Top 10 run scorers for India in ODIs

Sachin Tendulkar of India
Gautam Lalotra

Indian cricket has produced quite a few batting maestros who have etched their names in the annals of the game as prolific run scorers. Indian batsmen have been known to be elegant stroke-makers who make batting look pleasing to the eye. They are very strong off their legs and possess nimble footwork to play spin well.

Over the years, India's strength in ODIs lay in their strong batting which always boasted of some master blasters. Most of the ODI batting records are held by one or the other Indian batting giant. In the 80, we had Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Kris Srikkanth, Sandeep Patil, Mohinder Amarnath and Kapil Dev forming a good batting lineup.

The 90s had world class stroke-makers in Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azhar, Navjot Sidhu, Ajay Jadeja and Vinod Kambli. With the turn of the millennium, Indian batting was one of the most formidable units with lethal openers like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly. The middle order was compact and well organised with Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The Indian ODI team has witnessed a purple patch in the last five seasons courtesy a well-settled opening combination in Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. The middle order is spearheaded by the prolific Virat Kohli who has good company from Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya.

The emergence of talented youngsters like KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant augers well for Indian cricket in the future. Prodigious teen batting sensations Prithvi Shaw and Shubmam Gill have impressed one and all in the junior circuit and can be potential stars in the making for the future.

So, in a nutshell, we have been blessed to have a string of batsmen who scored heaps of runs and contributed immensely to the team's wins both at home and abroad. It would be interesting to compile a list of the top 10 run getters for India in the limited overs arena.

10. Suresh Raina

Australia v India - Game 1
Suresh Raina

Suresh Raina has been quite a successful batsman for India in the limited overs arena. The hard-hitting left-hander has excelled in the role of a finisher providing the team with the late flourish down the order. The aggressive middle-order batsman has closed many a game batting with either Yuvraj Singh or MS Dhoni.

Raina certainly packs a punch with his big hitting and hugely favours the mid-wicket region on the leg side. The power hitter is a dangerous customer down the order as he scores runs at a brisk pace by hitting boundaries on a consistent basis.

ODI Record for India

Matches: 226

Runs: 5615

Avg: 35.31

100s: 5

9. Rohit Sharma

Australia v India - Game 1
Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is one of the most destructive openers in ODI cricket at present. Blessed with enormous talent with the willow, Rohit Sharma enthrals fans with his eye-catching strokeplay. The ‘Hitman’ of Indian cricket has played some monumental knocks in ODIs, registering a record three double tons.

As an ODI opener, Rohit has been simply sensational scoring tons of runs with his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan. He has a wide range of shots in his armoury to torment potent bowling attacks and certainly has that extra bit of time to play the ball in his hitting zone.

ODI Record for India

Matches: 188

Runs: 7065

Avg: 46.17

100s: 19

8. Virender Sehwag

Australia v India - Tri-Series Game 10
Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag was India's most destructive batsman in the limited overs format. The swashbuckling opener provided fireworks up the order with his belligerent hitting. A natural stroke-player, Sehwag was blessed with tremendous hand-eye coordination and picked up the length of the delivery early.

He plundered anything which was in his hitting zone and went by the mantra, attack is the best form of defence. Opening the batting with Sachin and Ganguly, 'Viru' was the aggressor up the order and provided India with some flying starts. When he got into his zone, Sehwag was simply unstoppable and tonked quality attacks to all parts of the park. The opener scored a touch under 8000 ODI runs at a breathtaking strike rate of over 100.

ODI Record for India

Matches: 241

Runs: 7995

Avg: 35.37

100s: 15

7. Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh has been one of India’s biggest match winners with the bat in ODIs. An attacking middle-order batsman, Yuvraj is one of the cleanest strikers of the ball and makes six-hitting look rather effortless.

With a high backlift and rapid bat swing, Yuvraj is one of the most belligerent hitters in the ODI arena. The talismanic lefthander has excelled in the role of a finisher by scoring some match-winning cameos down the order. The southpaw reserves his best for the big tournaments and has always been among the runs for India at the World Cups.

