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ICC Champions Trophy 2013: Ones to Watch

05/06/2013 13:05 BST | Updated 05/08/2013 10:12 BST
AP

Once regarded as the World Cup's poor relation, the cricket world is set to mourn when the final edition of the ICC Champions Trophy reaches its conclusion at Edgbaston on 23 June. Whereas the former has become a bloated tournament that lasts far too long with too many teams, this is a quickfire 50-over competition between the eight best sides in the world.

While there are obviously the big names sure to draw crowds and excite fans and pundits alike - mostly Chris Gayle - here's a look at eight players, one from each nation, who have less than 50 ODI appearances to their name, but could make a big impact this summer.

Mitchell Starc (Australia)

Starc is regarded as one of the most promising young pace bowlers in Australia, as shown by the fact he was handed his ODI debut aged just 20. He has since gone on the impress in 18 matches, taking 36 wickets at an average of 18.38, with three 'five-fers' to his name already. With the ability to generate a fair bit of pace and bounce, as well as swing it in, Starc is likely to be the man the Aussies look to as a spearhead of their attack. He's handy with the bat as well, falling just one run short of a Test century against India in Mohali earlier this year.

Jos Buttler (England)

Buttler's stock has enjoyed a meteoric rise since his ODI debut last year, and despite waiting almost a year for his second outing, he is now trusted not only as England's finisher at number six but also the man behind the stumps as well. The stats for his fledgling career don't particular say much - his highest ODI score is 21 - but he has shown in the T20 internationals, and one-day cricket with Somerset (where he averages 53 with a strike rate of 122) that he is capable of some explosive and innovative batting down the order, in particular with a blistering 32 off just 10 balls in a T20 against South Africa.

Kane Williamson (New Zealand)

Just 22-years-old, Williamson has already established himself within both the Test and ODI sides for New Zealand. A classy batsman, he has made three Test centuries, and three in ODIs as well. Has shown he can bat in English conditions with a half-century in both the recent Test and ODI series. He's proved adept with the ball as well, taking 15 wickets in his ODI career at an average of 28. While the likes of Guptill, Taylor and McCullum will provide the fireworks, he could be the man providing a slow-burning flame with bat and ball.

Kusal Perera (Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka's likely top four for their opening game will have a rather staggering 999 caps between them; Kusal Perera has just seven of them. Only the young batsman himself could tell you whether being surrounded by Sri Lankan legends Dilshan, Jayawardene and Sangakkara is a help or a hindrance, but early signs suggest it's definitely the former. He has made 166 runs in his six appearances with the bat at ODI level, averaging 55. He also made the highest-ever domestic score in Sri Lanka, with a blistering 336 of just 275-balls. His batting style has drawn a lot of comparisons with another legend, Sanith Jayasuria, while his ability to keep wicket makes him the heir-apparent to Sangakkara.

Umesh Yadav (India)

Yadav didn't even decide upon a career in cricket until he was 19-years-old, having previously planned on becoming a policeman. It's remarkable, then, that by the age of 22 he was making his ODI debut for India, having impressed in the IPL. Were it not for injuries, he may have even more than his nine Test and 17 ODI appearances, but even in that time he has shown his talents. He consistently bowls in the high 80s, and while expensive has a knack for picking up wickets: he has 18 in ODIs, and a very impressive 32 in Tests. Ripped through Australia in the warm-up game, taking 5-18 as they were bowled out for 65, meaning he should be a real threat in England over the next two-three weeks.

Junaid Khan (Pakistan)

Khan came through the U19 side along with another impressive paceman, Mohammed Amir, and it was his teammate who first made the impact on the international stage. Amir is, however, erm, unavailable for selection, and Khan has made the spot as Pakistan's premier seam bowler his own. He has taken 39 wickets in 24 ODIs, at an average of just 23, and given he should be well-suited to English conditions, is likely to be Pakistan's 'go-to- bowler in this tournament.

Faf Du Plessis (South Africa)

Best-known for his winter heroics in Adelaide, where he scored hit an epic, match-saving 110 not out off 466 balls, Du Plessis has made himself a key figure for South Africa across all three formats, and captains the T20 side. Has had a solid if unspectacular start to his ODI career, averaging 30 in 33 matches, with a top score of 72 and a strike rate in the 90s, usually batting further down the order. He's an excellent fielder and, while not exactly an all-rounder, can chip in with an over or two of leg-spin if required. But it's his batting that gets him in the side, and he'll be looking to play a big role in a team missing two of its stars in Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis.

Sunil Narine (West Indies)

It is on the T20 stage that Narine has made the biggest impact in his relatively short career so far, having impressed as the West Indies won last year's World Twenty20, taking nine wickets in seven matches, at an average of 15. He has also enjoyed enormous success in the IPL, being named Player of the Tournament in 2012, after taking 24 wickets at just 5.47 runs per over, while this year he took the first-ever IPL hat-trick. Has taken 47 wickets at an average of just under 22 so far in his ODI career, and his high-action and reputation as something of a 'mystery' bowler mean he should have a big part to play for the West Indies, who many feel are dark horses to go all the way.