Ever since the advent of T20s, the world of cricket has seen a spurt in the number of boundaries being hit. For long, cricket has been a batsman’s game, and now this holds truer than ever before. With explosive batting being the crowd puller for cricket nowadays, Test cricket has lost much of its old-worldly charm.
With the five-day format restricted to staunch connoisseurs of the game nowadays, One Day Internationals and Twenty20’s are the ones which attract crowds to the stadium. While T20s are more of a slam-bang affair, ODIs are a bit of a hybrid between T20s and Test cricket.
The resurgence of the ODI format over time has largely been due to individual batting performances. ODIs are the only format in which a batsman can truly play a delivery on its merit. Whereas T20s require a gung-ho approach, Test batting requires a more patient and cautious outlook.
ODI batting has been reinvented in the past decade or so, with new field restrictions enforced throughout 50 overs, allowing batsman more space to pick up runs. This has certainly led to a spurt in the number of record-breaking individual scores in ODI’s.
Here we take a look at the highest individual scores sorted by batting order, in ODIs:
1. Martin Guptill - 237 not out of 163 balls
Martin Guptill’s blistering 237 was the highest score in an ODI, at the World Cup. While double centuries in ODI’s have become passé since Sachin Tendulkar achieved the feat against South Africa in 2010, to achieve this feat in a World Cup quarter-final is an impressive achievement.
Marlon Samuels’ name went down in infamy as he dropped a sitter from Guptill in the first over. The belligerent Kiwi, made that chance count, as he went on to score a memorable double century that will not be forgotten by the spectators at Wellington. He hit 24 boundaries and 11 sixes in a knock that lasted the full 50 overs.
Guptill has forged a reputation as one of the most devastating batsmen in world cricket, thanks to his explosive batting style. The right-handed batsman attacks the opposition bowling right from the outset. The West Indies felt the full force of his power hitting, and that quarter-final will be one they will want to forget in a hurry.
2. Rohit Sharma - 264 of 173 balls
32-year-old Rohit Sharma is the proud record holder for the highest runs scored by a batsman in an ODI innings. He achieved this feat while opening the batting for India against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, during an ODI series between the two sides.
Playing in the middle order for India, Sharma came into prominence during the 2007 World Cup T20 tournament in South Africa, which India won. Although the tournament will be remembered by Indian fans largely due to the exploits of Yuvraj Singh, Sharma was a stabilizing force in the middle order, who ensured India did not collapse in the middle overs and ensure that the run rate gets a boost towards the end of the innings.
His world record knock was peppered with 33 fours and 9 sixes, making for an absolute treat for the eyes of the capacity crowd at the Eden Gardens. Although he was lucky on several occasions, with the Lankans dropping catches, Sharma utilised his multiple lives with a splendid knock to seal his place at the top of the highest scorers list in ODI cricket.
3. Charles Coventry - 194 not out of 156 balls
Many had tried, but many had failed, in their attempts to break Pakistani opener Saeed Anwar’s record of highest individual score in an ODI. The unlikeliest of challengers eventually broke the record, in the form of former Zimbabwean opener Charles Coventry, who by virtue of having remained unbeaten, took the top spot in the coveted list.
It was a sedate innings compared to others on this list, containing 16 fours and 7 sixes, but it finally brought some glory to a bedraggled Zimbabwean team, which had degenerated over the years into a team that barely manages to defeat even ICC affiliate nations.
Coventry’s knock came completely out of the blue, as the tournament between the two minnows on the international cricket scene did not warrant much airtime or print space. But this knock brought Zimbabwe cricket into the limelight for all the right reasons, for a change.
4. Vivian Richards - 189 not out of 170 balls
The one word that shall always describe Vivian Richards is charisma. With an air of supreme confidence and swagger, Richards used to treat the most fearsome bowlers of the 70s and 80s with absolute disdain, as he racked up quite a few memorable knocks for the West Indies, in the middle order, during his heyday.
The gum-chewing Antiguan still holds two of the top three spots for the highest score batting at number 4, in ODIs. His knock of 189 was sprayed with 21 fours and five sixes, in an age where the grounds were big, and six-hitting needed a lot of technical ability and power. Richards was probably the most charismatic, and easy on the eye, amongst batsmen of that generation.
In an age where helmets had not become the norm, and there were a lot fewer restrictions on the bowlers, Richards stood out as a colossus and became the pioneer of modern-day ODI batting.
5. AB De Villiers - 162 not out of 66 balls
AB de Villiers is one of the modern greats in world cricket. Possibly the best ODI batsman of his generation, De Villiers has entertained audiences with his unconventional batting, and ability to hit boundaries and clear the ropes at will. The unfortunate West Indians have often borne the brunt of De Villiers’ explosive batting.
They had to come up against a similar blitzkrieg from the South African captain, as he scored a blistering 162 which had 17 fours and eight sixes which saw the South Africans win this World Cup encounter with supreme ease, by a margin of 257 runs.
When De Villiers gets going, no one in the crowd is safe, as any delivery at any length can be deposited in different parts of the ground. His ability to get down on one knee and sweep the fastest bowlers on the planet for boundaries, with absolute disdain, makes him one of the most fearsome opponents in modern-day cricket.
