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10 batsmen with the highest batting averages in ODI cricket

  • Here is a look at the ten players with the highest batting averages in ODI cricket.
  • The list includes a surprise entrant at #1, while two Indians make the list.
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 01 May 2020, 13:44 IST

England v India - 2nd ODI: Royal London One-Day Series
England v India - 2nd ODI: Royal London One-Day Series

One Day International (ODI) cricket saw its first game played in 1971 between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The ODI format took over from Test cricket and added a plethora of fans to the sport, just when it seemed like they would be flushed out of the system.

ODIs have managed to hold their own in a world which has seen the influx of an even shorter format of the game: Twenty20. However, most players and fans still rank this format of the game higher than they do Twenty20, and those who do well in this format are rated very highly indeed.

In this article, we bring to you ten batsmen who have done exceptionally well in ODIs, and have managed 10 of the highest batting averages in history. The list includes six current and four retired players.


10. MS Dhoni (India)

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni stands tenth on the list of the players with the highest batting averages in One Day Internationals. Having played 350 games, in which he got to bat 297 times, he has scored 10773 runs at an average of 50.57. These runs include ten centuries and a staggering 73 half-centuries for the man from Ranchi.

Dhoni, who is one of the greatest captains India have ever had, is one of only two players on this list to have scored over 10000 runs in ODIs. Renowned for his wide range of strokes and the ability to take bowlers to the cleaners with his hitting prowess, Dhoni is also one of the greatest finishers the modern-day game has seen.

His wicketkeeping skills are top-notch as well, as is evident from the lightning-fast stumpings he affects and the presence of mind he displays when behind the stumps. Dhoni's highest score in ODIs is the 183 he scored against Sri Lanka in Jaipur in 2005.


9. Joe Root (England)

Joe Root
Joe Root

England's Test captain Joe Root, who does not hold the reins in One Day Internationals, is a classy batsman who has been a run machine in the longer format of the game. In the shorter version too, Root has not been too far behind, as his 5922 runs in the 146 games he has played.

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The Yorkshireman has an average of 51.05, having scored 16 centuries and 33 half-centuries in ODIs. Root is extremely strong in front of the wicket, with commanding drives and booming punches in his arsenal.

He plays in the top of the order for England, which allows him to face the maximum number of deliveries in ODIs. His strike rate of 87 is not bad either, and he is someone who can go on to make 10,000 runs for England in this format of the game. Root is a brilliant cricketer who can bowl handy off-spin too.


8. Jonathan Trott (England)

Jonathan Trott
Jonathan Trott

Following Joe Root, another Englishman Jonathan Trott makes his way onto this list, and with an average of 51.25, stands in the eighth position. Trott had to prematurely declare his international career over after facing anxiety issues and mental trauma during the 2013/14 Ashes Down Under, which Australia won 5-0. As a result, he has played only a limited number of One Day Internationals for England (68 to be precise), but has scored 2819 runs in those.

He also has four centuries and 22 half-centuries to his name. Highly consistent in Test cricket before he struggled with mental health issues, Trott provided solidity to the England top order in ODIs during his international career, which spanned from 2009 to 2013. The Warwickshire player could also bowl some handy medium pace, but it was for his batting that he earned the most plaudits.


7. Shai Hope (West Indies)

Shai Hope
Shai Hope

The only player from the West Indies who makes an entry onto this list is wicketkeeper-batsman Shai Hope. Only the second full-time wicketkeeper after Mahendra Singh Dhoni to have made it here, Hope has scored 3289 runs in the 78 One Day Internationals he has played in so far.

His average of 52.20 puts him in seventh place on this list. Hope has nine centuries and 17 half-centuries in the format. Still, he will always be remembered for the twin centuries he scored at Headingley in the 2018 Test series, leading his team to a famous win over England while chasing a fourth-innings total of 322.

The 26-year-old made his ODI debut in 2016 against New Zealand in Nelson and has not looked back since. In fact, Hope has become the mainstay in a lineup which does not boast of consistency or solidity. He is a player who has promised a lot, and cricket fans all over the world expect big things from Hope in the future.


6. AB de Villiers (South Africa)

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers

Talented, skilful, elegant, artistic and magical. These words truly describe AB de Villiers, who is one of the greatest cricketers to have played for South Africa and one of the greatest white ball cricketers the world has seen.

Having scored 9577 runs at an average of 53.50, De Villiers' range of strokes is genuinely exhilarating. He also has 25 centuries and 53 half-centuries to his name in One Day Internationals, which is truly phenomenal.

