Given that they are not only based in the capital but their home ground is at Lord’s there is always pressure on the London Spirit to deliver the goods whenever a new season of The Hundred is on the horizon. Should they get to the final of the tournament they know they will have it on their home ground but so far getting there has proved to be too difficult. This is a franchise that has had plenty of issues to contend with but will be looking for glory this season.
Last Season: 3rd
Captain: Dan Lawrence
Key Players: Zak Crawley & Nathan Ellis
Best Odds: 7/1 Unibet
August 2: Oval Invincibles (h)
August 5: Manchester Originals (a)
August 8: Southern Brave (h)
August 12: Trent Rockets (h)
August 15: Oval Invincibles (a)
August 18: Northern Superchargers (h)
August 20: Welsh Fire (a)
August 24: Birmingham Phoenix (a)
Mark Wood, Nathan Ellis, Liam Dawson, Dan Lawrence, Zak Crawley, Jordan Thompson, Mason Crane, Adam Rossington, Chris Wood, Ravi Bopara, Michael Pepper, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Matt Critchley, Matthew Wade, Daryl Mitchell, Dan Worrall
Whether it is off the field or on it the London Spirit have had to put up with plenty in their short existence. Last season they were mourning the loss of their influential coach Shane Warne and this season they go into battle without Eoin Morgan at the helm for the first time. If that wasn’t enough, they have had to recover from the late withdrawals of Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh who have been withdrawn by Cricket Australia, so the Spirit are already fighting against the tide.
This is a team who finished third last season though and who have at least moved to replace those two men and now when you look at their squad they look to have a nice balance of power and aggression with the bat and quality with the ball. If there is an issue that develops as the season goes on it might be that not many of their batters offer a proper bowling option so balancing the side could prove tricky but if those at the top of the order do their job that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
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One of the things that I like about this London Spirit batting unit is when you look down their list there is a natural position for everyone. Some teams in this competition will have players opening who are not used to that role and have stockpiled openers who need to bat in the middle order. That isn’t the case with the Spirit but in terms of a bet to be their top batter my colours are already nailed to the Zak Crawley mast for the season overall so I don’t need to get involved in that market.
The bowling market is interesting though. Nathan Ellis is the favourite to be the leading wicket taker and in terms of a death bowler there isn’t many better around but for all his skills at the death it doesn’t always equate to wickets because quite often batters get foxed by his slower ball which doesn’t hit the stumps very often. He is more economical at the death than a wicket taker which could lead to Jordan Thompson being the beneficiary again. I would imagine he’ll be the other death bowler for the Spirit so he can pick up the wickets Ellis fails to get when inevitable batters have to go after him at the other end. He was the leading bowler for the Spirit last season and bagged 20 scalps in the Blast with a 13.95 strike rate. You have to respect Mark Wood in this market but I can’t believe he’ll get through all eight games so it is Thompson for me.
Back J.Thompson Top London Spirit Bowler for a 2/10 stake at 4.33 with William Hill
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