When Southern Brave plays their first game in The Hundred, limited-overs cricket’s new format, away at Trent Rockets this summer, they won’t be able to call upon some of the marquee signings from overseas the franchise originally made.
David Warner is one of the top batsmen in the sport, but he and fellow Australia international Marcus Stoinis opted against traveling to England for the month-long event. You would think that may have adversely affected the Brave’s status as outright favorites for The Hundred, yet there was a contingency plan.
Quinton de Kock, the former South Africa captain, and wicketkeeper of the Proteas comes in instead. Although only 28, his vast experience in limited-overs internationals softens the blow of those Australian absences. De Kock has over 6,500 runs in ODIs and T20Is for his country.
Brave also signed another South African-born player in batsman Devon Conway, who has really hit the ground running for New Zealand since becoming eligible to play for them within the last 12 months. Whatever form of cricket he’s been called upon to play in, Conway has delivered with superb batting averages across Tests and limited-overs internationals.
His ODI average of 75 is particularly impressive. A double century on his Test debut shows that Conway can play with discipline too, but it’s his attacking instincts and aggression that will pay the most dividends in The Hundred. Brave’s other overseas player is top West Indies T20 cricketer Andre Russell who adds real experience to the roster.
Bermuda-born batsman Delray Rawlins, as yet uncapped by the Windies, looks sure to learn plenty from Russell playing in this competition. When you consider the England international presence in the Brave squad, online sports betting UK sites like 888 Sport make them favourites for The Hundred for logical reasons. Their roster is simply one of the strongest assembled.
Hampshire captain James Vince and County Championship colleague Liam Dawson are locals and play in the Ageas Bowl regularly in other forms of the game. Brave will be hoping that star bowler Jofra Archer has recovered from injuries to take part in the competition, meanwhile, but their attack doesn’t rely on the England man for pace alone.
Chris Jordan is the country’s record wicket-taker in T20Is, so is clearly a threat to opposition batsmen in limited-overs in his own right. Craig Overton, Tymal Mills, and spinner Danny Briggs have also played for England too. This Brave squad is going to give the Rockets and the other franchises in The Hundred plenty to think about with both bat and ball.
Betting on the competition before it starts is quite open with all eight teams within a couple of points of each other. The Rockets, who boast England Test captain Joe Root among their ranks, are joint second-favorites for The Hundred alongside Oval Invincibles, who have Jason Roy to open their batting, in an event that should guarantee excitement.