The Oval Invincibles will lock horns with the Manchester Originals in the first game of the competition. Both sides look strong on paper and have the capability to go all the way in the tournament.
English all-rounder Kate Cross will lead Manchester Originals in the inaugural edition of the Hundred. The Originals are a strong team with some power-hitters. If they play to their full potential, this side could be the heavyweights in the tournament.
Let us take a look at the Manchester Originals squad and its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Manchester Originals Squad
Kate Cross (c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Mignon du Preez, Lizelle Lee, Danielle Collins, Alice Dyson, Cordelia Griffith, Hannah Jones, Georgia Boyce, Natalie Brown, Ellie Threlkeld, Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Sophie Ecclestone, Laura Jackson
The squad consists of several international superstars who have been seasoned campaigners for their national sides. The likes of Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, and Harmanpreet Kaur provide firepower in the batting line-up.
The bowling department consists of the No.1 T20I bowler Sophie Ecclestone. She has been in prime form recently as she finished as the highest wicket-taker in the multi-format series against India with 19 wickets to her name.
Experienced left-arm spinner Alex Hartley will be the club's second-choice spinner. Meanwhile, Kate Cross will lead the fast-bowling department.
The squad lacks experienced fast bowlers. Kate Cross leads the pace department, but there is no one to support her. The squad consists of medium pacers, and the lack of a speedster in the bowling line-up might turn out to be a disadvantage for them.
The team is missing a frontline right-arm off-spinner. So Harmanpreet Kaur might be asked to chip in with a few balls. The team also lacks a wrist spinner which might affect them in the long run.
The tournament provides a good opportunity for youngsters such as Georgia Boyce, Natalie Brown, and Danielle Collins to showcase their talents.
It provides an opportunity for Emma Lamb to perform on the big stage and attract the selector’s attention. She has been impressive in the Charlotte Edwards trophy recently and will be looking to continue her rich form in the Hundred.
Alex Hartley last played for England in March 2019. She has been left out of the side since then. With the World Cup scheduled next year, it will be a big opportunity for her to get back to the national side, with impressive performances in The Hundred.
The lack of experienced fast bowlers in the side might hurt the Manchester Originals in the 100-ball competition. They have got depth in their batting but lack experienced pacers in the side.
The over-reliance on Ecclestone and Hartley might turn out to be a threat for them. The young players need to step up for them to go all the way in the tournament.
Manchester Originals Probable XI
Manchester Originals: Lizelle Lee (wk), Emma Lamb, Georgia Boyce, Harmanpreet Kaur, Mignon du Preez, Natalie Brown, Danielle Collins, Laura Jackson, Kate Cross (c), Sophie Ecclestone, Alex Hartley.