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PSL 9: Three Reasons Why Lahore Qalandars Have Struggled This Season

The defending champions, Lahore Qalandars, are facing a challenging season in Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9, having lost six matches in a row. Despite playing in front of their home crowd at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, the team has failed to deliver notable performances this season. Let’s explore three key reasons behind Lahore’s underwhelming performance:

1. Absence of Rashid Khan:

Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, a dominant force in T20 cricket, played a crucial role in Lahore Qalandars’ success in the last two editions. In PSL 7 and 8, Rashid took 31 wickets in 19 matches with an impressive economy rate of 5.46 and 6.53, respectively. His ability to take wickets and control the run flow in the middle overs made him a vital asset. Without Rashid Khan, Lahore is struggling, lacking a T20 specialist spinner in their squad.

2. Changes in Batting Order:

The constant changes in the batting order have disrupted Lahore Qalandars’ quest for stability. While the top three batters – Sahibzada Farhan, Fakhar Zaman, and Rassie van der Dussen – have remained consistent, multiple changes have occurred down the order. The shifting lineup, including players like Abdullah Shafique, Sikandar Raza, Ahsan Hafeez, Shai Hope, and Kamran Ghulam, indicates a challenge in finding the right combination. The instability in the batting order is contributing to Lahore’s struggles.

3. Under-Performing Bowling Attack:

Lahore Qalandars have traditionally boasted one of the best bowling attacks in the PSL, particularly in the last two editions. The combination of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan, Rashid Khan, and Sikandar Raza formed a diverse and potent bowling lineup. However, in PSL 9, Lahore has failed to dismiss opponents entirely in any match, with their highest wickets taken in a game being 8 against Karachi Kings. Haris Rauf’s injury and Zaman Khan’s underwhelming performance with six scalps in as many matches contribute to the team’s bowling challenges. Shaheen Afridi remains the leading wicket-taker for Lahore with 9 wickets.

As Lahore Qalandars face these challenges, they must address these issues to turn their season around and regain their winning form.

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