In case you didn't know already, List A cricket is any form of limited-overs cricket that is recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The One-Day International format is the pinnacle of List A cricket, while domestic limited-overs tournaments comprising of anywhere between 40 and 60 overs also come under the bracket.
The statistics in this article point to a very clear conclusion - performances in List A cricket do not necessarily translate into chances at the international level. Of the three batsmen in this list, only one is a regular in the Indian ODI team. The other two have played 5 and 0 ODIs respectively for the country.
While all three batsmen are first-class stalwarts, their List A averages are above 50, making them feature in the top 15 of the list of the highest List A averages ever.
In this article, we take a look at the 3 Indian batsmen with the highest List A averages.
#3 Abhinav Mukund - 52.03
Abhinav Mukund is the first surprise entrant on this list, and has the 12th highest List A average in history. Although the Tamil Nadu batsman has played 7 Tests for India, he hasn't been capped in the ODI format, which is shocking given his stellar List A record.
In 84 games, Mukund has scored 4,163 runs at an average of 52.03. The opener has scored 24 fifties and 12 hundreds, which amounts to a very respectable conversion rate of 33%. His top score is 147, which shows that he can play big innings in the limited-overs formats as well.
In the 7 Tests that Mukund played for India, he scored 320 runs at an average of 22.85 and a strike rate of 82.22, along with 2 half-centuries. Despite his incredible List A record, he is currently 30 years old and with the riches at India's disposal at the top of the order, we may never see him feature again for the country in any format.
#2 Cheteshwar Pujara - 54.20
The second surprise entrant on this list, Cheteshwar Pujara is perhaps India's most important Test batsman alongside captain Virat Kohli. An absolute colossus in the longest format of the game, the Test No. 3 isn't known for his prowess in the limited-overs formats.
Pujara's strike rate and lack of attacking strokeplay have meant that he has played only 5 ODIs for the country, and his stats in these games don't do much to dispel the notion that he is perhaps too slow for the white-ball game. The Saurashtra batsman has scored only 51 runs at an average of 10.2, with his strike rate being a shambolic 39.23.
However, Pujara's List A record makes for great reading. In 103 games, he has scored 4,445 runs at an average of 54.2, along with 29 fifties and 11 hundreds. With his highest score being an unbeaten 158, there is no doubt that the 32-year-old can get stuck-in in limited-overs cricket as well.
It is highly unlikely that Pujara will ever play a game in coloured clothing for his country, and perhaps he was cast by the wayside too soon.
#1 Virat Kohli - 57.86
Virat Kohli's presence on this list shouldn't come as a shock at all. The current Indian captain across all formats, Kohli is arguably the greatest white-ball batsman to have ever graced the game of cricket and boasts of a mind-boggling ODI record.
In 248 ODIs for India, the Delhi batsman has scored 11,867 runs at an average of 59.33 and a strike rate of 93.25. Kohli has notched up 58 fifties and 43 hundreds, and is well on course to shatter every 50-over record held by the great Sachin Tendulkar. In fact, the 31-year-old's List A numbers pale in comparison to his ODI numbers, showing just how much he thrives on the big stage.
Kohli averages 57.86 in List A cricket, with over 13,300 runs and 110 fifty-plus scores to his name. The Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper boasts of the 3rd highest List A average in history and given his consistency and unparalleled run-making in ODI cricket, we could see Kohli, who is level with Michael Bevan in 2nd place, move further up the list.