The Hundred | Team Preview - Not favourites, but Manchester Originals capable of springing surprise

Abhishek Singh

Abhishek Singh

Author| Jul 13, 8:10 PM

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It’s an altogether new format of cricket that the England and Wales Cricket Board aim to garner success with.  The inaugural season of The Hundred would kick off from July 21 with the first match taking place between the women’s sides of Manchester Originals and Oval Invincibles at the Kia Oval in London.

While the competition in itself is so raw and people are grabbing every chance possible to be able to read and know about the rules of the game, that the buzz seemed to be have been created around the 100 balls, 10 balls from one end competition. There are many other rule changes and all of which you can find here. 

The main focus of this piece is to get you one on one with the Manchester Originals squad and why they pose a serious threat to the title, even after not being the top contenders to win it.

Manchester Originals Men's squad

England centrally-contracted Test players: Jos Buttler

Overseas players: Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand), Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies), Colin Munro (New Zealand)

Rest of squad: Joe Clarke, Phil Salt, Matt Parkinson, Jamie Overton, Tom Lammonby, Steven Finn, Colin Ackermann, Richard Gleeson, Tom Hartley, Ollie Robinson, Sam Hain, Fred Klaassen

Coach: Simon Katich

Ferguson, Brathwaite and Robinson hold key to Originals' success

The first name on the squad list is England Vice-Captain in Limited Overs’ Jos Buttler and yet New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson, West Indies’ Carlos Brathwaite and England’s newest sensation, Ollier Robinson are being termed as the core of the team. It is mainly because Buttler’s availability full time is at risk due to his international engagements for the India Test series.  

With the Covid-19 once spreading its wings once again, Buttler and other England probable 15s wouldn’t be allowed to be a part of the Hundred. The players would be forced to leave the tournament around July 31, to switch to the Eng vs Ind bio-bubble, hence missing out on the major chunk of the 100-ball tournament. 

Coming back to the trio, on their day, they can blank any team and we have already seen that with Brathwaite’s ‘Remember the Name’ heroics in the T20 World Cup 2016 Final, Ferguson’s 2019 World Cup outing and Robinson’s approach in the debut Test series against New Zealand this summer. 

To back up their abilities, they have the numbers behind their back as well. With 1800 runs and 192 wickets in 204 T20 games, Brathwaite is nearing a rare double of 2000 runs and 200 wickets in T20 and would join his Caribbean teammates Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo among a few others. 

Ferguson on the other hand also has impressive figures for a 71-match career. Not only can he bowl with great speed, but is also economical considering his economy rate of 7.52 for the 77 wickets that he has taken. And if hattrick in the Roses game in the Blast is anything to go by, the Kiwi could be a real asset for Originals and a great threat to the opposition. 

As far as Robinson is concerned, he has had a very young career for a 20 over format with only 47 games to his credit and only 44 wickets in them while he hasn’t really been able to get much of a chance with the bat. But now, he has something to prove, and show to the world that he is more than just some miscreants tweets. The stage is set for him to go and express himself. 

Bowling depth is an advantage

The Originals have a great bowling depth with the likes of Steven Finn, Richard Gleeson, Fred Klaassen, Jamie Overton, Matt Parkinson and Tom Hartley supporting the original trio discussed above. While Parkinson has been in a terrific form and got the richly deserved national call up, Hartley is a young apprentice at work, learning the tricks of the trades with his slow left-arm orthodox. 

It however doesn’t end here as the team has batting all-rounders in the form of Colin Ackerman and young Tom Lammonby. The depth is just not in terms of numbers but the guys like Finn, Gleeson and Klaasen have got a significant amount of experience playing the game. The spinners might be young but are equally effective if not more in a 100 ball game set up where batsmen would look to get after them.

Batting: The loose end in Originals' string

The lack of a centrally contracted English player in the squad is one thing, the other major roadblock is the lack of attacking finishers. While Phil Slat and Colin Munro could provide a rapid-fire start, but in the case they don’t score big, the likes of Ackerman, Lammonby and Sam Hain, along with Joe Clarke and Overton come under the pump against quality international stature bowling attack. 