Talented in more ways than one, De Villiers was a brilliant fielder who also donned the wicketkeeping gloves for South Africa when the need arose. He retired from international cricket in 2018, and fans across the world lamented the fact.

De Villiers has increasingly been flooded with calls to make a comeback for South Africa, but the former Proteas captain has remained unmoved. He has played for the Delhi Daredevils and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.


5. Michael Bevan (Australia)

Michael Bevan
Michael Bevan

One of the greatest finishers the game has ever seen, Australia's Michael Bevan was a run accumulator operating in a world of his own.

Known for his smooth drives and skilful cuts which created gaps in the field and allowed him to take singles and doubles with considerable ease, Bevan's greatest skill lay in being able to keep the scoreboard ticking. He often helped his team acquire a considerable advantage over the opponent, without them even noticing.

Going about in his understated and nuanced way, Bevan averaged 53.58 in the 232 One Day Internationals he played in, although he got to bat in only 196 of those. He scored a total of 6912 runs, which included only six centuries but 46 crucial half-centuries, most of which came in winning causes for Australia.

The country's opponents knew that as long as Bevan was at the crease, winning the game was never too far away from Australia. Bevan is perhaps the greatest One Day batsman the country has seen.


4. Imam-ul-Haq (Pakistan)

Imam-ul-Haq
Imam-ul-Haq

Pakistan's left-handed opener Imam-ul-Haq stands fourth on the list of the batsmen with the highest averages in ODIs. Having scored 1723 runs in the 37 matches he has played so far, Imam boasts of an average of 53.84.

Although he is a newbie in international cricket, having made his debut only in 2017, he has made the opening slot in the country's ODI team his own. He has already notched up seven centuries and six half-centuries.

Imam has remained not out only five times in his career so far, but that has not significantly affected his average. It remains to be seen if he maintains this average as his career moves ahead. However, for the time being, the bespectacled run accumulator has undoubtedly earned his right to the fourth position on this list.


3. Babar Azam (Pakistan)

Babar Azam
Babar Azam

One of the most elegant modern batsmen Pakistan has produced, Babar Azam comes third on this list with an average of 54.17. Having made his One Day International debut as recently as 2015, Azam has already notched up 3359 runs in the 74 games he has played in.

He has scored 11 centuries and 15 half-centuries in this time. Azam has remained not out ten times in the 72 innings he has played in, and this has added considerable fat to his bulging average. The Lahore-born cricketer has a decent average of 45 in Test cricket as well, and he is someone who is seen as being the biggest hope in Pakistan's batting future.

What most people don't know is that Azam is a cousin of the Akmal brothers - Kamran, Umar and Adnan. Azam earned plaudits after the three consecutive centuries he scored against the West Indies in the UAE in 2016, and ultimately led to him being called up into the Test team.


2. Virat Kohli (India)

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

India's captain Virat Kohli is perhaps the best white-ball batsman in the world at the moment. Boasting of an average of 59.33 in One Day Internationals, in which he has already scored 11867 runs in the 239 innings he has batted in; the Delhi-born player has stamped his authority in all formats of the game.

With a staggering 43 centuries and 58 half-centuries to his name already, Kohli, who made his ODI debut in 2008, has shown no signs of stopping over the years. Possessing a strike rate of 93 with a career-best score of 183, Kohli is genuinely the greatest and most successful Indian batsman to have worn the country's colours in One Day Internationals since Sachin Tendulkar walked away from the game.

A superstar who is revered by millions of fans across the world, Kohli plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. Kohli has a few years of cricket left in him at the highest level, and it remains to be seen where he ends up on the list of the greatest ODI batsmen.


1. Ryan ten Doeschate (The Netherlands)

Ryan ten Doeschate
Ryan ten Doeschate

Surprisingly, the player topping this list is Ryan ten Doeschate, who played for the Netherlands. Although he only played in 33 One Day Internationals for his country in a career spanning from 2006 to 2011, he notched up 1541 runs at a highly impressive average of 67 in the 32 innings he got to bat in.

What worked in the former Dutch skipper's favour was the fact that he remained not out in 9 of those innings. Ten Doeschate has five centuries and nine half-centuries to his name in his short but illustrious career, at a strike rate of 87. He was also very skilful with the ball in hand.

Indian fans became enamoured by his all-round skills when he was snapped up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, for whom he played in for five seasons. Ten Doeschate will be widely remembered for the two centuries he scored in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, including one against England which almost stunned the latter.


Published 01 May 2020, 12:53 IST
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