The many blunders of Lahore Qalandars

Published March 6, 2018
Umar Akmal is one of
 Lahore's under-performing stars — PSL
Umar Akmal is one of Lahore's under-performing stars — PSL

For all the goodwill they may have accumulated for their off-the-field activities, Lahore Qalandars are yet to make their mark on the field.

They have one of the worst win percentages of all the T20 franchises in the world. In fact, they occupy the unenviable second spot on that list.

The Qalandars had set the bar so low the last two years that, in theory at least, the only way for them was up. Almost anything could've been an improvement. All they had to do was do enough to not be the league's worst side for the third straight year.

Yet the 2018 Qalandars are comfortably the poorest side in the ongoing tourney. They're much worse than their own previous two incarnations.

Whatever might be the case with the 2016 and 2017 Qalandars, there is certainly a discernible reason to their class of 2018 being in such a bothersome spot.

A mere look at their dot-ball percentage indicates that most of their batsmen feel comfortable going for a boundary every ball rather than rotating the strike — a collective trait that makes them more vulnerable to batting collapses than others.

That their team is at the bottom of the PSL points table for the third season running should not come as a surprise for the Qalandars fans.

The real surprise should be that very few saw this coming. But then having names such as Brendon McCullum, Sunil Narine, Umar Akmal, Fakhar Zaman, and Sohail Akhtar in your top five can cause that effect.

The quintet created an optical illusion that nothing could go wrong for the Lahore franchise. Except nothing actually has gone right for them. Their scattergun approach to all batting situations has backfired big time.

The Qalandars do have the bowling options that can win matches on their own. In the form of Mustafizur Rahman, Shaheen Afridi, Aamer Yamin, Yasir Shah and Sunil Narine, they had two left-arm quicks, a right-handed medium pacer, a leg-spinner and an off-spinner — a well-balanced unit with no real weaknesses.

However, to defend the targets the Qalandar batting unit has been setting, one perhaps needs an assortment of all-time greats and lots of luck.

With that said, it's not like the Qalandars aren't fixable. On several occasions in PSL 2018 they've had the upper hand over their opposition only to inexplicably throw it away.

All they need is a bit of patience and calmness to go from finishing last to, well, finishing last with dignity.

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