Why is Birmingham Phoenix the strongest side in The Hundred ?

The much-awaited tournament of the year which is the Hundred will see a total of eight teams locking horns against each other across seven different venues in England from July 21 to August 21. The competition will make its debut this year after it was canceled last year due to the COVID pandemic.

 

The Hundred to Kick off from 21st July 2021.
The Hundred to Kick off from 21st July 2021.

 

The eight teams have some world-class players from across the globe and there is no doubt that the event is going to be nothing less than a cultural melting pot. Analyzing the squads on paper, it is believed that Birmingham Phoenix looks a force to reckon with and possibly has the highest chance of winning the inaugural competition.

The Birmingham Phoenix squad boasts of 15 strong members, including two players from Australia, one each from India and Scotland. The other 11 players are from England, with three internationals and eight domestic stars. Birmingham Phoenix are favorites with a squad packed with stars according to Sports Betting Dime where the opening odds set at 4/1 as the top team of the tournament.

Squad: Amy Jones, Shafali Verma, Ria Fackrell, Ashleigh Gardner, Marie Kelly, Evelyn Jones, Emily Arlott, Kirstie Gordon, Phoebe Franklin, Abtaha Maqsood, Thea Brookes, Gwen Davies, Isabelle Wong, Georgia Elwiss, Ellyse Perry

 

Player Country Proficiency Batting Bowling
Amy Jones England Wicket-keeper Right hand
Shafali Verma India Batter Right hand  
Ria Fackrell England Batter Right hand  
Ashleigh Gardner Australia All-rounder Right hand Right arm off-spin
Marie Kelly England Batter Right hand  
Evelyn Jones England Batter Left hand  
Emily Arlott England Bowler Right hand Right-arm medium pace
Kirstie Gordon England Bowler Right hand Slow left-arm
Phoebe Franklin England Batter Right hand  
Abtaha Maqsood Scotland Bowler Right hand Right arm leg spin
Thea Brookes England All-rounder Right hand Right arm off-spin
Gwen Davies England Wicket-keeper Left hand
Isabelle Wong England Bowler Right hand Right-arm medium pace
Georgia Elwiss England All-rounder Right hand Right-arm medium pace
Ellyse Perry Australia All-rounder Right hand Right-arm medium pace
Also Read:  "I can't wait to get back on the ground and meet other players," says Shafali Verma

The squad has a good mix of batters, bowlers, all-rounders, and wicket-keepers with domestic and international experience. There are young players as well as experienced cricketers which brings about a perfect balance in the side.

Some of the players to watch out for will be:

Amy Jones: The England wicket-keeper bat is an attacking player and is known for her ability to use the long handle at will. Be it ahead or behind the stumps, she is a complete utility player. She is a clean striker of the cricket ball.

Shafali Verma: India’s young batting sensation has taken the cricketing fraternity by storm, courtesy of her aggressive style of play. The world number one T20I batter has been a terrific opener at the international level for the last one and half years or so. Her fearless attitude and the ability to take on any bowler at will makes her stand apart.

 

Hundred 2021 League: 17-year-old Shafali Varma set to play for Birmingham  Phoenix
Hundred 2021 League: 17-year-old Shafali Varma set to play for Birmingham Phoenix

 

Ashleigh Gardner: The swashbuckling and hard-hitting right hand from Australia has the ability to take the game away from the opposition single-handedly. Apart from her batting, she can chip in with the ball as she can roll her arm over to bowl those occasional off-spins.

Emily Arlott: She caught the eye of the England national selectors, courtesy of her stellar hat-trick during the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. Though she is yet to get a game for England (as of July 1), there is seldom any doubt about her bowling prowess.

Abtaha MaqsoodThe 22-year old leg-break bowler from Scotland has played in 18 T20Is since 2018. She is a genuine wicket-taker and has picked up 23 wickets at an average of 12.82 and an economy of 5.13.

Also Read:  Northern Superchargers ropes in Hollie Armitage and retain Katie Levick : The Hundred

Ellyse Perry: The prolific Australian all-rounder is a luxury for any team to have. Her contributions with both bat and ball have been immense over the years. She has played a vital role in the dominance of Australian cricket over the last decade or so.  

 

Australia's Ellyse Perry will play for Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred  this summer | Cricket News | PC: Sky Sports
Australia’s Ellyse Perry will play for Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred this summer. PC: Sky Sports

 

Birmingham Phoenix will be coached by Ben Sawyer, who is responsible for the Sydney Sixers side in the Women’s Big Bash League. Under his tutelage, the Sixers have won the title twice in six seasons. The franchise will expect Sawyer to repeat his feat in the Hundred as well.

Liked the story? Leave a comment here