A blast from cricketing history: Six times legends went berserk in ODIs in the 1980s
The Cricket World Cup is right around the corner. And one does expect this to be one of the highest scoring World Cups in history. With “English conditions” now a thing of the past, and if the ongoing Royal London One-Day Cup is any indication, one could expect to see scores of 350+ consistently this world cup.
The ODI game has evolved over the past decade. With T20 blossoming into the giant that it is, batsmen have been transferring those skills and confidence into the longer format and gargantuan scores are no longer an exception, they are the norm. Anyone for a wager on us seeing the first ever 500 score in ODIs this World Cup?
This, however, is a very recent phenomenon. Back in the 80s and 70s, as ODIs came into existence and were just about finding their spot, scores of 200-250 would be considered winning totals. That was perhaps an era where scoring at a strike rate of above 100 might have been frowned upon.
But then, every norm has its exceptions. So, here’s looking at six such innings from the 80s and 70s when batsmen took to power-hitting that wouldn’t be out of place even in today’s manic era of batting.
#1 Greg Chappell – 138* (109 balls) – Australia vs New Zealand (25th Nov, 1980)
The second match of the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup played at Sydney witnessed a massacre from the Australian captain unlike anything seen before. A circumspect start from the openers Kim Hughes and John Dyson later, Greg Chappell walked in and put on an exhibition of ODI batting.
Not even the great Sir Richard Hadlee was spared as he went for 66 runs off his 10 overs. The most breathtaking aspect of this innings was that it included just 10 fours and a six, i.e. 92 runs were scored through 1s, 2s, and 3s. An absolute masterclass in constructing an innings that wouldn’t be out of place even in 2019.