As the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 draws closer, anticipation among cricket fans is reaching a fever pitch. The highly anticipated multi-nation cricket extravaganza is set to kick off with a blockbuster clash between England and New Zealand on October 5 at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Both England and New Zealand were finalists in the previous edition of the tournament, adding to the excitement surrounding this year’s competition.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, known for his cricketing acumen, has joined the chorus of cricket enthusiasts making predictions about the finalists of this year’s ODI World Cup. In a recent chat with Star Sports, Irfan shared his insights and bold predictions for the tournament.

Irfan picks India and South Africa as finalists

Irfan, acknowledging the formidable strength of defending champions England, particularly their versatile all-rounders, stated that he couldn’t ignore England’s potential to reach the finals. However, he leaned towards South Africa as his second pick for the summit clash of the upcoming edition.

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Irfan positively declared India as the first finalists, highlighting their status as the host nation and favorites. Notably, there is a historical trend of home teams performing well in the ODI World Cup, with the last three editions being won by the host nation.

“On logic, you can’t drop England from the finalists’ spot because they have a very strong team. For me, it’s India and South Africa,” said Irfan.

Irfan elaborated on South Africa’s chances, emphasizing their strong team and good form leading into the World Cup. However, he ultimately predicted India to emerge victorious in the tournament.

“South Africa has a great chance to do well in this World Cup because they have arrived here with a strong team and good form, but India will definitely win this Word Cup because they are at their best form right now and also like Waqar Younis told how they played in the Asia Cup, and according to me, they have also ticked all the boxes at the right time,” Irfan added.

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