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Statistical analysis of India's best batsmen in ODI run chases

Who is India's best chaser? Is Virat Kohli on his way there?

Virat Kohli has created such a niche for himself while chasing that these days, any Kohli innings that results in an Indian victory is merely referred to as another Kohli masterclass. Such has been his success while chasing that it is fair to say that there is no better batsmen in the world right now when it comes to scaling targets.

The question of where he ranks all-time among the best chasers that the game has ever seen is one that continues to pop up. But considering he is at the peak of his powers and a long away from calling it a day, it is better to first look at where he ranks among Indians before going abroad.

Is Virat Kohli the greatest ODI chaser that India has ever produced? What about MS Dhoni, then? Or the legendary Sachin Tendulkar who has most of the records in the format? So without further ado, let us statistically analyse who is the best chaser India has produced in ODIs.

For the purpose of this comparison, players who have played at least 100 games while chasing have been considered. And among them, the top five were chosen not based on their runs, but on their average while chasing. Hence, the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin and Yuvraj Singh don’t make the cut and only the top five in terms of average while chasing in an ODI have been chosen.

NOTE: All stats accurate as of the fifth ODI of the India-New Zealand series.


#5 Suresh Raina

Suresh Raina

While MS Dhoni continually gets the adulation for many of India's chases in the last decade, another integral cog in the chase machine was Suresh Raina. He might not have played an ODI since October 2015 but there can be little doubt about his credentials as one of India’s best finishers.

And the numbers certainly suggest that. One of only 11 players to have scored more than 2,500 ODI runs for India while chasing and among those he is among the top five, when it comes to average while chasing. And that is why he makes it into this comparison ahead of the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Azharuddin.

Averaging nearly 40 and in excess of 90 in chases is not easy but that is Suresh Raina’s career record. Although he has a better strike rate while chasing at home, he has more runs, a better average and two hundreds away from home. That in itself is no mean feat.

Another important classification is his contribution to victories. Among players who’ve played at least 50 matches (chasing), only MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli have a better average than Raina’s 66.60. But what is even more impressive is his strike rate of 101.74 in wins, which is only bettered by Virender Sehwag.

Statistical analysis of Suresh Raina’s ODI record while chasing

 MatchesRunsAverageStrike Rate100s/50s
Overall record1242,69938.5593.912/15
At home4487636.5096.680/8
Away from home801,82339.6392.632/7
In wins771,86566.60101.742/13
In defeats4079419.8580.850/2
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