ODI Record for India

Matches: 301

Runs: 8609

Avg: 36.47

100s: 14

6. Mohammad Azharuddin

Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin

Mohammad Azharuddin was certainly one of India’s most stylish stroke-maker to have played at the international level. Azhar was the batting of the Indian middle order for most of the 90s. Azhar's wristy strokeplay with those trademark flicks was an exhibition of his class and elegance. He was a master at manoeuvring the ball into the gaps and kept the scoreboard ticking.

A busy bee at the crease, he ran lightning quick between the wickets and had the shots in his armoury to step up the scoring rate. He stepped up his performances in multi-nation tournament finals and played some match-winning knocks to help India win multiple ODI titles during the 90s.

ODI Record for India

Matches: 334

Runs: 9378

Avg: 36.92

100s: 7

5. Virat Kohli

India v Pakistan - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has been India’s run-scoring machine in the limited-overs arena for a considerable time period. Kohli has earned his reputation of being the best with willow, scoring heaps of runs with staggering consistency against quality bowling attacks. His ability to score daddy hundreds in chasing down herculean targets puts him in a league of his own. He makes his starts count and his 50 to 100 conversion ratio in ODIs is perhaps the best in world cricket.

Pace or spin, home or abroad, Kohli has successfully been able to dominate attacks and win India many matches with his stellar knocks. With just under 10000 ODI runs and 35 tons, Kohli stands tall among the all-time greats and has a realistic chance to get closer or even break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most runs in ODI cricket.

ODI Record

Matches: 211

Runs: 9779

Avg: 58.2

100s: 35

4. MS Dhoni

South Africa v India - T20 International
Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is India’s best wicket-keeper batsman in the one-day arena. Dhoni is a power hitter down the order, scoring some whirlwind knocks to take India across the finishing line many a time. Dhoni’s calm and composed temperament, ability to read the game and hold his nerves under pressure makes him India's best finishers in ODI cricket. Dhoni is a game changer with his power-packed hitting and has been an absolute entertainer for billions of India fans. Unorthodox yet effective, Mahi’s not so conventional batting style has racked up over 9000 runs.

ODI Record

Matches: 327

Runs: 10123

Avg: 50.61

100s: 10

3. Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid was India’s most technically sound batsman in the limited overs format. Dravid was indeed India’s wall in the batting order, accumulating runs with superlative consistency and playing the sheet anchor’s role to perfection. Dravid could stabilize the innings by milking the singles and let the other free-flowing stroke makers provide the impetus.

'Jammy' had a solid technique and sound temperament to fend off hostile spells and then construct an innings. More importantly, the conventional batsman adapted to the fast run scoring format of ODIs and did exceptionally well by scoring over 10000 ODI runs for the 'Men in Blue'.

ODI Record for India

Matches: 340

Runs: 10768

Avg: 39.15

100s: 11

2. Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly of India
Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly was arguably the best left-handed opening batsman India has produced in ODI cricket. 'Dada' mesmerized fans across the world with his majestic offside play. The ‘Prince of Kolkata’ forged a lethal opening pair with Sachin Tendulkar amassing over with 11000 runs studded with 22 tons.

The elegant left hander's penchant for scoring big hundreds and win games for India ranked him alongside the best openers of his time. He was known to come down the track and hit spinners for some towering sixes. A hardcore competitor, he overcame his limitations against the short delivery and held his ground to score over 11000 runs for India.

ODI Record

ODIs: 311

Runs: 11363

Avg: 41.02

100s: 22

1. Sachin Tendulkar

India v South Africa: Group B - 2011 ICC World Cup
Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman in the cricket's modern era. Appearances, runs, centuries, half-centuries; the ‘Master Blaster’ tops it all and by quite a fair distance. Sachin’s greatness goes beyond numbers as he cemented his place as world's best with the willow for almost two decades. Add to his run-scoring pedigree, the enormous weight of expectations he carried on his shoulders.

The die-hard Indian cricket fanatics expected him to score in every innings and he more often than not answered their call. Sachin became a prolific run-getter for India belting quality attacks with utter disdain and ended up as the leading run scorer and century maker in limited-overs arena.

ODI Record for India

Matches: 463

Runs: 18426

Avg: 44.83

100s: 49

Edited by Rupin Kale


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