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The Hundred Outright Tips: Trent Rockets can retain title

Trent Rockets pipped Manchester Originals by two wickets to win The Hundred final in 2022 and another exciting season of the men's 100-ball competition is in prospect, starting with the Rockets' clash with 2021 champions Southern Brave on Tuesday.

James Milton's The Hundred Tips

Trent Rockets To Win The Hundred @ 9/2
Will Jacks Top Batter @ 16/1
Paul Walter Top Manchester Originals Bowler @ 13/2

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

Setting the scene…..

The third season of The Hundred starts on Tuesday and defending champions Trent Rockets could be hard to dethrone in the men's competition.

A star-studded Birmingham Phoenix squad featuring England internationals Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Ben Duckett and Liam Livingstone should be among the main threats to the Rockets, along with Manchester Originals, who are led by England's white-ball captain Jos Buttler.

Each of the eight teams play eight league matches, four at home and four away. The side finishing top of the table goes straight into the final where they will face the winner of the Eliminator match between the second- and third-placed teams.

Trent Rockets To Win The Hundred @ 9/2

Trent Rockets held their nerve to see off Manchester Originals in last summer's final and they were worthy champions, having won six of their eight league matches to finish top of the table.

Experienced openers Alex Hales and Dawid Malan, The Hundred's top runscorer in 2022, lead a batting unit that includes Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sam Hain, Joe Root and hard-hitting overseas stars Colin Munro and Daniel Sams.

Australia all-rounder Sams had a terrific T20 Blast campaign for runners-up Essex and, while Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan is only available for the first 10 days of The Hundred, his replacement Ish Sodhi starred for winners Somerset on Blast Finals Day.

Somerset captain Lewis Gregory, one of the shrewdest tacticians on the county circuit, leads a talented Rockets side who should set the standard in the 100-ball competition once again.

James Milton's Tip:

Trent Rockets have a wealth of international experience and arguably the best-balanced squad in The Hundred this season, with a talented pace attack and a couple of world-class spinners.

Skipper Gregory marshalled Somerset's triumphant 2023 T20 Blast campaign brilliantly and he may well get his hands on another piece of silverware this summer.

Will Jacks Top Batter @ 16/1

Oval Invincibles opener Will Jacks was the fourth-highest runscorer in The Hundred last season, racking up 261 runs from just 152 balls in his seven innings.

His 108 not out against Southern Brave at The Oval was the highest individual score of the season and he also made a couple of half-centuries so looks a great each-way bet in the Top Batter market this summer.

Jacks, capped by England in all three formats, is an exceptional white-ball all-rounder who has played T20 franchise cricket all over the world and, at the age of 24, he still has scope for improvement.

James Milton's Tip:

Will Jacks is part of the generation of globe-trotting T20 franchise cricketers but he still enjoys his home comforts at The Oval, where the Invincibles will play their four home games in The Hundred.

Jacks made 69, 96, 50 and 23 in his last four T20 Blast innings at the London venue but he is happy to take on the new ball wherever he goes and should enjoy another prolific 100-ball season.  

Paul Walter Top Manchester Originals Bowler @ 13/2

Paul Walter may not be one of the biggest names on show in The Hundred but Manchester Originals and Essex fans know all about the 6ft 7in all-rounder's qualities.

As a middle-order batter, Walter strikes a long ball and he is also a key weapon with the ball in hand, using his height to generate awkward bounce and varying his pace cleverly.

The left-armer is a tempting price to be the Originals' leading wicket-taker this season, having taken 14 scalps in last year's competition. 

That put him joint-top of the bowling charts alongside London Spirit's Jordan Thompson and Birmingham Phoenix's Tom Helm and he also played a big role in Essex's run to this season's Blast final.

James Milton's Tip:

Paul Walter took 3-29 for Essex in this season's T20 Blast final defeat to Somerset so he should be full of confidence with the ball going into The Hundred.

The tall left-arm seamer is a difficult man to attack, as the Originals' opponents discovered last season, and he looks a good bet to be his team's top wicket-taker, especially as talented Ireland international Josh Little will be unavailable for part of the season.

James Milton's The Hundred Tips

Trent Rockets To Win The Hundred @ 9/2
Will Jacks Top Batter @ 16/1
Paul Walter Top Manchester Originals Bowler @ 13/2

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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