Five players who could be in demand
His reluctant reinvention as a finisher
– in his past five T20s, Bopara has scored 219 runs for once out – helped Essex win the T20 Blast, though he has since moved to Sussex, and makes him one of the most attractive English players in the draft.
Smith’s extraordinary Ashes series reaffirmed his Test brilliance, but his T20 record is less stellar. With the importance of wickets reduced in the Hundred and a reserve price of £125,000, it is not inconceivable Smith will be left undrafted.
With 22 T20 centuries – no one else has more than eight – the format seems tailor-made for Gayle. Yet the West Indies batsman will be almost 41 by the time the first competition finishes so teams may consider better value lies elsewhere.
With his cocktail of brutal hitting, canny bowling and electric fielding, Russell has a strong claim to being the MVP in T20 cricket. His penchant for beginning his innings with great haste should suit the Hundred equally well.
The very ways in which the Hundred seems geared towards batsmen makes the best bowlers even more valuable. As bowlers are allowed to bowl
10 balls straight, Starc – the world’s best death bowler
– would be ideal to close out an innings.
Blunder: Gary Kirsten fell foul of social media last night when he forgot to insert the name of his Hundred team, Welsh Fire, while promoting tomorrow’s draft