The high-profile Karachi Kings (KK) team in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 has made an ordinary beginning to its campaign. After registering a close 10-run win over Peshawar Zalmi in their first match, the KK led by Imad Wasim lost two consecutive games to lag at the second last position in the points table. The Kings lost to Quetta Gladiators by 5 wickets in the second game and on Friday, then lost to Multan Sultans in away game by 52 runs.
Among many questions following the defeat, one was over non-tossing the ball to slow left-arm orthodox bowler Umer Khan while fielding. Kings’ head coach Dean Jones answered it in a press conference at the Multan Cricket Stadium after the game saying the wind factor and the presence of a number of left-hand batsmen in the Sultans’ line-up did not make Umer an ideal bowling option and thus he was ignored. The Kings won the toss and sent Sultans to bat and after the latter made 186 for 6 in 20 overs, they were bowled out for just 134.
Jones hopeful about Umer getting more chances
Jones, a former Australia batsman, said Umer would get a chance in the following games to show his talent. The 20-year-old player, who has played only three first-class games so far, was picked as a specialist bowler in the game but did not get to bowl even though his captain Wasim used as many as six bowlers in the match. It was Umer’s first match this season.
“Hopefully Umer Khan will get more of a chance in the next game. The boys were a little worried about the wind and with a lot of left-handers hitting with the breeze. The spinners like Moeen and Iftikhar got hurt, it was the boys with the over spin who did well on this type of pitch. We have to get the balance a little bit more right against Islamabad,” Jones said as quoted by Express Tribune.
He conceded that the Kings finished second-best in all the departments in the match against the Multans and hoped that the fortunes will soon start accompanying his team.
“We got beaten in the batting, bowling and fielding. Not much else can be said. It was a good pitch, none of our top four batted deep. We dropped catches and didn’t bowl in the right areas. We got beaten all over the place, just lacking a little bit of confidence and a little bit of rhythm at the moment. Hopefully, it’ll happen soon,” the 58-year-old, who was disappointed with the KK players’ high rate of dropping catches, said.
“If you come down and watch us train, I have hit thousands of balls. It just comes down to a little confidence at the moment. It always happens, when the guys start to score runs the fielding follows through. At the moment, none of our overseas batsmen have made any runs. That is leaking into the team. I can’t put my finger on why we aren’t taking our catches,” he said.
Jones also said that Sharjeel Khan, the opener who is struggling with his form, is the right man to open the innings for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. The Kings will take on two-time champions Islamabad United in their next game in Rawalpindi on Sunday.
Twitter questioned on why Umer Khan didn’t get a chance to bowl
@ProfDeano Seriously disappointed and in a state of shock how on earth one can give part timer ifti overs and specialist spinner umer khan doesn’t bowl a single delivery now don’t tell us wind, left handers etc,
Its @simadwasim he did same with him in national t20 cup !
— Sana Khan (@SanaKha05843908) February 29, 2020
Last PSL under Imad captaincy Umer not given a single over
Imad did same with M Nawaz recently in national T20
Today Imad did same with Umer Khan
Conflict of interest?#HBLPSLV #KKvMS
— Ahmer Najeeb (@AhmerNajeeb) February 28, 2020
Where is Umer Khan? Wasn’t he like KK’s best bowler last year?
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) February 28, 2020
Lousy captaincy by Imad not using Umer Khan. I hope he never becomes Pakistan captain. #PSL2020
— moinmadraswala (@moinmadraswala) February 29, 2020
He asked umer khan why didnt he bowl today? Afridi is suchna legend cares about the youngsters from others team too#MSvKK pic.twitter.com/vqKD81a4uC
— Shaneel Baloch (@ahmedani90) February 28, 2020