The Hundred team-by-team guide: Star men, ones to watch, captains, coaches, best XIs, verdicts

·5-min read
 (Getty Images for ECB)
(Getty Images for ECB)

The Hundred is here. The ECB’s new 100‑ball men’s tournament starts on Thursday when Oval Invincibles take on Manchester Originals.

Standard Sport takes a look at the eight teams bidding for glory this summer...

Birmingham Phoenix

Captain: Moeen Ali

Coach: Daniel Vettori

Key player: Liam Livingstone. Full of confidence after a sensational white-ball summer with England.

Moeen Ali (Getty Images for ECB)
Moeen Ali (Getty Images for ECB)

One to watch: Will Smeed. Picked up late as a replacement player, there is a lot of excitement in the West Country about Smeed’s potential.

Best XI: Allen, Livingstone, Moeen, Smeed, Cooke (wk), Howell, Woakes, Milne, Helm, Brown, Tahir

Verdict: Phoenix are packed with all-rounders, bowling both spin and seam, which gives them flexibility, although – unlike many teams – they are short on wicketkeeping.

Tom Abell is an injury doubt, which could give an early opportunity to Adam Hose or Smeed. Other talented youngsters like Dillon Pennington may have to wait their turn.

London Spirit

Captain: Eoin Morgan

Coach: Shane Warne

Key player: Josh Inglis. Lacks the star-power of Glenn Maxwell, who he replaced. But in formidable Blast form.

Shane Warne (Getty Images for ECB)
Shane Warne (Getty Images for ECB)

One to watch: Mason Crane. Very solid Blast season, and will surely be given plenty of responsibility by Warne.

Best XI: Inglis (wk), Crawley, Denly, Lawrence, Morgan, Bopara, Nabi, Amir, C.Wood, Crane, M.Wood

Verdict: Lots of experienced T20 performers in this squad and the first team looks decent. But they could be hit hard by England Test call-ups, which would test their depth and Morgan’s captaincy prowess.

Manchester Originals

Captain: Jos Buttler

Coach: Simon Katich

Key player: Matt Parkinson. His confidence and belief in his method is growing by the game.

Jos Buttler (Getty Images for ECB)
Jos Buttler (Getty Images for ECB)

One to watch: Joe Clarke. Remains uncapped by England for off-field reasons. His pedigree as a short-form bat is beyond doubt, though.

Best XI: Buttler, Salt (wk), Munro, Clarke, Lammonby, Brathwaite, Ackermann, Robinson, Hartley, Ferguson, Parkinson

Verdict: A great young English core to build their side around, and should only lose Buttler to their Test squad. That is some loss, though. Some late pullouts – particularly Jamie Overton – will be a frustration.

Northern Superchargers

Captain: Faf du Plessis

Coach: Darren Lehmann

Key player: Adil Rashid. Pure class, and should be available all tournament.

Ben Stokes (Getty Images for ECB)
Ben Stokes (Getty Images for ECB)

One to watch: Jordan Thompson. A fine foil for David Willey in the seam-bowling all-rounder stakes. Gives it a proper whack…

Best XI: Lynn, Lyth, Stokes, Du Plessis (c), Brook, Simpson (wk), Willey, Thompson, Carse, Rashid, Mujeeb

Verdict: Looks a good side. Young Yorkshiremen Harry Brook and Thompson arrive in prime form, while Brydon Carse looks ready to fill the void left by Olly Stone’s injury. Stokes will be a big loss on England duty, but Tom Kohler-Cadmore should be ready to come in after injury.

Oval Invincibles

Captain: Sam Billings

Coach: Tom Moody

Key player: Will Jacks. Went uncapped by England this month, but surely won’t be for long. Offers threat with bat and ball.

Sam Billings (Getty Images for ECB)
Sam Billings (Getty Images for ECB)

One to watch: Saqib Mahmood. Why on earth did Manchester Originals allow him to leave without playing a game for them?

Best XI: Roy, Jacks, Evans, Ingram, Billings (wk), S.Curran, Narine, T.Curran, Mahmood, Topley, Lamichhane

Verdict: This looks a well-built squad. None of their overseas players pulled out, and there’s a very strong Surrey core.

It seems likely that only Sam Curran will be called away by England, too. In the Currans, Jacks, Narine and Billings they are not short on players with more than one skill.

Southern Brave

Captain: James Vince

Coach: Mahela Jayawardene

Key player: Quinton de Kock. A favourite of Jayawardene’s from Mumbai Indians. Part of a classy-looking top order.

One to watch: Delray Rawlins. Has been “one to watch” for a while. Can he bring his explosive hitting to a wider audience? He will need to, or face being dropped.

Jofra Archer (Getty Images for ECB)
Jofra Archer (Getty Images for ECB)

Best XI: De Kock (wk), Vince, Conway, Davies, Rawlins, Dawson, De Grandhomme, Garton, Jordan, Archer, Mills

Verdict: Even after some significant pullouts (including Andre Russell last week), they look the tournament’s best side, as illustrated by Danny Briggs and Ross Whiteley possibly not making the first XI.

Jofra Archer, Tymal Mills, De Kock and an in-form Vince give them a formidable look.

Trent Rockets

Captain: Lewis Gregory

Coach: Andy Flower

Key player: Rashid Khan. Who else?

Joe Root (Getty Images for ECB)
Joe Root (Getty Images for ECB)

One to watch: Luke Wood. An excellent county player for some years with Notts and now Lancashire. Has explosive skills.

Best XI: Hales, Short, Malan, Root, Moores (wk), Patel, Gregory, Khan, Wood, De Lange, Carter

Verdict: Batting looks very strong, even accounting for Test call-ups.

Withdrawals have left the bowling looking a little fragile, especially given their home ground is Trent Bridge.

Rashid Khan will have his work cut out with the ball, but should combine well with local spinners Samit Patel and Matt Carter.

Welsh Fire

Captain: Jonny Bairstow

Coach: Gary Kirsten

Key player: Jonny Bairstow. One of the best in the world, and should be available throughout the tournament. Enviable.

Jonny Bairstow (Getty Images for ECB)
Jonny Bairstow (Getty Images for ECB)

One to watch: Ben Duckett. Has been around for a while, but feels he has a point to prove. Is an extremely flexible cricketer.

Best XI: Bairstow (wk), Banton, Duckett, Phillips, Neesham, Critchley, Plunkett, Ball, Ahmed, Payne

Verdict: Lost Ollie Pope and Keiron Pollard in the last week, but still have an outstanding batting order. There is strength in depth too, with experienced county pros like Josh Cobb, Ryan Higgins and Ian Cockbain battling to make the XI. Liam Plunkett has not played this season, which has to be a concern.

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