Five bowlers likely to leave a lasting impact at World Cup 2023.
- World Cup 2023
SHAHEEN SHAH AFRIDI (PAKISTAN)
The left-arm paceman has been in top form since his return from a knee injury.
Since his return, Afridi has taken 24 wickets in 12 matches, including a devastating four wicket haul in a Group A clash against India at the Asia Cup in August, in which he dismissed both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
In Naseem Shah’s absence, the 23 year old will be Babar Azam’s go to bowler in demanding situations.
KULDEEP YADAV (INDIA)
India go into this World Cup as a bowling powerhouse with their pace battery. But their spinners cannot be taken lightly — none more than Kuldeep.
Kuldeep, who became the fastest to 150 ODI wickets during the Asia Cup, has been a revelation since his return to the team. The 28-year-old wrist spinner has a knack of breaking partnerships and will be handful for opponents at the World Cup.
An asset in Rohit Sharma’s talented squad, he has picked 33 wickets in the 50 overs format this year and was named Player of the Series at the Asia Cup, boasting an economy of 3.61 and an average of 11.44.
MARK WOOD (ENGLAND)
Wood’s lethal pace made him an integral part of England World Cup-winning side in 2019, taking 18 wickets in the tournament, but injuries have limited him to just eight ODI matches since 2020.
He has been in great touch in Test cricket this year with 14 wickets in three matches and if he can translate that form into the 50 overs format he could once again prove to be a crucial for England’s chances for defending the title.
ADAM ZAMPA (AUSTRALIA)
Zampa will shoulder the responsibility to spin Australia to success at this World Cup, being the lone specialist spinner.
He’s got fair experience of playing in India, having led the Aussies to an ODI series win in March. He has taken 45 wickets in the 50 over format since the beginning of 2022, and while he equalled an unwanted record by bowling the joint most expensive spell by an Australian in an ODI defeat to South Africa last month, the 31 year old recovered well, picking up six wickets in his last three matches in the build-up to the World Cup.
MATHEESHA PATHIRANA (SRI LANKA)
The Sinhala slinger, who made his name with a breakout season for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023, has also shone in national colours.
The 20 year old made his ODI debut for Sri Lanka in June, taking 15 wickets in 10 matches and was most impressive at the Asia Cup where he picked 11 wickets to be the top bowler at the continental showpiece.
With spinner Wanindu Hasaranga missing the World Cup because of injury, the Lasith Malinga-esque Pathirana will carry the weight of Sri Lanka’s expectationss.
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