Cricket World Cup: Top 10 Players to Watch Out in ICC World Cup 2023

In the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, expected to be a high-scoring spectacular with plenty of T20-inspired sixes, the role of versatile players cannot be underestimated. These players have the ability to influence games in multiple ways, and they will play a crucial part in their teams’ fortunes. Let’s take a closer look at Top 10 Players to Watch Out in ICC World Cup 2023.

10. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghanistan): While Rashid Khan remains a formidable force, Afghanistan’s batting will heavily rely on the 21-year-old wicketkeeper-opener, Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Although he initially made his mark in T20s, Gurbaz announced his arrival in ODIs by scoring a century on debut against Ireland in January 2021. Gurbaz, known for his 360-degree range of shots, follows in the footsteps of trailblazing ODI wicketkeeper-openers like Romesh Kaluwitharana and Adam Gilchrist.

In a limited number of ODIs this year, Afghanistan secured their first series win in Bangladesh, with Gurbaz delivering a standout performance, including a memorable 151 against a strong Pakistan attack. If he combines his aggression with consistency in the World Cup, Afghanistan could spring surprises.

9. Bas de Leede (The Netherlands): Bas de Leede stands out as the sole player heading both his country’s batting and bowling averages in 2023. This 23-year-old all-rounder, hailing from a cricketing family, has played in various leagues and recently signed with Durham for red- and white-ball cricket. De Leede played a pivotal role in securing the Netherlands’ spot in the World Cup, showcasing his ability to perform under pressure with both bat and ball.

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8. Trent Boult (New Zealand): Despite being 34 years old, Trent Boult remains a standout player for New Zealand. His left-arm pace, swing, and ability to adapt to different conditions make him a wicket-taking bowler. Boult’s strategic decision to pace himself and focus on T20 franchise leagues has kept him fresh and hungry for the World Cup. His return to the national team has already yielded positive results, making him a key player for the Kiwis.

6. Babar Azam (Pakistan): Babar Azam, Pakistan’s captain, embodies the qualities of a leader who maintains composure even in challenging situations. He is not only a captain but also a consistent batter with a remarkable ability to adapt his game. Babar’s solid fundamentals, coupled with his remarkable strike rate, make him Pakistan’s most reliable ODI batsman. His capacity to switch between aggression and stability positions him as a centripetal force for Pakistan in the World Cup.

7. Matheesha Pathirana (Sri Lanka): Matheesha Pathirana, often referred to as “Baby Malinga,” is an emerging fast bowler who made his ODI debut just months before the World Cup. Despite his limited experience, Pathirana’s remarkable speed and ability to challenge batsmen make him a potential match-winner. His unique delivery style and ability to vary his pace can pose a threat to opposing teams, particularly those unfamiliar with his bowling. Pathirana’s impact could be felt strongly in the tournament.

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5. Heinrich Klassen (South Africa): Heinrich Klassen exemplifies the fearless approach that T20 franchise leagues have instilled in cricketers worldwide. He has demonstrated his ability to score big in ODIs with two centuries this year, including a blistering 174 against Australia. Klassen boasts a high strike rate and is among the top ODI six hitters in 2023. His success against spin and versatility across different conditions make him an invaluable asset for South Africa, who have long sought a reliable finisher in ODIs.

4. Mitchell Starc (Australia): Australia’s hopes in the tournament revolve around the fitness and form of Mitchell Starc. He is a vital asset as their premier ODI bowler, known for his lethal left-arm pace, bounce, and in-swing. Despite a challenging 2023 ODI season for Australia, Starc has a knack for rising to the occasion on the big stage. He was the leading wicket-taker in the last two World Cups, contributing significantly to their success. With his fitness concerns and Australia’s shaky ODI record this year, Starc’s performance at CWC2023 could ignite a resurgence for the five-time champions.

3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh): Shakib Al Hasan is a cricketing legend in Bangladesh. With a career spanning 17 years, he has had a massive impact on the game in his country. From being the lone star all-rounder, he has become a role model and leader, currently captaining the Bangladesh World Cup squad for the second time. Shakib boasts impressive records, leading the ODI wicket-takers list for Bangladesh with 308 wickets and ranking as the third-highest run-scorer with 7,384 runs. His World Cup performances also outshine those of his compatriots. Shakib’s commitment to excellence and pride in his performance make him a captain, a leader, and a legend for Bangladesh in India 2023.

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2. Jos Buttler (England): Jos Buttler is a triple-duty cricketer for England, serving as captain, wicketkeeper, and a dependable middle-order finisher. Having already clinched the 2022 T20 World Cup, Buttler leads a formidable England side that embraces an aggressive approach in all forms of cricket. His game combines aggression with calculation and includes a highly effective lap/scoop shot against fast bowlers. Buttler holds England’s highest ODI strike rate ever and has scored the team’s top three fastest ODI centuries. Despite being dubbed “Dad’s Army,” England’s captain exudes confidence and experience, making them strong contenders in the World Cup.

1. Jasprit Bumrah (India): India’s return to form coincides with the comeback of Jasprit Bumrah, a fast bowling wizard who had been sidelined due to injury for 11 months. Bumrah’s ability to break partnerships and remain composed in pressure situations is invaluable for India. With a deadly combination of skill, pace, and a calm demeanor, Bumrah is a force to be reckoned with. Despite limited matches to regain his rhythm, his presence at the top of India’s bowling attack is a significant advantage for the host nation.

These impact players, each bringing their unique strengths to the table, have the potential to leave a lasting mark on the 2023 World Cup and play a pivotal role in their respective teams’ success.

Also Read:

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3) Most Cricket World Cup Final Losses List Since 1975

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