Karachi Kings have won only three out of their last 19 PSL matches, they won just one game in 10 last season, and they’ve begun PSL 2023 with three defeats. That’s not a great position to be in while preparing to take on their biggest rival, Lahore Qalandars, but captain Imad Wasim refuses to write his team off yet.
“We are presently coming with a losing streak from last season until now, but once we get winning momentum then you become a force,” Imad had said after narrowly failing to chase down what had appeared to be a below-par target of 169 against Quetta Gladiators last night. “But it’s not happening right now and it’s our mistake. We will sit and talk about it and someone need to play that finishing role and be that one person so that we can have our belief back. Faith is very important in any sport and any career and I still have faith in Karachi.”
They will not have too much time to do this introspection, with the Qalandars clash lined up later today, but Imad did try to make sense of the rut. “I won’t say we are playing very bad cricket overall but we are only playing good cricket in phases. Sometimes it happens in a team when you aren’t able to click all together – once we do, we will start winning.
“We made a lot of mistakes but they are done. No team goes out and tries to lose, it’s just a lean patch that hasn’t come to an end since last season and we are trying to get out of it. As a professional, when you see the chips are down, everything is against you, that is when you turn up to win your team a game.”
Imad is one of the most experienced PSL captains, second only to Sarfaraz Ahmed, but his record is patchy: 44 captained, 20 won, 20 lost (Super Overs aside). This season, all three losses have come at home, even as they’ve fiddled with their combination and strategy. Among the changes dished out was Matthew Wade, the Australian wicketkeeper-batter, who played as opener in the first game scoring 23 off 15, but was pushed down to the middle order for the next two games and has scored 18 off 18 and 15 off 19 from there. Imad did say finding the right person to finish innings was on his mind.
“We aren’t able to finish well, it is one of the factors [in our slump]. Secondly, our death overs are a factor…”
Then there is the matter of making it count once in, and Imad said that too had been discussed with the team. “Sometimes if you don’t show enough intent, you give away your wickets very easily in such conditions. It was talked about, not letting it go so easily because with one set batsman in, anything is possible, especially on Karachi pitches. But it’s not happening, everyone who is getting set is getting out other than Shoaib Malik.”
Imad had advocated an aggressive brand of cricket coming into this tournament, and he said the rocky start has not changed his mind. “It’s a way of playing cricket, you play shots and express yourself. Unfortunately we’ve lost wickets in the powerplay and so have not been able to express ourselves, but once we settle in everything will click. We are still going to play the same brand of aggressive cricket with the ball and bat.”