White ball cricket was catastrophically introduced in Australia in 1971 during a test match between Australia and England. The test match was called off by the umpires as it rained for the first three days. Astonishingly the umpires decided to play a limited over match which would produce a result within a day. And, thus, was born the popular 50-over format of cricket. Over a period of time, as its popularity rose, the game became more competitive and pressure on batsmen to score quick runs began to rise. Unlike Tests, batsmen didn’t have the luxury of time in ODIs. Just scoring runs was no longer enough. The rate at which you scored them mattered as well. This increased the importance of measuring averages in cricket. Here are the top 5 players of all time with the highest averages in ODI:
5. Babar Azam
2015 Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan was a very significant series for two reason. One, it marked the return of cricket in Pakistan. And second, it gave Pak cricket Babar Azam who gone on to become the backbone of the team’s batting line up. In 2016 against West Indies the prolific batsman scored 3 consecutive centuries; helping the hosts win the series 3-0. The 2019 World Cup saw the Lahore Lad surpassing the Pakistani legend Javed Miandad’s record of 474 runs in a single edition. Azam has scored 3213 runs from 72 matches at an average of 53.55, earning him a spot in this list.
4. Michael Bevan
The Aussie middle order batsman was unanimously rated as one of the best finishers of the modern day cricket. His 74* innings during the 2003 World Cup redefined the campaign for Australia as they were pin-down for a low score of 135/8 against England. In his early days itself Bevan was considered to be a reliable batsman who could sail the ship from difficult situations. With his unique talent of batting round with the tail the Aussie all rounder chased down 45 matches in his ODI career. With an average of 53.58, he comes in at the fourth spot in the list for the highest average in ODI.
Imam-ul-Haq made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in October 2017. The southpaw became the 2nd Pakistani batsman to score a century on his ODI debut. On Pakistan’s tour of Zimbabwe Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman added 304 runs together to bring up a record partnership for the opening wicket. Ahead of the cricket World Cup 2019 the young Pakistani opener scored a mammoth 151 against England this was the individual score against England by any Pakistani batsman. During the 2019 Pakistan’s tour of South Africa Imam scored his 1000th run in ODI cricket making him the fastest Pakistani to achieve the feet in his 19th inning. Imam has successfully negotiated some quality new ball fast bowling gaining him this spot of highest averages in ODI.
2. Virat Kohli
There’s a reason why Virat Kohli is considered as one of the best players to play limited over cricket. His ability to score runs at an unbelievable rate has earned the Delhi cricketer the sobriquet of being a ‘run-machine’. In 230 international matches he has played in, Kohli has scored 11,520 runs at an incredible average of 60.31. This makes him the only player in the list to score over 10,000 runs at a 60+ average. Recently the 30-year-old became the first batsman ever to score 20,000 international runs in a decade. By the way he is scoring runs fr fun, the time not far when Kohli would lead the list of highest averages in ODI cricket.
1. Ryan ten Doeschate
Who would have thought that in a sport dominated by nations of English decent, a Dutch international player would top the list of highest average in cricket? Born and raised in South Africa, the Netherlands’ Ryan ten Doeschate indeed tops this list with a ridiculous average of 67.00. He made his ODI debut for Netherlands in 2006 against Sri Lanka. And within a span of 6 years ten Doeschate played 33 ODI’s averaging 67.00 scoring 1541 Runs. The cricketer was on his peek when he scored consecutive 84. 158, 138, 100 and 259* in the ICC Intercontinental Cup, earning him the ICC Player of the year award for the Associated and Affiliated teams. He leads the list of highest averages in ODI cricket.
With the Evolution of cricket batsmen have achieved new standards at the international circuit, however the amendments in the field restrictions and introduction of drop-in-wickets will make batsmen work hard for ever single run they score.