TRENT ROCKETS (M)
Best XI: Alex Hales, D'Arcy Short, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Tom Moores(w/k), Samit Patel, Lewis Gregory (c), Rashid Khan, M de Lange, Luke Wood, Timm Van der Gugten
Coach: Andy Flower
Batting depth: With someone as capable as Rashid Khan batting at number #8 for the Rockets they have the batting depth to play freely which is essential to score big on small grounds like Trent Bridge.
Batting Variety: The Rockets first-choice XI features as many as three LHBs who could help split up the RHBs and counter spin bowling match-ups unlike a lot of other teams in the competition who have only one or two LHB featuring in their top seven.
Spin Bowling: The Trent Rockets have the best limited-overs spinner in the world with the recruitment of Rashid Khan. To complement him they have both a slow left-armer in Samit Patel and a right arm off-spinner in Matt Carter who could be used to exploit a variety of match-ups and also be useful in conditions assisting spin bowling.
Pace and Death Bowling: Trent Rockets, unlike other teams, have limited pace bowling options in Luke Wood and Marchant De Lange. Although capable of generating a good pace, they are also prone to leaking runs at the death and lack the experience of bowling a lot at the death in higher level cricket. In case Wahab Riaz cannot join the team later in the tournament their problems will only increase.
Batting intent: In Malan, Root and Short the Rockets have a top-4 filled with slow starters. On grounds as high scoring as Trent Bridge, slow scoring could come out as a major problem area for the rockets.
Southern Brave (M)
Best XI: Quinton De Kock(wk), Devon Conway, James Vince, Delray Rawlins, Colin de Granghomme, Ross Whiteley, Craig Garton, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Max Waller/ Jake Lintot, Tymal Mills
Coach: Mahela Jayawardene
Batting quality and depth: One of the most aggressive openers in Quinton de Kock is set to open for them, paired with another high-quality opener in Devon Conway. James Vince at number three who is amongst the better T20 players in the world and recognized boundary hitters till number #9 make the Southern Brave's batting line-up among the deepest and most ferocious in the competition.
Batting variety to tackle spin: Conway who is a stable left-hander versus all kinds of spin bowling and young Delray Rawlins who is potentially a good spin power hitter, can provide impetus in the middle overs. The presence of two other left-handers split across different positions makes the Brave batting line-up full of LHBs who can easily tackle any kind of quality away spin thrown at them.
Pace bowling: In George Garton and Jofra Archer the Braves have one of the most dangerous new-ball bowling units in the competition. Garton had an economy of six and picked wickets at an average of 15 runs per wicket since 2019 in the T20 Blast. He is known to be very threatening with his left arm in-swing. In addition, their bowling unit has Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan who are specialist death bowlers and certainly the best local bowlers for the format in the country.
Death Overs hitting: Although the Southern Brave’s batting attack looks amongst the strongest on paper there are few areas of concern. Their probable number five who is not a very good player of express pace - a key requirement for his role, de Grandhomme averages a very low 21 and strikes at 140 since 2019 in T20s (excluding international games). Their number #6, Ross Whiteley, averages 22 with an average strike rate of 135 since the start of 2019.
Injury/Availability concerns: With Archer still recovering after surgery it is unclear if he will play The Hundred competition. Mills too did not feature for Sussex reportedly suffering a hamstring injury, it is unclear when he will return to full fitness