10 greatest ODI performances of all time
Penning down a list of top sporting performances isn’t as easy a task as it might seem on the surface. And if the game happens to be Cricket, the complexity simply compounds. With over 3,700 ODIs being played since its accidental inception in 1971, the genre has witnessed several legends. Records have been created and erased, and benchmarks have been elevated in the midst of an ever evolving game. And needless to say, every decade has had its share of breath-taking performance that has stayed in the minds of players and fans alike.Instances of bowler’s steamrolling batting lines up’s in dramatic fashion and batsmen dominating games will always be the favourites to make the cut. That said, those performances that were equally awe inspiring and stood the test of time were the ones that emerged in the face of adversity. When the shoulders drop and the morale takes a beating, an elite bunch of players emerge. And it’s this crop of cricketers that dish out performances to win games which were otherwise lost for all cause.In this compilation of great ODI performances, we recognise not just the record breaking events, but also those that fascinated an entire generation of fans. While there is a fair probability that your personal favourite isn’t on this list, we guarantee that the 10 identified here are ones that you will recognise as heroic acts of individual brilliance.
#10 Michael Bevan - 78* vs West Indies, January 1996
A successful run chase is as much about strategy and timing as it is about holding one’s nerve. And few did it better than Michael Bevan. Like an eagle scouting the horizon for prey, Bevan constantly watched the changing field-settings while trying to spot gaps. And often, with the hapless number 11 for company, he pulled many a rabbit out of the hat when guiding his side through seemingly hopeless situations.
One such scenario played out at the SCG in the Australian summer of 1996. Chasing 172, the hosts were tottering at 38/6 with Curtly Ambrose running a riot. Bevan’s first objective was to get close to the target. That was achieved in partnership with a brave Paul Rieffel who scored 34 vital runs. But with Rieffel departing and Shane Warne getting run out soon after, Glenn McGrath found himself on strike with 5 still required off 3 deliveries.
A single got Bevan back on strike – a fatal mistake from the West Indies. But the southpaw couldn’t score off the penultimate ball leaving him with four required of the final ball. As the over thirty-seven thousand strong crowd at the historic SCG held its breath, Bevan struck Roger Harper over the infield for four to seal another famous run-chase.