The Indian cricket team has always been known for its batting prowess. Most of the batting records in all formats of the game are held by members of the Indian cricket team.
When we consider total career runs, Indian cricketers are at the top of the leaderboard in all 3 formats. While Sachin Tendulkar is the highest run-scorer in Tests and ODIs, Virat Kohli holds the top spot in T20Is with Rohit Sharma occupying the second spot.
Many players in the Indian cricket team have made a bright start to their careers and gone on to scale greater heights in the game. If we consider the ODI format, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan hold the Indian record for being the fastest to 1000 runs in terms of number of innings. Both of them achieved this distinction in 24 ODI innings.
In that context, let us have a look at the 3 Indian batsmen who scored the most runs in their first 15 ODI innings.
Three Indian batsmen with the most runs after 15 ODI innings
#3: Virat Kohli - 584 runs
Virat Kohli occupies the third spot on the list of Indian batsmen with the most runs after 15 ODI innings. The current Indian captain aggregated 584 runs in his first 15 innings.
Kohli made his debut against Sri Lanka at Dambulla in August 2008. He managed 12 runs in his first innings, while his first fifty came in his fourth innings- the 4th ODI of the same series.
The second time he crossed the fifty run mark was against West Indies at Johannesburg in September 2009. This was his 8th ODI innings, and his unbeaten 79-run knock helped India register a 7-wicket win.
The run-machine picked up momentum from then on, and scored another couple of fifties and a century in his next 7 innings. He played a 54-run knock against Sri Lanka at Nagpur in December 2009, in his 12th knock in ODI cricket.
He brought up his maiden ODI hundred in the very next knock, against Sri Lanka in the same series at the Eden Gardens. His 107-run knock and a partnership of 224 runs with Gautam Gambhir helped the Indian cricket team chase down a 316-run target with 7 wickets in hand.
Kohli scored 91 runs in his 15th ODI innings, against Bangladesh at Dhaka in January 2010. He was again involved in a match-winning partnership, his 152-run stand with MS Dhoni leading India to a 6-wicket victory.
Virat Kohli's 584 runs in his first 15 ODI innings comprised 4 fifties and a solitary century. He had given enough indications in these innings of the chase master he would eventually turn out to be for the Indian cricket team.
Virat Kohli has accumulated 11867 runs at an outstanding average of 59.33 in the 248 ODI matches he has played to date.
#2: Navjot Singh Sidhu - 658 runs
Navjot Singh Sidhu occupies the second position on the list of Indian batsmen with the most runs after 15 ODI innings. The former Indian opener scored 658 runs in his first 15 innings.
Sidhu made his debut against Australia at Chepauk in the Indian cricket team's first match of the 1987 World Cup. He started on a bright note, and scored 73 runs in his first knock although India lost the match by the narrowest margin of one run.
He followed that with three more fifties in his next 3 innings at the World Cup - 75 vs New Zealand at Bangalore, 51 vs Australia at Delhi, and 55 vs Zimbabwe at Ahmedabad. Sidhu had thus aggregated 254 runs in his first 4 ODI innings.
Sidhu scored his 5th ODI fifty in his 8th innings, an 88-run knock against New Zealand at Sharjah in March 1988. He then scored two consecutive fifties in his 11th and 12th innings, an unbeaten 50 against Bangladesh and another 50 against Sri Lanka, with both the knocks coming in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in October 1988.
The Punjab opening batsman scored his 8th fifty in just his 14th innings in ODIs, and his 76-run knock against Sri Lanka helped the Indian cricket team win the final match of the Asia Cup.
Navjot Singh Sidhu's 658 runs in his first 15 ODI innings comprised an impressive 8 fifties. He had given a perfect answer to his critics who had called him a 'Strokeless Wonder' in the initial days of his career.
Sidhu went on to score 4413 runs in the 136 ODI matches he played for the Indian cricket team, at a decent average of 37.08.
#1: Shreyas Iyer - 686 runs
Shreyas Iyer is perched on the top of the list of Indian batsmen with the most runs after 15 ODI innings. The current India No. 4 scored 686 runs in his first 15 innings.
Iyer made his debut for the Indian ODI team against Sri Lanka at Dharamsala in December 2017. It was not the most auspicious start for him as he was dismissed for just 9 runs in his first encounter.
The Mumbai middle-order batsman came back strong with fifties in his next 2 innings of the same series- an 88-run knock at Mohali followed by a 65 at Visakhapatnam.
Iyer scored his 3rd fifty in his 6th innings, a 71-run knock against West Indies at Port of Spain in August 2019. He followed that up with a 65 against the same opposition and at the very same ground in the next match of the series.
The Delhi Capitals captain scored another couple of fifties in the first 2 matches of West Indies' return tour to India in December 2019. He first struck a 70 in the 1st ODI at Chennai and followed it up with a 53-run knock in the next ODI at Visakhapatnam.
Although Iyer had some low scores in his next few innings, he bounced back during India's tour of New Zealand early this year. He scored his maiden ODI century with a 103-run knock at Hamilton in the 1st match of the series, which was followed by a 52 in the next ODI at Auckland in his 15th ODI innings.
Shreyas Iyer's 686 runs in his first 15 ODI innings comprises a century and 7 other fifty-plus knocks. With his consistency at the No. 4 spot, he seems to have sealed that much talked about position in the Indian cricket team.
Iyer also scored another fifty (62 runs) in his 16th ODI innings to aggregate 748 runs in his 16-inning ODI career to date. He would certainly hope to continue in this vein and emerge as one of India's batting mainstays in the years to follow.