When Southern Brave play their first game in The Hundred, the new format of cricket with limited overs, away at Trent Rockets this summer they are unable to appeal to some of the overseas market signings that made the franchise original.
David Warner is one of the leading batsmen in the sport, but he and his fellow Australian, Marcus Stoinis, chose not to travel to England for the month-long journey. You would think that this could adversely affect the Brave’s status as an extreme favorite for The Hundred, yet there was an emergency plan.
Quinton de Kock, the former captain of South Africa, and the wicketkeeper of the Proteas come in. Although he is only 28, his vast experience in international matches with limited overs alleviates the Australian absence. De Kock has more than 6,500 runs in ODIs and T20Is for his country.
Brave also named another South African-born player in batsman Devon Conway, who has really taken the field for New Zealand since he was eligible to play for them in the last twelve months. In whatever form of cricket he is asked to play, Conway has provided excellent batting averages in Tests and international matches with limited overs.
Its ODI average of 75 is particularly impressive. A double century during his Test debut shows that Conway can also play with discipline, but it is his attacking instincts and aggression that will yield the most dividends in The Hundred. Brave’s other overseas player is West Indies’ leading T20 cricketer, Andre Russell, who adds real experience to the team.
Bermuda-born batsman Delray Rawlins, who has yet to be hacked by the Windies, will surely learn a lot from Russell playing in this competition. If you consider the English international presence in the Brave group, online sports betting UK sites like 888 Sport make them favorites for The Hundred for logical reasons. Their roster is simply one of the strongest ever put together.
James Vince, captain of Hampshire, and Liam Dawson, colleague of the County Championship, are locals and regularly play in the Ageas Bowl in other forms of the game. Brave will hope that star bowler Jofra Archer has recovered from injuries to take part in the competition, but their onslaught does not rely on the Englishman for the pass.
Chris Jordan is the country record wicket holder in T20Is, so it is clearly a threat to opposition batsmen in limited overs in its own right. Craig Overton, Tymal Mills and spinner Danny Briggs also played for England. This brave group gives the Rockets and the other franchises in The Hundred enough to think with both bat and ball.
To play all eight teams within a few points of each other, the competition must open before the start of the match. The Rockets, who boast English Test captain Joe Root in their ranks, are the joint second favorite for The Hundred, along with Oval Invincibles, which gives Jason Roy the chance to get started, in an event that could guarantee excitement.