Though Clarke and Hain have a lot of T20 experience, how well they could utilise it is to be seen and judged. 

Chances of a shot at the title

The first season winners are always remembered, be it Rajasthan Royals in IPL, India at T20 World Cup and West Indies in the 50 over World Cup. And who wouldn’t want to win the inaugural season? The team from Old Trafford would be banking on its players to deliver, but on paper, against other sides with established faces in their account, a championship win would be a surprise, a delightful one at that too, much like that of the Rajasthan Royals, India and West Indies in their inaugural championships, when no one backed them to win, but they did it nevertheless. 

Probable Playing XI

Jos Buttler (c) (wk), Colin Munro (New Zealand), Phil Salt, Sam Hain, Tom Lammonby, Colin Ackermann, Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies), Jamie Overton, Ollie Robinson, Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand), Matt Parkinson

Manchester Originals Women Squad

Kate Cross (captain), Harmanpreet Kaur (India), Mignon du Preez (South Africa), Lizelle Lee (South Africa), Danielle Collins, Alice Dyson, Cordelia Griffith, Hannah Jones, Georgie Boyce, Natalie Brown, Ellie Threlkeld, Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Sophie Ecclestone, Laura Jackson

Coach: Paul Shaw

Overseas stars matter a lot

The Originals’ women squad has some of the best-known stars in the limited-overs department. It includes the likes of India Women skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, former South Africa Women skipper in Lizelle Lee and a power-hitting batter and former captain, also from South Africa in Mignon du Preez. 

All these women have got huge numbers behind them. While Lee has played 78 WT20Is, Harmanpreet has an experience of 116 T20Is, and du Preez a 108 to her kitty. With such a huge amount of experience by their side and runs in their bag, the trio, if fit and in form could be the lone deciding factor for the Original’s claim at the inaugural title.

The English stars in the side

In the ongoing series against India Women, Sophie Ecclestone and Kate Cross have been two of the outstanding performers and both these ladies form the part of the Orioginals’ bowling squad. They would be joined by another England international in Alex Hartley. The three of them among them have 232 international wickets for England Women and an experience of 17 years of international cricket.

Thus combined with the overseas professionals’ batting and English internationals’ bowling, the team sets up a very formidable unit.

Decent domestic talent

Eleanor Threlkeld, the wicket-keeper batter has had the biggest hype among domestic stars getting into The Hundred.  She has had a good season with the Thunder scoring a decent amount of runs and being electric behind the wicket. Another Thunder player that has had an impressive domestic season in Rachael Hay-Hoe Flint and Charlotte Edwards Trophy is Natalie Brown. The all-rounder has hit a fifty and a few thirties along with taking a wicket or two in every game that she has played. 

Along with these stars, there are little less known, but experienced campaigners Cordellia Griffith, Emma Lamb, Laura Jackson and Hannah Jones, all of whom have been in great touch in the recent past and would make it to the XI and try and pull it home in the inaugural season for Manchester Originals. 

Chances of winning the title

If asked, who among the two Manchester sides have the better chances of winning the title, undoubtedly it would be the Women’s side with such a balanced and experienced unit.

Probable Playing XI

Lizelle Lee (South Africa), Emma Lamb, Harmanpreet Kaur (India), Mignon du Preez (South Africa), Ellie Threlkeld, Cordelia Griffith, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross (captain),  Laura Jackson, Alex Hartley, Hannah Jones

  • Jos Buttler
  • Kate Cross
  • Sophie Ecclestone
  • Lockie Ferguson
  • Carlos Brathwaite
  • Oliver Edward Robinson
  • Philip Salt
  • Colin Munro
  • Tom Lammonby
  • Matthew Parkinson
  • Lizelle Lee
  • Emma Lamb
  • Alex Hartley
  • Mignon du Preez
  • The Hundred 2021
  • The Hundred W 2021
  • Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

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