The ODI World Cup 2023 is all set to kick off on October 5 and promises a month-long thrilling cricket action with ten teams battling it out for the championship. It is worth mentioning that this year’s tournament holds special significance as it returns to the cricket-crazy nation of India after a gap of 12 years.
As cricket enthusiasts from around the globe gear up for the competition, let’s take a look at one standout player from each participating team who could be the most impactful in the ODI World Cup 2023.
Afghanistan: Rashid Khan
The Afghan spin sensation Rashid Khan is a force to be reckoned with. Rashid has 172 wickets to his name in ODIs at an economy of 4.21 so far and is a top-class spinner who can turn games in his team’s favour. What makes Rashid even more impactful is his evolution as a batter, with over 1000 runs in the 50-over format in recent times. His ability to contribute with both bat and ball makes him a key player for Afghanistan.
Australia: Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc is a seasoned campaigner with 220 dismissals in the 50-over format. He has a history of thriving in big tournaments and is known for his lethal pace and precision. Starc’s record 27 wickets in the previous edition of the ODI World Cup, the most by any bowler in a single edition, speaks volumes about his ability to perform on the grandest stage.
Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh’s skipper, Shakib Al Hasan, is a genuine all-rounder with over 7300 runs and 308 wickets in ODIs. He had a remarkable outing in the previous World Cup and is expected to continue his stellar form in this marquee event. Shakib’s ability to contribute with both bat and ball makes him a vital cog in Bangladesh’s lineup.
England: Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler not only brings his explosive batting to the table but also the responsibility of captaincy for England’s campaign. After leading the national side to a maiden T20I World Cup title in 2021, he’s riding high on confidence. With 4823 runs in the 50-over format and 211 catches behind the stumps, Buttler is a key player for England in this World Cup.
India: Virat Kohli
One of the modern-day greats of all formats, Virat Kohli, returns to form with a century against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023. With more than 13,000 ODI runs and 47 centuries, Kohli’s hunger for success is palpable. He has the potential to be a game-changer for India and lead them to glory in the World Cup.
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Netherlands: Bas de Leede
Despite playing just 30 ODI matches so far, Bas de Leede‘s potential and talent shone in the ICC World Cup 2023 Qualifiers. He played a pivotal role in helping the Netherlands qualify for the World Cup and will look to continue his impressive performances in the tournament proper.
New Zealand: Trent Boult
With 197 ODI wickets, Trent Boult can be a game-changer for New Zealand. He has a strong record in Indian conditions and played a crucial role in New Zealand’s run to the final of the 2019 World Cup. Boult’s ability to swing the ball and pick early wickets makes him a key player for the Kiwis.
Pakistan: Babar Azam
The Pakistan skipper Babar Azam boasts 5409 runs and 19 centuries in the ODI format. His elegant batting style and ability to anchor innings make him a potential match-winner. Babar has the advantage of understanding subcontinental pitches, which could prove crucial in the World Cup.
South Africa: Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada, with 144 ODI wickets, is a pace spearhead for South Africa. He brings valuable experience from playing in India in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and can use his knowledge of the conditions to his advantage. Rabada’s pace and accuracy make him a bowler to watch out for.
Sri Lanka: Dhananjaya de Silva
Dhananjaya de Silva is a versatile player with over 1700 runs and 44 wickets in ODIs. He has the ability to turn the game with both bat and ball, making him a valuable asset for Sri Lanka. His match-winning potential could be crucial for the Islanders.
Also READ: ODI World Cup 2023: Graeme Smith reveals the biggest obstacle in the path of South Africa
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