The 2022 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is all set to commence on January 27 and there will be one team who would be desperate to go out on the field - Islamabad United! Having finished as league toppers last season, they lost both their play-off matches to bow out of the tournament. With some big names at their disposal, Shadab Khan's side will hope to go a few steps ahead this year.

Here are the 5 players who will be key to their chances of winning the trophy this year: 

1. Asif Ali

The hard-hitting batsman from Pakistan caught everyone's attention during T20 World Cup 2021 with his raw power and ability to hit sixes. However, Asif Ali would be keen to show that he is capable of playing some big knocks as well. He has been a consistent run-scorer in PSL, with 879 runs in 55 matches at a phenomenal strike rate of 164.29. However, with only 3 half-centuries to his name, can Asif come up with a few monstrous innings this season? There will be a lot of eyeballs on him and he would hope to live up to the high expectations!

2. Faheem Ashraf

The Islamabad United all-rounder is one of the most valuable players for his side, considering his ability to contribute with both bat and ball. Faheem Ashraf is the all-time leading wicket-taker for Islamabad with 55 wickets to his name in 39 matches at a decent economy of 7.84. He also has amassed 367 runs at a strike rate of 137.96 which certainly reflects his ability to play some crucial cameos lower down the order. After an average season last year, the 27-year-old will be looking to dominate in PSL 2022 with a heroic show.

3. Alex Hales

After being constantly ignored by national selectors, Alex Hales has a lot to prove! The Englishman is one of the most explosive top-order batsmen in world cricket and has had a lot of success in PSL. In 19 matches, the right-handed batsman has scored 540 runs at a very impressive strike rate of 143.61. After a slightly so start, Hales also found his rhythm in the ongoing Big Bash League and he will be keen to take the momentum into PSL 2022. With IPL mega auctions also around the corner, he is indeed going to be one of the star players to watch out for.

4. Colin Munro

The left-handed batsman has been in the form of his life in the last couple of years in T20 cricket. Colin Munro has been one of the most consistent players in PSL in recent seasons, having scored 628 runs in 23 matches at a strike rate of 150+. He has already scored over 350 runs in the ongoing season of BBL which include a fantastic century in addition to 2 half-centuries. With the tournament being played in Pakistan, Munro might be one of the most effective batsmen because of his incredible ability to score runs against the spinners.

5. Hasan Ali

The right-arm pacer had a tough time in T20 World Cup 2021, as he conceded runs at crucial times and also missed an important catch during the semi-finals. However, Hasan Ali still remains one of the best bowlers in the country and the 27-year-old might want to prove the same once again this year. Big players have an ability to bounce back and have enjoyed a very successful PSL career (72 wickets in 55 matches) so far, he would be raring to go out this season and show the world once again why he is one of the best in business.