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The Best ODI Batsmen of the 21st Century

The popularity of cricket has increased since the introduction of the one-day format in the early 70s. But cricket has evolved significantly in the past two decades because of the popularity of the twenty20 format. Batsmen have become more destructive than they were two decades ago. That’s why we have seen a lot of aggressive-minded batsmen in cricket. This article discusses the best ODI batsmen of the 21st century who have great records of winning matches.

 

The selection criteria for the greatest ODI batsmen of this century

 

To qualify, batsmen must be among the top fifty most run-scorers in the limited-over format and have notable records of assisting to win international games as a batsman. We also have considered the stats only of matches played since 1st January 2000.

 

Some of the legendary names of cricket have left out of the list simply because of statistical reasons but all the selected players have a great reputation for die-hard attitude and they are considered one of the greats of the game. So, without further ado, let’s look at who the best ODI batsmen of the 21st century.

 

10) Jacques Kallis

 

Years: 2000-2014

 

Country: South Africa

 

Career stats (ODI):

 

M: 251 | Inn: 239 | Runs: 9,029 | 100s: 12 | HS: 139 | SR: 74.27 | Ave: 45.60

 

One of the finest all-rounders in the modern era Jacques Kallis was the heart of South African middle-order in the first decade of the 21st century. He helped the Proteas to win many memorable international matches as 67% (6,018) of his runs came in a winning cause. Kallis was truly a Master Blaster batsman of his generation.

 

9) Hashim Amla

 

Years: 2008-2019

 

Country: South Africa

 

Career stats (ODI):

 

M: 181 | Inn: 178 | Runs: 8,113 | 100s: 27 | HS: 159 | SR: 88.39 | Ave: 49.46

 

Hashim Amla was one of the most eye-catching batsmen of his generation because of his high back-lift. Classical Amla’s batting was a treat to watch. He was a true warrior for the Proteas national side as 76% of his ODI runs helped South Africa to win matches. So, no doubt he is one of the most successful ODI batsmen of this century.

 

8) Yuvraj Singh

 

Years: 2000-2017

 

Country: India

 

Career stats (ODI):

 

M: 304 | Inn: 278 | Runs: 8,701 | 100s: 14 | HS: 150 | SR: 87.67 | Ave: 36.55

 

Yuvraj Singh burst onto the scene with an aggressive knock against mighty Australia in the ICC KnockOut Trophy, 2000. But he will always be remembered for hitting six sixes in one over by Stuart Board against England in ICC World T20, 2007. Yuvraj played a pivotal role in India’s Twenty20 World Cup triumph in 2007 and ICC World Cup, 2011. No doubt, the left-hander was one of the most destructive batsmen of his generation.

 

7) Rohit Sharma

 

Years: 2007-2020

 

Country: India

 

Career stats (ODI):

 

M: 224 | Inn: 217 | Runs: 9,115 | 100s: 29 | HS: 264 | SR: 88.92 | Ave: 49.27

 

Hitman – Rohit Sharma surprised everyone with a record-breaking 264-run knock against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens back in 2014. Since then Rohit has become one of the most priceless members of India’s limited-overs squad. So far, almost 70% of his runs have come in a winning cause. As an opener, this is an astonishing figure.

 

6) MS Dhoni

 

Years: 2004-2019

 

Country: India

 

Career stats (ODI):

 

M: 350 | Inn: 297 | Runs: 10,773 | 100s: 10 | HS: 183* | SR: 87.56 | Ave: 50.57

 

India’s two-time world cup winning captain MS Dhoni had made a huge impact with the bat in the middle order and helped to win many matches for team India. Dhoni is the fourth most ODI run-scorers in this century to date and deservedly earned a place in the best ODI batsmen of the 21st century. Dhoni was famous for his ‘helicopter shot’ and he was also one of the most clinical finishers of his generation.

 

5) AB de Villiers

 

Years: 2005-2018

 

Country: South Africa

 

Career stats (ODI):

 

M: 228 | Inn: 218 | Runs: 9,577 | 100s: 25 | HS: 176 | SR: 101.09 | Ave: 53.50

 

Mr. 360 AB de Villiers changed the style of batting with his innovative technique. At one point, De Villiers was the premier batsman in the world and arguably one of the greatest limited-overs batsmen of all-time. He holds the record for the fastest ODI century (31 balls) as well as the fastest ODI 50 and 150. Nearly 70% of his ODI runs came in a winning cause.

 

4) Mahela Jayawardene

 

Years: 2000-2015

 

Country: Sri Lanka

 

Career stats (ODI):

 

M: 409 | Inn: 381 | Runs: 11,808 | 100s: 17 | HS: 144 | SR: 79.23 | Ave: 34.32

 

Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene was one of the most dependable batsmen of his generation. He helped Sri Lanka to reach two world cup finals (2007 & 2011). Mahela also guided Sri Lanka to win the 2002 Champions’ trophy and the 2014 ICC World Twenty20. Jayawardene will always be remembered as one of the greatest batsmen Sri Lanka have ever produced.

 

3) Kumar Sangakkara

 

Years: 2000-2015

 

Country: Sri Lanka

 

Career stats (ODI):

 

M: 404 | Inn: 380 | Runs: 14,234 | 100s: 25 | HS: 169 | SR: 78.86 | Ave: 41.98

 

The second most international run-scorers in the history of world cricket Kumar Sangakkara arguably the greatest Lankan batsman ever. He scored the most ODI runs in this century and nearly 60% of his runs came in a winning cause. Sangakkara was a true classical batsman and without a doubt the most gifted player of his generation.

 

2) Virat Kohli

 

Years: 2008-2020

 

Country: India

 

Career stats (ODI):

 

M: 251 | Inn: 242 | Runs: 12,040 | 100s: 43 | HS: 183 | SR: 93.24 | Ave: 59.31

 

The chase master and current Indian captain Virat Kohli is one of the greatest batsmen of all-time. He has an incredible record of winning matches while chasing the opposition target. More than 70% of his runs (8,652) have come in a winning cause and out of those he has scored 4,148 runs as a captain, just simply incredible. So far, Virat has notched 43 ODI hundreds and will soon surpass compatriot Sachin Tendulkar to become the most centurion in ODI format.

 

1) Ricky Ponting

 

Years: 2000-2012

 

Country: Australia

 

Career stats (ODI):

 

M: 284 | Inn: 274 | Runs: 10,496 | 100s: 25 | HS: 164 | SR: 83.74 | Ave: 42.49

 

Ricky Ponting was the captain of the all-conquering Australian team and he was the heart of their batting order. Under his captaincy, Australia won the 2003 and 2007 ICC ODI world cup. More than 82% of his ODI runs came in a winning cause, which shows how invincible were that Australian side. As a batsman, Ponting is regarded one of the finest of his generation and truly a great leader.

 

Verdict

 

These are the top 10 batsmen who have made a significant impact for their respected countries if we consider stats and contribution of winning matches as a batsman and they thoroughly deserved to be in the best ODI batsmen of the 21st-century list.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh