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Cricket World Cup: Five potential breakout stars

The 2023 Cricket World Cup starts in India on 5th October and we have picked out some potential breakout stars at the tournament.

Defending champions England have a vastly experienced squad with only four players under the age of 30 and India's batting is led by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who have 532 ODI caps between them.

Youngsters such as India's Shubman Gill and England's Harry Brook have already produced some stunning international and Indian Premier League performances but here are five players who could boost their reputations at the World Cup. 

WhatCricket World Cup 2023
When5th October - 19th November 2023
How to watchSky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event
OddsIndia 2/1, England 10/3, Australia 9/2, Pakistan 13/2, South Africa 9/1, New Zealand 10/1 

Matheesha Pathirana - Sri Lanka

When MS Dhoni, India's legendary 2011 World Cup-winning captain, is a fan of your bowling, you must be doing something right and Matheesha Pathirana certainly impressed his Chennai Super Kings skipper in this year's IPL.

Dhoni declared that Pathirana "will be a great asset for Sri Lanka" and the 20-year-old's slingy action and ability to nail yorkers in the death overs have drawn inevitable comparisons to Lasith Malinga.

The pacy Pathirana made his name in Twenty20 cricket, claiming 3-15 off four overs in an eye-catching IPL display against Mumbai Indians in May.

He enhanced his ODI reputation in the recent Asia Cup, taking 4-32 and 3-58 against Bangladesh and picking up three wickets in Sri Lanka's win over Pakistan.

Marco Jansen - South Africa

Twin brothers Marco and Duan Jansen were tipped for stardom at an early age and all-rounder Marco is hoping to play a key role in South Africa's pursuit of a first World Cup title.

The tall left-arm fast bowler should be full of confidence after warming up for the tournament with a player-of-the-match performance in September's fifth ODI against Australia.

After cracking 47 off 23 balls with the bat Jansen took 5-39, dismissing the top five Aussie batsmen, and he is a man to watch in the player-performance markets.

Still only 23, he made his Test debut against India in December 2021, when Virat Kohli was one of his five wickets, and has featured in the last three IPL seasons for Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Najmul Hossain Shanto - Bangladesh

Bangladesh's batting remains heavily reliant on Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, two veterans of the 2007 World Cup, but vice-captain Najmul Hossain Shanto also has an important part to play.

The 25-year-old has scored two of the Tigers' four ODI centuries in 2023 and comes into the World Cup in fine form after making 89 against Sri Lanka and 104 against Afghanistan in his last two Asia Cup innings.

He followed up those knocks with 76 in a total of 171 against New Zealand in Mirpur and has established himself on the international stage this year, scoring 146 and 124 in June's Test match against Afghanistan.

The Bangladesh Top Team Batter heat may not take much winning and Shanto is well worth considering at 7/2.

Bas de Leede - Netherlands

Bas de Leede has plenty to live up to at the 2023 World Cup as his father Tim took four wickets for the Netherlands against India in the 2003 tournament, when the legendary Sachin Tendulkar was one of his victims.

The 23-year-old Bas played a starring role as the Netherlands sealed their place at the World Cup with a thrilling victory over Scotland in July's ICC Qualifier tournament.

The right-arm seamer claimed 5-52 with the ball before smashing a brilliant 123 off 92 balls to help the Dutch chase down a target of 278 and qualify for the final against Sri Lanka.

De Leede also impressed in a brief spell at Durham at the end of this summer, scoring a County Championship century against Sussex, and he is 8/1 to be the Netherlands Top Team Batter and 13/2 in their Top Team Bowler market.

Ibrahim Zadran - Afghanistan

Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott wants to see more consistency from openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran but there is no doubting the talent of the top two.

The 21-year-old Zadran made a stunning start to his ODI career, scoring 585 runs in his first 10 appearances – the fifth-highest tally of any batsman in their first 10 one-dayers.

In November 2022, he cracked 162 off 138 balls against a classy Sri Lanka bowling attack in Pallekele and he scored his fourth ODI century in July's victory over Bangladesh, sharing an opening stand of 256 with Gurbaz.

Zadran is still vulnerable against the new ball – his last five ODI scores were nought, 80, nought, 75 and seven – so punters can expect a few failures during his debut World Cup campaign.

However, once he gets a start he is capable of scoring quick runs and he looks a big runner at 5/2 in Afghanistan's Top Team Batter betting.

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