The 2022 edition of the Vitality T20 Blast is all set to kick off from May 25 with Somerset taking on Kent in a south group clash at Canterbury and Yorkshire locking horns with Worcestershire at Leeds. The 20th edition of the competition will have 18 teams divided into two groups, much like the last season, with top four teams from each group advancing through to the quarterfinals.
Let’s take a look at the favourites this year and see where each team stands ahead of the contest.
- Our picks are: Nottinghamshire Outlaws, Somerset, and Lancashire
- On the other hand, Kent, Surrey, and Worcestershire are the dark horses in the tournament, which could spring up a surprise…
Defending champions Kent have their task cut out
Kent Spitfires rose above expectations in the previous season to lift the Vitality T20 Blast 2021. The Sam Billings-led side topped the south group with nine victories from 14 matches. Kent then defeated Birmingham and Sussex in the quarterfinal and semifinal, respectively, to reach the final. They went on to beat Somerset in the final to clinch the trophy for the first time since 2007.
The odds for the Vitality T20 Blast 2022 suggest Kent aren’t one of the top contenders for the championship and will have to produce another extraordinary performance to defend the title. A lot will depend on how Daniel Bell-Drummond, Sam Billings and Jordan Cox perform, with Zak Crawley likely to be unavailable for the most part due to Test commitments.
Nottinghamshire Outlaws remain favourites
Nottinghamshire Outlaws, the winners of the 2020 edition of the tournament, were fantastic in the group stage in the 2021 season. Notts Outlaws topped the north group with nine wins and three ties out of 14 matches. They were favourites to win back to back titles but crashed out of the tournament in the quarterfinals after losing to Hampshire.
Nottinghamshire Outlaws remain favourites for the Vitality T20 Blast 2022 as well, having one of the strongest teams. They have an explosive batting unit comprising Alex Hales, Ben Duckett and Joe Clarke while the bowling attack also looks decent.
Somerset have a chance for the redemption
The finalists of the Vitality T20 Blast 2021, Somerset are one of the top contenders for the 2022 edition as well. They had a pretty good season last year, securing second place in the south group with eight victories. Somerset went on to defeat Lancashire in the quarterfinal followed by their semifinal victory over Hampshire. In the final, however, they fell 25 short of the target.
Somerset have a young, but pretty solid squad, of the likes of Tom Abell, Tom Banton, Will Smeed, Tom Lammonby and Lewis Gregory.
Keep an eye on…
Glenn Phllips is amongst the most explosive T20 batters in world cricket and has left his mark in the leagues around the globe. The Kiwi player was sensational for Gloucestershire in the Vitality T20 Blast 2021, scoring 500 runs in 12 innings at an average of 56 while striking at 163. Phillips had hammered three fifties in the tournament and had given them fast starts consistently.
Harry Brook has emerged as one of the hottest properties in the T20 arena following his excellent season last year. Brook had scored 486 runs in 13 games in the Blast 2021 at an average of 69 and strike rate of 149. The Yorkshire batter has since gone into play in the leagues in Australia and Pakistan while also making debut for England.
Alex Hales is amongst the top T20 batters in world cricket. Since 2020, he has scored 2951 runs at an average of 35 while striking at 156. Ha was excellent in the previous edition of Vitality T20 Blast for Nottinghamshire Outlaws, scoring 482 runs in 15 matches at an average of 44 and strike rate of 179, including a century and two half centuries.