9 destructive ODI batsmen from India
- Here's a look at 9 Indian batsmen who were at their destructive best in ODI cricket.
- The list includes the two World Cup-winning captains, Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni.
Over the last four decades, Indian cricket has produced some great batsmen in ODI cricket. While natural stroke makers like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli became the mainstays of batting line-ups, power hitters like Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Kapil Dev changed the course of a game in a blink of an eye.
While Virender Sehwag pulled crowds with some mesmerizing shots, Mohammad Azharuddin was a treat to watch with those silken wrists.
Indian ODI teams have been batting heavy courtesy a plethora of world-class batsmen. Much of India’s success in ODI cricket has revolved around the batting exploits of these batsmen.
With a galaxy of batting stalwarts over the years, it would be interesting to compile a list of India’s most destructive stroke makers in ODI. This list involves those batsmen who have managed to score at a quick rate and put up big knocks.
Note: Batsmen who have scored more than 2000 ODI runs and a minimum strike rate of 85 have been considered in this list.
#9 Kapil Dev
Way back in the 80s when most batsmen adopted a conventional style of batting, Kapil Dev batted with a fearless attitude, scoring runs at a brisk pace.
Coming in to bat lower down the order, Kapil would essay some quick-fire cameos and help India put on fighting totals. The all-rounder was a good player of the hook shot and played the drive equally well while also stepping out occasionally to attack the spinners.
Kapil's standout ODI knock remains his unbeaten 175-runs against Zimbabwe which saved India from a premature exit at the 1983 World Cup. At 17/5 against Zimbabwe, India had their backs against the wall when Kapil's whirlwind knock saved India the blushes and helped them advance to the title clash.
Kapil Dev's ODI stats
Matches- 225; Runs- 3783; Avg- 23.79; SR- 95.07; 100s- 1
#8 Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina was what can be termed as a 'pocket dynamite' for India in the limited-overs arena. The hard-hitting left-hander is a destructive stroke-maker who would generally opt for an aggressive approach early on in his innings and favour the mid-wicket region.
The Uttar Pradesh-lad has often charged down the track to spinners, hitting them inside out for some lusty blows. Raina has played some blistering cameos to finish off games even from critical situation.
Raina has five ODI tons to his credit but his best knock till date remains the 75-ball 100 against England on a green top at Cardiff in 2014.
Suresh Raina's ODI stats
Matches- 226; Runs- 5615; Avg- 35.3; SR- 93.5; 100s- 5
#7 Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan has been one of India’s most explosive openers in ODI cricket. The Delhi-based cricketer has provided India with the aggression at the top of the order by dominating bowlers in the powerplay overs early on.
Dhawan is particularly strong on the offside and is a great exponent of the cut shot but is equally adept at peppering the boundaries even on the leg side. Dhawan has formed a lethal opening partnership with Rohit Sharma that has given the Indian side some stability at the top.
The southpaw has always made quite an impression in ICC tournaments, but his best knock so far in ODI cricket is the 115-ball 143 he scored against Australia in 2019. Dhawan brought up his century off 97 balls and shifted gears to eventually score his next 41 runs off just 18 balls.
Shikhar Dhawan's ODI stats
Matches- 136; Runs- 5688; Avg- 45.1; SR- 94.0; 100s- 17
#6 MS Dhoni
Once MS Dhoni decides to hang his boots, he will undoubtedly finish his career as one of India’s most clinical finishers in ODI cricket. With a keen understanding of situations, Dhoni has the ability to switch gears as and when needed and win games even from improbable situations.
Blessed with an ability to tonk the long ball, Dhoni has brought his match-winning skill to the fore on multiple occasions and has thrilled fans with his big-hitting. Dhoni has produced some memorable match-winning knocks down the order but his 183* against Sri Lanka at Jaipur was an exhibition of how destructive he could be with the willow.
MS Dhoni's ODI stats
Matches- 350; Runs- 10773; Avg- 50.6; SR- 87.6; 100s- 10