We have looked at the outright market and the one for the top batter for the new season of The Hundred and before the campaign gets underway there is just enough time to go through the thinking for the top bowler market.
There were four bowlers who tied for the most wickets last season and it will be interesting to see if we get a standout bowler this term or whether the field are going to be condensed once again given that some star attractions are on show.
2021 – Adam Milne, Marchant de Lange, Adil Rashid & Rashid Khan
Adam Milne is the leader in the betting market in most places. Although others shared the top bowler honours with him in terms of wickets last year none of them were as economical as he was. He went into that season off the back of a good campaign for the Kent Spitfires in the Vitality Blast but he hasn’t had that this term and missed the recent New Zealand tours of Ireland and Scotland because of injury. Those are both concerns for those looking to get involved.
Matt Parkinson wasn’t one of those who took a leading 12 wickets last season but he still took nine scalps in the six matches he played and that is a decent enough average. Given that I think the Manchester Originals will go well this season it makes sense to have him on the shortlist. The only concerns would be that he looks like the next option if Jack Leach gets injured for England Test honours and also Wanindu Hasaranga could bowl the hitting sets instead of him.
Adil Rashid is always a terror in English domestic cricket and although this is probably a next stage up from that he has shown at international level that he can still be dangerous. The initial concern over Rashid would be that he is playing at Headingley where the pitches are brilliant for batting but he will have a captain who goes on the attack which is likely to support him. He only played seven matches last season and still took 12 wickets so he has to be a danger this term if he plays a full eight matches and maybe more.
Reece Topley has had a great summer with England and he will be looking to replicate that for the Oval Invincibles over the next month. There are two issues with Topley for me. The first is that you can never take his fitness for granted and missing matches with an injury just isn’t an option for the top bowler value. The other issue is that he’ll be bowling at The Oval and I don’t expect there to be much assistance for him there. The positives are he’s in good form and he’ll open the bowling and bowl at the death where the wickets tend to fall.
Sign up for a Boylesports account to get up to £25 in free bets! Perfect offer for this league! Click the image below for this great offer! New accounts only. 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Aware.
Narrowing the Field
Unlike with the batsmen, there isn’t really too many ways to narrow down the field here. There aren’t many bowler friendly tracks in England at the present time and the ones that there are, notably Cardiff and Edgbaston are only such because of the amount of cricket that has been on those grounds rather than any natural assistance in the wickets.
With that in mind, the only real way to narrow down this field is to choose whether to take seamers or spinners and to make sure that we get on players who we think will be in the semi-final and hopefully the final. It has been one of the driest summers in English history and when you add that to the amount of cricket played in England then you have to think spinners will have some fun in this tournament, particularly with most men’s matches played after the women’s game.
I’m not convinced there is going to be a huge amount for the seamers in this tournament, certainly not in terms of assistance in the pitches, and any wickets they do pick up will come from false shots or the need to score so I’m firmly in the camp of picking spinners for this tournament. Spinners who play at Cardiff or Edgbaston should probably get priority as those pitches are expected to be incredibly dry. Old Trafford is another such place.
I’m not going to go too mad in the top bowler market this season for the main reason that as we saw last season there isn’t a lot of time for the bowlers to separate themselves but I can’t ignore the 12/1 on Adil Rashid being the leading bowler this season. For all that playing at Headingley might not be ideal in terms of it being a brilliant batting deck, it is his home ground so if any spinner is going to bowl well there it will be him.
Where Rashid might make up the ground is away from home where he travels to Edgbaston, Old Trafford and Cardiff while The Oval tends to turn later in the summer too. Most of the other spinners in the competition all have negatives. Rashid Khan, Wanindu Hasaranga and Adam Zampa aren’t here for the full season, Matt Parkinson could be called away by England at any point and Jake Lintott has been exposed on the big stage a little so teams will be able to analyse him and potentially handle him better. Rashid is tried and tested and looks a solid option here.
Back A.Rashid Top Bowler (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 13.00 with William Hill (1/4 1-4)
Back him here: