destroying machine with his awe-inspiring displays, with Quetta’s bowlers facing punishment at his hands more than once. His style of batting was key to Multan reaching the last two finals. Now captaining the franchise, there’s little chance that expectations from Rossouw will be anything less than astronomically high. His recent form in the SA20 (17 avg, 111 SR) may be of slight concern.


Quetta’s batting lineup is untested and has a new look to it. Roy and Smeed are in decent, not exceptional form, and only one is likely to play, while Saud is yet to make his PSL debut. Rossouw is returning, and whichever of the local options is chosen for the middle order will be inexperienced in that role. Rutherford is a new recruit, and they will hope he fires from the get-go because, in the absence of Hasaranga, Quetta have a very long tail.

Despite some quality options in both batting and bowling, Quetta lack depth in key areas. Apart from Sarfaraz, who has struggled in recent seasons, and Omair, who has mostly batted at number 3/4 in T20s, the Gladiators have little to offer in terms of local middle-order batting, with almost all of their local batters being top-order options. They also don’t have a standout all-round option besides Hasaranga, who is unlikely to take part this season. The alternative, Akeal, averages 14 with a strike rate of 94 batting in the top 7 (which he’s done just 27 times in his 139-match-long T20 career). Additionally, the squad looks to be one pacer light with just 5 front-line options, one of them being the very new Adil Naz. This becomes even more of a concern, considering that both Amir and Hasnain suffered injuries during the PSL last year.

Team Composition

Possible Starting XI

  • Jason Roy ✈️
  • Saud Shakeel
  • Rilee Rossouw ✈️🧢
  • Khawaja Nafay 🧒🏽
  • Sarfaraz Ahmed 🧤
  • Sherfane Rutherford ✈️
  • Wanindu Hasaranga ✈️
  • Mohammad Wasim Jr
  • Mohammad Hasnain
  • Mohammad Amir
  • Abrar Ahmed

The primary problem for Quetta’s combination is Hasaranga’s availability – or rather lack thereof. The team’s balance hinges on it. The same issues transpired last year, and once again, it seems he won’t make it. Without Hasaranga and any good bowling options in the top 6, the Gladiators will likely play Akeal at number 7. This, combined with the lack of batting nous in the tail, leaves them with a vulnerable lower order.

Owner Nadeem Omar has suggested on multiple occasions that Saud will open the batting, and his appointment as vice-captain would appear to support that. However, Quetta and Watson have plenty of options in the squad. While Sarfaraz will probably start, he has struggled with his strike rate in recent seasons and could be deemed surplus to requirements now that he’s no longer captain, with Sajjad ready to step in. Meanwhile, Watson has been said to have been impressed by Nafay, and it will be interesting to see how Quetta use the youngster – he’s likely to get the nod as their first-choice emerging player. They could go with a local top order and play all of Rossouw, Evans, Rutherford, and Akeal in the middle as well.

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