Powerplay specialists and both-hand flexibility: domestic bowlers to watch in The Hundred draft

While The Hundred is ultimately short-form cricket, it is subtly different to T20 in its playing conditions. With that in mind and armed with ESPNcricinfo's T20 database, we've dug out the bowlers who might prove to be value-for-money in Sunday's draft…

Powerplay specialists

In the 2019 IPL, Chennai Super Kings fielded a new-ball specialist in Deepak Chahar and a death specialist in Dwayne Bravo. But Chahar could only bowl three of the six Powerplay overs, and Bravo was limited to three of the final five overs at the death (or, in many cases, four of the final seven). In The Hundred, meanwhile, a bowler in Chahar's mould could bowl 20 balls in the 25-ball Powerplay, and someone in Bravo's role could bowl 20 of the final 25 balls.

Therefore, each team should consider picking a Powerplay specialist, who bowls the bulk of their overs with the new ball.

No domestic spinner bowled as many overs in the Powerplay as Matt Carter in the Blast this season, and he was excellent with the new ball, taking six wickets and conceding just over a run a ball. A tall, thick-set offspinner, Carter is also strong against both left and right-handers, thereby giving his captain plenty of options.

David Payne is a bustling purveyor of left-arm medium-fast swing bowling, and nobody has taken more Powerplay wickets in the Blast than him over the last three seasons.

No-one took more first-over wickets in the Blast than Chris Wood this season (5). Constant injury problems have stalled his development, but he has been a weapon with the new ball for nearly a decade in a Hampshire shirt when fit.

See also: Josh Cobb, Max Waller, Luke Wood, Jade Dernbach

Death specialists

In the same way, those that close out an innings will be even more valuable, with the ability to bowl almost exclusively in the final stages. While some overseas players will undoubtedly fill that role, there is plenty of domestic talent on offer too.

There are only six players who have been more frugal at the death than Ryan Higgins in the last two Blast seasons, and all of them have played international cricket. Also a useful late-overs hitter, Higgins should provide good value-for-money as a versatile allrounder.

Ravi Rampaul was a revelation in the Blast this year, slinging down a mix of yorkers and slower-balls to end with both the most wickets and the lowest economy rate in the final five overs. He counts as a local player, and may turn out to be an excellent bargain.

While the lingering memory of Wayne Parnell's death bowling in this year's Blast was his expensive 20th over in the final against Essex, he has been something of a banker at the end of an innings alongside Pat Brown. He is still pretty quick at the age of 30, and has experience as a pinch-hitter in the middle overs.

See also: Tymal Mills, Henry Brookes, Matty Potts, Luke Fletcher

Match-up locks

The ability to bowl a ten-ball over means that teams might want to pick players who are particularly strong against one type of batsman; with two right-handers at the crease, for example, it would make sense to tie them down by using a bowler with a particular strength against them for a ten-ball spell.

A perennially undervalued player, perhaps due to his stocky frame, Josh Cobb has been a consistent performer with bat and ball in the Blast for more than ten years. His bowling looks fairly unassuming, but he has an outrageous recent record against left-handers - his 113 balls against them over the last two Blast seasons have yielded just 103 runs. Cobb's record against D'Arcy Short (18 balls, 8 runs conceded) is exactly the sort of match-up teams will consider in pre-match planning, and he could be a great option for a ten-ball over with two lefties in the middle.

Simon Harmer's 52 balls to left-handers in the Blast this year brought 8 wickets, and with an economy rate of 5.65: he is a banker against them.

He's useful against both hands, but Mason Crane's record against right-handers is particularly impressive: they account for 25 of his 30 wickets in the last three seasons, and his economy rate against them is only 6.73. There are plenty of English leggies in the draft, but Crane is one of the best.

See also: Colin Ackermann (vs right-handers), Callum Parkinson (vs right-handers), Hardus Viljoen (vs left-handers)

Strong vs both hands

Of course, the bowlers that captains love the most will likely be those who are sufficiently skilled that they are capable of bowling in any given match situation.

That means that those who have a similarly good record against batsmen of both dexterity are useful, while those who can bowl in any given phase of the game are golddust for a struggling captain.

Max Waller is a T20 specialist, who has regularly taken the new ball for Somerset with his fired-in legbreaks. He has a useful googly and is not a massive turner of the ball, in the mould of Samuel Badree, and has a strong record against both left and right-handers.

Liam Dawson has experience on the franchise circuit in Bangladesh and Pakistan, and his left-arm spin is adept in most situations. Over the last three years, his economy rate against left-handers (7.48) is only fractionally higher than against right-handers (7.16), and he takes wickets more often against lefties.

A man whose box of tricks have developed a cult following over the past five years, Benny Howell can rightly hope his skill in the middle overs earns him a decent deal in The Hundred. He is frugal against left-handers (economy rate 7.40) and superb against right-handers (ER 6.28), and few have better records on English pitches.

See also: Matt Carter, Daryl Mitchell, Ravi Rampaul, Chris Rushworth

Multi-phase flexibility

A captain's dream is to have a bowler he knows will take cheap wickets regardless of when he brings him on, so players that excel in several phases of the game will be valued highly.

Tymal Mills is best known as a superb death bowler, but he is useful in the middle overs too, going at just 6.37 runs per over in that phase in this season's Blast. He has historically been more expensive in the Powerplay, but was much better there this year, and should be a banker at most stages.

Primarily a new-ball bowler, Luke Wood has improved markedly over the past two years, and is now capable in the middle or at the death too. He took six cheap wickets in 39 balls at the death for Notts this season, to go alongside his 6.47 Powerplay economy rate.

Callum Parkinson is another bowler who is under-rated due to his unfashionable county, and perhaps the fact that he is considered to be a lesser player than twin brother Matt. But he has an impressive T20 record in the past two years, and is capable of squeezing in an over or two in the Powerplay to boot.

See also: Gavin Griffiths, Fynn Hudson-Prentice, Nathan Rimmington, Hardus Viljoen