Best ODI XI of the 21st Century
With the outset of one-day internationals, cricket witnessed a drastic change in the number of followers. The first ODI bout was between England and Australia as a decider for the rain-affected Test match. Later, the ICC decided to make it as a regular format in the game.
This decision attracted more followers to the game as it was something different from the 5 day Test cricket.
The 1975 World Cup tournament was a trial for checking the format's popularity. As the event gained positive feedback, the ODI format became a pivotal part of every International series. Later, the ICC introduced a lot of new regulations to the format among which fielding restrictions were the most noteworthy.
Till 1996, ODIs had an orthodox scoring style, and 300+ runs were infrequent in the setup. But the 1996 World Cup was a tipping point in the era of limited overs cricket.
When Sri Lanka won the tournament, Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana displayed an unlike scoring pattern. Later, ODIs evolved as broadcasters introduced new technologies and the format became one of the best revenue-generating sports events in the world.
Now we are in the 21st century, and cricket has witnessed a lot of changes from the past. Although T20Is radicalized the game further, ODIs are still popular among cricket lovers.
Currently, 12 nations have permanent ODI status with the latest being Afghanistan and Ireland (on December 5, 2017). Every player has the dream of being part a of their national cricket team. Some of them grasp the spot, but maintaining the stance depends on their talent and skill.
Here, we take a look at the ODI players who dominated in the 21st century with their skills and expertise. The list will comprise of 11 players, counting 5 batsmen, 2 all-rounders and 4 bowlers.
1. Sachin Tendulkar(India)
No surprises here! If there is a list of the best in cricket, Sachin Tendulkar will have an assured spot in it.
No one expected that the 16-year-old boy would conquer all the major records when he made his ODI debut against Pakistan in 1989. Till that time, cricket had only one greatest ever, Bradman, but the Little Master from India achieved things beyond the bounds of possibility in the game.
Tendulkar holds a mountain of records in cricket, and also holds the record for most number of records in the game!
He had 463 outings in ODIs and scored 18,426 runs including 49 hundreds and 96 half centuries. The interesting fact is that each number in the above statement is a record.
When Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 200 hundred against South Africa in 2010, he became the first batsmen to do so in ODIs. His records don't end there as there exist numerous others in his name.
Tendulkar's career witnessed a turning point when he was promoted to the opening spot in the New Zealand series in 1994. An exceptional 82 made him a permanent member in the position.
Considering his records, performance and consistency, Sachin Tendulkar deserves a position in the best of ODI teams.