Top 5 highest wicket-takers of 2023 World Cup warm-up matches ft. Mohammad Nabi
The 2023 ODI World Cup warm-up matches leg have come to a conclusion following the contests between Australia and Pakistan, as well as Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it was rain that took the central stage, with as many as three matches being completely abandoned without a single ball being bowled.
Even though the weather made things unquestionably difficult, several teams were able to utilize the provision of warm-up matches to adjust to the conditions as well as test out their combinations. While a fresh set of venues will host the World Cup league stage matches, teams have got a fair idea of the subcontinent conditions through the contests in Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati and Hyderabad.
The warm-up matches were dominated by batters with mammoth totals being the norm all over. If these contests are any indication of how the tournament will pan out, then the bowlers will have a hard time keeping the batters at bay. While there are several batting performances across the warm-up matches, bowlers just have been unable to match their dominance.
On that note, let us take a look at the top five highest wicket-takers of 2023 World Cup warm-up matches.
#1 Mohammad Nabi (4 wickets)
It hardly comes as a surprise that a spinner is the leading wicket taker of the 2023 ODI World Cup warm-up matches stage. The former Afghanistan skipper required only one match to climb to the top of the wicket charts, since their first warm-up contest against South Africa was washed out.
Mohammad Nabi is the sole bowler to claim four wickets in a single innings across the warm-up matches. He finished with figures of 4-44 off eight overs and played a huge hand in Sri Lanka's collapse from 257-2 to 294 all out.
#2 Usama Mir (4 wickets)
The Pakistan leg-spinner made a serious statement amid the team's spin bowling concerns through a couple of solid displays in the warm-up leg. He picked four wickets in two matches to rank at the top alongside Mohammad Nabi in the wickets tally.
Having played both matches at the high scoring venue in Hyderabad, Usama Mir finished with figures of 2-68 in 10 overs during Pakistan's loss to New Zealand. In Pakistan's narrow loss to Australia in the second contest, he bowled five overs, conceded 31 runs and took two wickets.
#3 Marnus Labuschagne (4 wickets)
Marnus Labuschagne's wicket-taking ability through his part-time spin bowling comes at a great time for Australia. The Men in Yellow have only named one frontline spinner in the form of Adam Zampa in their World Cup squad, and will be relying on the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Marnus Labuschagne to chip in.
Lasbuschagne, who was a last-minute addition to the World Cup squad after replacing Ashton Agar, has picked up four wickets in the warm-up stage with his leg spin bowling. He claimed one wicket in Australia's washed out clash against the Netherlands and three more in their narrow win over Pakistan, including the final wicket in the 48th over that sealed the win.
#4 Mahedi Hasan (3 wickets)
The Bangladesh spinner was the pick among the bowlers in the team's win over Sri Lanka in the warm-up leg. Mahedi Hasan finished with figures of 3-36 off his nine overs to help his side restrict the opposition to 263 in Guwahati.
However, he was wicketless in Bangladesh's loss against England in a rain-curtailed encounter. The off-spinner bowled only two overs and conceded 10 runs as the defending champions stepped up with a quick run chase.
#5 Reece Topley (3 wickets)
The England pacer, among other quicks in the tournament, reminded us that they also have a say in the proceedings. Swing was a common trend observed across the warm-up matches, especially in the second innings under the lights.
However, Topley made an instant impression after England had to bowl first in their World Cup warm-up clash against Bangladesh. The left-arm pacer struck twice with the new ball to remove Litton Das and Najmul Shanto, while also dismissing Mahedi Hasan later on in the innings. He finished with figures of 3-23 off his five overs, which also included a maiden over.
How will the bowlers collectively fare in the flat conditions in the subcontinent during the 2023 ODI World Cup? Let us know what you think.