6. Kapil Dev - 175 not out of 138 balls
This particular knock by Kapil Dev is remembered very fondly by old-timers, who have followed Indian cricket over the ages. Against minnows Zimbabwe, India were expected to cruise to a comfortable victory in this World Cup encounter. However, a complete collapse of the top-order meant captain Kapil Dev had to come in to bat much earlier than he expected.
What followed was a display of brutal hitting, as Dev smacked the bowlers to all parts of the ground, scoring 175 runs, hitting 16 fours and 6 sixes in a record-breaking knock. India managed to complete a dramatic turnaround and grab a victory, which is believed by many to have provided the catalyst for their World Cup win, in the end.
Kapil Dev remains the finest all-rounder India has produced till date. His exploits with both bat and ball in the 1983 World Cup, as well as that famous catch of Vivian Richards in the final, has endeared him to the hearts of Indian cricket fans for generations.
7. Luke Ronchi - 170 not out of 99 balls
Luke Ronchi has been a bit of a cricketing nomad over the years. Having been the keeper-in-waiting for the Australian national side, he never quite made the cut, and before the 2015 World Cup, decided to make the short journey across to New Zealand to turn out as their keeper.
The World Cup of 2015, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, was a case of so close yet so far for the Kiwis, but they played a number of spectacular matches in their run to the final.
Before the tournament, in a bilateral series vs Sri Lanka, Ronchi got Kiwi fans hopeful for big things, as he smashed 170 of 99 balls in front of a boisterous crowd. After their top-order had returned to the pavilion cheaply, Ronchi and Grant Elliot got stuck in and fostered a 267 run partnership through the middle overs.
Ronchi then shifted gears late into the innings, and the majority of his 14 fours and 9 sixes came in the death overs.
8. Chris Woakes - 95 not out of 92 balls
The most recent addition to this list, Chris Woakes entered the record books, during the bilateral series against Sri Lanka. It was a gritty innings containing only 4 fours. Chasing 287 for victory, England were down for the count at 82 for 6 before Woakes and Jos Buttler steadied the ship.
The duo put on 138 runs for the 7th wicket, an English record, and the second highest partnership for the seventh wicket in ODIs. However, England lost Buttler at a crucial juncture of the game, and Woakes was joined by Liam Plunkett, who scored an all-important 22* to help England get near the finishing line.
Needing 14 off the last over, England needed heroics from Plunkett, who hit a six of the last ball to tie the game. Woakes got stuck in during an important interval of the game to ensure England did not lose further wickets in the middle overs, and his determination ensured England got to tie the game in the end.
9. Andre Russell - 92 not out of 64 balls
Andre Russell is one of the most fearsome all-rounders in the modern game, especially in the T20 format. However, back in 2011, he was a relative newcomer, trying to forge his reputation in the 50 over format of the game.
Although this match will forever be remembered as the one in which Rohit Sharma finally lived up to his billing as one of India’s most talented batsmen, Russell’s heroics in the first innings had given West Indies a chance to put up a respectable score to defend.
The West Indies were down to 96 for 7 when Russell came in to bat, having seen 6 wickets fall for 31 runs before him. Russell got stuck in with Carlton Baugh and added 78 runs to stabilise the innings. He then went berserk in the far end of the innings, striking 8 fours and 5 sixes in total, to give the Windies a fighting chance.
10. Ravi Rampaul - 86 not out off 66 balls
Slotting in at number 10 is another West Indian, Ravi Rampaul, who shall be best remembered for his eye-catching white wristwatch which he wore while bowling, as well as his awkward run-up and delivery stance. Tail-enders seemed to have an affinity towards the Indian bowling in 2011, and Ravi Rampaul too took the then-recently crowned World Champions to task.
The West Indies were once again let down by their batting, and apart from a fighting 78 by Lendl Simmons, the rest of the lineup had nothing respectable by way of runs, to contribute. In stepped Rampaul, who played a blazing knock towards the end, hitting six fours and six sixes as he tore the Indian bowling apart.
Thanks to his contribution towards the end of the innings, the West Indies managed a respectable 269 at the end of 50 overs. His heroics went in vain as India won the match comfortably, thanks to a ton from Virat Kohli.
11. Mohammad Amir - 58 off 28 balls
When Mohammad Amir returned to the international cricket fold in 2016, few would have predicted him to be a record-breaker with the bat. But on a day which saw records tumble faster than dominoes in a typhoon, Aamir quietly crept into the record books thanks to his batting exploits.
In the 3rd OD between England and Pakistan, at Trent Bridge, in 2016, the world witnessed a fantastic batting performance from England, probably their best display in the limited-overs format. Alex Hales scored a blistering 171 to set up a mammoth total of 444 runs, then the highest ever in ODIs. It was always going to be a momentous task for the Pakistanis to chase that total down, in what was a must-win encounter for them. True to their nature, they came out swinging, but wickets fell regularly, and they fell short by 169 runs in the end.
However, the margin of victory could have been significantly greater for England were it not for a late flurry of runs from the bat of Mohammad Amir. He scored 58 runs, the highest by a number 11 batsman in the history of ODI cricket. Incidentally, he replaced Shoaib Akhtar on the coveted list. The highlight of Amir’s innings will be the three consecutive sixes he hit off Adil Rashid, to reach his 50.Published 21 Jul 2016, 12:06 IST