A team glint with impressive names on the batting front, Manchester Originals also possess quite a decent looking bowling line-up for the first-ever edition of The Hundred.
Based at the Old Trafford ground in Manchester, the Originals have Lockie Ferguson, Ollie Robinson, Jamie Overton, Matt Parkinson included in their squad for the tournament starting July 22.
With a strong mix of seamers and spinners available to them, Manchester Originals look ripe as one of the front-runners to clinch the maiden 100-ball competition trophy.
In what is expected to be a very high-scoring tournament played on some of the flattest limited-overs pitches, it is the bowlers who’ll be making the difference and the case will be no different with the Originals.
Manchester Originals will open their account with an opening day away fixture against Oval Invincibles and then play further three games outside their base venue during their eight-match league stage campaign.
Irrespective of the venue, however, the role of the bowlers will be equally important throughout the competition. They’ll be tasked with the duty to keep the run-flow in check and try to enforce errors that may lead to the oppositions’ downfall.
Which Manchester Originals bowler could end at the top of The Hundred’s wicket-taking chart?
1. Lockie Ferguson
New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson is a fantastic inclusion to the Manchester Originals side for The Hundred. Ferguson is an exceptional fast bowler with his tall stature, express pace and ability to nail the hard lengths, including the yorker at the death.
Ferguson has a fine T20I record to his name for the Kiwis, having taken 24 wickets from his 13 outings while conceding only 6.86 runs per over. Domestically, the 30-year-old quick has bagged 77 scalps from 71 outings with an economy rate of 7.52.
2. Fred Klaassen
Kent fast bowler Fred Klaassen is another potential Manchester Originals candidate to end as The Hundred’s highest wicket-taker. Klaassen, the 28-year-old left-arm seamer, will be entering the Originals camp with some decent form and run of games in the T20 Blast behind him.
Klaassen, who plays internationally for the Netherlands, has taken 14 wickets from his 11 innings for Kent in the Blast this season. And though the bowler’s economy rate (8.51) has been on the slightly higher side, Klaassen has regularly provided his team important breakthroughs.
3. Matt Parkinson
Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson only got the chance to make his England debut against Pakistan last week because Adil Rashid was sidelined amid COVID-19 scare. But his performances in the first two ODIs at Cardiff and Lord’s have only strengthened the bowler’s case for regular opportunities in the side.
Parkinson has delivered spells of 2/28 and 2/42 against the Asian giants, who are traditionally rated as some of the best players of spin. Before being handed an England call up, Parkinson had also taken 13 wickets from 10 matches for Lancashire in the T20 Blast this season.