In one-day Internationals, the feat of scoring a double hundred had eluded batsmen for years since the format’s inception in 1971. Even the most dynamic batsman such as Vivian Richards couldn't reach the magic 200 mark.
Of course, cricket back then cannot be compared to now, even though the ODI innings lasted 55 or 60 overs. Average strike rates hovered in the 60-65 range in the early years of ODI cricket.
In the first decade of the 21st century, the strike rates increased by 18% and have further risen to 75 and more in the present times.
The first one to break the 200 mark barrier was Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar who achieved this feat in 2010. He scored 200 not out against South Africa at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior.
After Tendulkar's masterclass, the record got broken by four other players.
Here is a list of the top five highest scores by batsmen in ODIs:
5. Fakhar Zaman – 210*
Fakhar Zaman became the sixth batsman to score a double century in One Day Internationals after he hammered the Zimbabwean bowlers to score 210 not out off just 156 deliveries back in July 2018.
Zaman hit 24 boundaries, 5 sixes in his blistering innings, and till date remains the only Pakistani to have achieved this incredible feat. Batting on a flat pitch, Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq put on a 304-run record stand (highest opening partnership in ODIs) taking Pakistan to a humongous total of 399 runs.
Zaman also became the least experienced player (17) to score an ODI double century.
Rohit Sharma scored a blistering knock of 209 off 158 balls against the mighty Aussies at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on the 2nd November 2013.
4. Chris Gayle – 215
When Chris Gayle gets going, there is no stopping the storm. Zimbabwe fell victim to his carnage at the grandest stages of them all – the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Chris Gayle also became the first batsmen to hit a double century in World Cup when he hammered 215 off 147 balls on 24th February 2015 at Manuka Oval, Canberra.
Chris Gayle hit 16 sixes in that innings and joined Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers in their feat of the highest number of sixes in an ODI match.
With the double century, Gayle also became the first non-Indian cricketer to hit a double century in ODIs.
3. Virender Sehwag – 219
Virender Sehwag tore the West Indies bowling apart on a chilly, winter day at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore when he scored 219 off 149 balls on 8 December 2011.
Sehwag, as expected by fans and pundits alike, would go on to break Sachin Tendulkar’s highest score record. But little did fans know that the 'Nawab' would be in such a hurry to achieve that feat.
Sehwag scored runs quickly and crossed the 150-mark in the 36th over, eventually crossing the 200 landmark in the 44th over.
2. Martin Guptill – 237*
Martin Guptill made his way to the record books and rewrote history as he surpassed Chris Gayle’s record for the highest score in a World Cup. Guptill stunned the world by hitting a 237* off 163 balls against West Indies on 21 March 2015.
The significance of the double century was incredible - he achieved the feat in the World Cup quarter-finals and in front of Chris Gayle, the man who had set the record weeks earlier.
Martin Guptill later said, “That whole day was a blur. It went so quickly. I can't remember what was going on!”
1. Rohit Sharma – 264
Sharma, the only player to have more than one double hundred in the format, surpassed his top score when he scored 264 off 173 balls against Sri Lanka on November 13, 2014, at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Sharma hit 32 fours and nine sixes during the course of the match, which left the Sri Lankans totally dispirited. The knock is still hard to believe, given that his first 100 runs came at a strike rate of around run-a-ball. He didn’t slow down after reaching the 200 mark and carried on the same way to reach a score of 264.
Rohit appeared unfazed by his achievement when he spoke after the match, "I'm not really tired. I was ready to bat another 50 overs. Once I got to 50, I knew I had to convert because it was a good batting wicket.”Published 01 Sep 2016, 16:04 IST