Two-time winners and undoubtedly the most successful outfit in PSL history, Islamabad United performed underwhelmingly in last year's edition. They fared poorly in the group stages, accumulating only 7 points from the 10 duels they participated in.
Once renowned for their long-lasting winning streaks, Islamabad United lost much of their invincibility in the previous edition. This has understandably led to a major shake-up in their players' roster for PSL 2021.
Four of Islamabad United's five top run-getters - Luke Ronchi, Colin Munro, Colin Ingram, and Dawid Malan - will not play in PSL 2021. The Men in Orange, however, have acquired the services of four Britishers, including Alex Hales and Paul Stirling.
Under Shadab Khan's leadership, Islamabad United also possess one of the strongest local contingents in PSL 2021. It features the likes of Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, and Hasan Ali with the last two in scintillating form.
Islamabad United PSL 2021 Squad: Shadab Khan (c), Alex Hales, Asif Ali, Fawad Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Hussain Talat, Musa Khan, Zafar Gohar, Hassan Ali, Paul Stirling, Lewis Gregory, Phil Salt, Rohail Nazir, Ali Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Ahmed Saifi Abdullah, Akif Javed
In contrast, Multan Sultans did decently in the last PSL. The unusual COVID-enforced hiatus didn't do them any good as they lost their mojo and fell short in the second Eliminator. Prior to that, the Shan Masood-led side had comfortably topped the group stages and were deemed the favorites to lift the crown.
The Sultans have acquired the services of Pakistan's wicket-keeper batsman, Mohammad Rizwan, who is currently enjoying a purple patch with the bat. Not only will he take the gloves but Rizwan has also been appointed the captain of the side.
Apart from retaining their core players - Rilee Rossouw, Sohail Tanvir, Imran Tahir, and Shahid Afridi - Multan Sultans have also roped in the big-hitting Australian, Chris Lynn. James Vince's availability across the entirety of PSL 2021 will also be vital, considering his exploits with the bat in the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21.
Multan Sultans are the only PSL side that are yet to feature in a PSL final. With their analytics-oriented approach, and a mish-mash of talented rookies and experienced veterans, they would be eager to make a mark in PSL 2021.
Multan Sultans PSL 2021 Squad: Mohammad Rizwan (c), Shahid Afridi, Imran Tahir, James Vince, Khushdil Shah, Rilee Rossouw, Shan Masood, Sohail Tanvir, Usman Qadir, Chris Lynn, Sohail Khan, Carlos Brathwaite, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohaib Ullah, Adam Lyth, Shahnawaz Dhani, Muhammad Umar, Imran Khan Sr
Where to watch PSL 2021 in India?
All PSL 2021 matches will be broadcast by the Sony Sports Network in India. Fans can also catch the PSL 2021 live-stream on SonyLIV.