by Rex Clementine
After a horrendous opening season in The Hundred, where they won just one game, London Spirit were dealt a severe blow when their Head Coach Shane Warne passed away in March this year. Those were massive boots to fill as Warne is someone who thinks out of the box and has a reputation as the best captain that Australia never had. The franchise made a sensible decision to hire Trevor Bayliss and they have turned things around in remarkable style having won all their four games so far including a win over defending champions Southern Brave.
Bayliss is a man of few words, but a brilliant tactician. He will dish out very little in public but strategically not many are fit to hold a candle to him. Knowing what to do is one thing and getting your players to execute those plans is quite another and this is where Bayliss has an edge as he is a good communicator.
Some coach – captain combinations have worked brilliantly in cricket. Border-Simpson, Waugh-Buchanan, Dhoni-Kirsten, Woolmer-Cronje have brought their teams tremendous success. History will write that Morgan-Bayliss is also one of the most successful combinations in cricket. The pair had helped England win the World Cup three years ago and their coming together has now helped London Spirit to start off this year’s campaign on a high.
It’s been a tough few months for Morgan. Poor form saw him stepping down as captain of England’s white ball team and retiring from international cricket but his legacy is far from over and success at The Hundred will give his leadership further credentials.
London Spirit have made some smart strategic moves starting from their team selections. In hiring Glenn Maxwell and Kieron Pollard they made some smart investments. There’s isn’t a more experienced man in the shortest format of the game than Pollard having played league cricket all over the world.
Maxwell meanwhile is feared like the plague as has the ability destroy attacks. A crucial cog in the Australian wheel during their triumph in last year’s T-20 World Cup, Maxwell’s time maybe limited at The Hundred but his signing was a masterstroke.
Bayliss and Morgan know that a good start in the competition doesn’t mean anything if they don’t go onto win the title or reach the final. Peaking early is a dangerous thing in sports and they would have put in place measures to address the issue and remain fresh when the business end of the tournament comes along.