Batting in ODI cricket has come a long way since the early 1970s, which is when one-day internationals first came into existence. Earlier batting was all about rotating the strike and running between the wickets, but now batsmen approach their innings with an intent to score from the first ball.
This has a lot to do with the advent of T20 cricket as well, which has prompted the batters to take more risks even at the start of their innings. Batsmen these days rely on their hitting ability and back themselves to clear the ropes more often than not.
The world of cricket has witnessed more 300+ scores in the past decade than ever before. The friendly pitches in recent times have also contributed to ensuring that batters have a larger say in the game, especially in ODIs.
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This by no means suggests that batting isn’t an arduous task anymore. The quality of bowling often prevents batsmen from scoring with freedom. Several pacers and spinners have adapted their skills to ensure that they can get the better of batsmen even in the modern era of tall scores.
However, there have been a few instances when the individual batting performances were just too good for the bowlers to do anything. Here, we take a look at the highest individual scores in ODIs in each of the last three decades:
#3 1990s - Saeed Anwar (194 vs India in Chennai)
Pakistan opener Saeed Anwar was one of the best of his time. The third highest ODI run-scorer for the ‘Men in Green’, Anwar was rated highly for his exploits in the ODI format. He certainly enjoyed playing against India, as he frequently brought out his best against Indian attacks.
Anwar played a historic innings in the Independence Cup match against India at Chennai in 1997. His love affair with the Indian bowling yet again came to the fore as he couldn’t stop smashing the bowlers to all parts of the ground.
Anwar scored 194 and fell six short of what would have been the first double hundred in ODI cricket. Nevertheless, he still surpassed Vivian Richards' tally of 189* scored against England at Manchester in 1984.
This was the highest individual score in ODI cricket at the time, and the record stood for 12 long years before it was equaled in the next decade.