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5 best surprise packet players from the 2023 Cricket World Cup

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Last Updated on 7 months by Charbel Coorey

Cricket Opinion: 5 best surprise packet players from the 2023 Cricket World Cup | 5 players who will finish the World Cup with an enhanced reputation

A World Cup sees the best players come together in the quest for glory. The nature of the cricketing calendar means not all nations can field full-strength teams in bilaterals, but the showpiece tournament is when the best of the best arrive and put on a show.

However, the tournament is also renowned for unearthing players. 2023 was no different, with a number of players significantly enhancing their reputation throughout the World Cup. In this article, we will look at five such players.

2023 ICC Cricket World Cup: Top 5 best surprise packet players

Rachin Ravindra – New Zealand

Rachin Ravindra went from a promising talent to well and truly on the map. The 23-year old had a tournament to remember, starting off with a magnificent, unbeaten 123* to flatten England in the tournament opener.

Ravindra finished the group stage with 565 runs at an superb average of 70.62 and strike rate of 108.44, including three centuries. Our next recommendation for a YouTube video is a ten-hour loop of the sound the ball makes when it pings off Ravindra’s bat. It certainly would be a soothing listen, with his timing, placement and strokeplay a hallmark of his batting.

If that wasn’t enough, Ravindra also chipped in with five wickets, conceding less than six runs per over to offer the Black Caps another bowling option in the middle overs.

Azmatullah Omarzai – Afghanistan

Another 23-year old, this time from Afghanistan. Azmatullah Omarzai made waves in under-19 cricket, with his hitting ability catching the attention of many. But, after finding himself in and out of the Afghanistan team in recent years, it is in this tournament that he made a name for himself at senior level.

One worry for the Afghans heading into the tournament was how their middle order would fare. Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi were solid in the end, but Omarzai gave the team some wonderful impetus in both the middle and death overs. The all-rounder finished with 353 runs at an average of 70.60 and strike rate of 97.78, hitting three half-centures in eight innings. He fell agonisingly short of a well-deserved hundred in the last game against South Africa, but his arrival has well and truly been announced.

Add to that his bowling. He may have conceded an expensive 7.10 per over, but he showed some glimpses of real quality. One such example was against Australia, where he very nearly dismissed miracle man Glenn Maxwell which would have sealed a hat-trick.

Like Ravindra, expect Azmat Omarzai to be picked up by quite a few T20 franchises around the globe.

Gerald Coetzee – South Africa

Fast bowler Gerald Coetzee, who started playing ODI cricket in March this year, has taken the most number of wickets for South Africa in a single World Cup. He took 18 wickets in seven league games, displaying the pace and fire to give the Proteas an edge in the middle overs in particular.

Also, Coetzee’s strike rate of 18.10 is the second-best of any bowler, behind only Mohammed Shami’s freakish 9.75. His intent and focus on taking wickets holds him in such good stead, along with his infectious passion that brings his teammates on the ride with him.

Dilshan Madushanka – Sri Lanka

Dilshan Madushanka was a shining light in a dark tournament for Sri Lanka. The left-armer took 21 wickets, with nine coming in the powerplay including the likes of Rohit Sharma, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, and David Warner. Not only did he swing the ball back into right-handers, but he was able to take the ball away as well with skilful use of the fingers to cut across the ball.

Sri Lanka’s next highest wicket-taker with Kasun Rajitha with eight, highlighting just how incredible Madushanka’s effort was as the others struggled. The next priority for Madushanka will be to deliver in all phases of the innings, but he certainly has the talent to do so.

Aryan Dutt – Netherlands

Aryan Dutt’s raw numbers may not look the most impressive on first glance, but the Netherlands have a very promising off-spinner on their hands. The 20-year old bowled in the powerplay in every game, finishing with a respectable economy rate of 5.17 between overs 1-10.

Given he’s been in and out of the Netherlands ODI side in recent times, this World Cup, where has taken ten wickets, can be the catalyst for a consistent run in the team moving forward. He gets nice shape on the ball, often finding spin and some bounce with his height. If he can hone in on his consistency, he can have a really solid white-ball career.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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