The first One-Day International (ODI) was played in January 1971 and over the next five decades the game has seen tremendous changes. When it began, the run-rate of three and half was considered acceptable and in today’s cricket even six and half isn’t completely a safe bet. When so much has changed, it’s not easy to compare batsmen from different eras but there are some who have made unmatched impact in their respective generations.

No discussion on batsmen in ODIs can begin without Viv Richards. Many rate him as the greatest batsman in the shorter version but then Sachin Tendulkar’s exploits made a few reconsider the statement. For all that he has achieved in ODI cricket, it was quite fitting that Tendulkar became the first man to score a double hundred in this format. While Richards and Tendulkar made it a habit to destroy the best of bowling attacks, mainly at the start or the middle of the innings, teams that have done well in this format had great finishers. Talking of finishers, Australia during their dominance in the late 1990s and early 2000s, had a gentleman called Michael Bevan who kept extremely calm under pressure and more often finished the job for Australia. Years later, India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni went on to redefine that role and emerged as the most successful finisher in the shorter format.

The list is incomplete without the mention of South Africa’s current ODI skipper AB de Villiers, who once again crafted a near perfect ton on Sunday, to help his side move 1-0 in the ongoing series in India. De Villiers in many ways has redefined batting. He holds the record for the fastest hundred in ODIs which is a testimony to the fact that he can be destructive and at the same time he is a steady bet in the middle order and has also finished games.

There have been several great batsmen who have taken the ODI arena by storm but these five stand out among the others. Here’s their respective records.


Who do you think among these men can be termed as the greatest ODI batman of all time?