The top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen is a list which will always meet a lot of criticism and it is nigh impossible to reach to a fixed best ten ODI inning by Indian batsmen list. But still, let’s make an attempt at formulating the list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen.
ODIs – A Short Introduction
The limited overs format when introduced back in the 70s met with huge criticism and was already being held responsible for the plight of Test cricket. Everyone was sceptical about the longevity of such a ‘short’ format and its ill effects on the longer and actual format of the gentlemen’s game i.e. Test cricket. But One Day Internationals have stood the test of time and have turned out to be the largest crowd pullers and TRP grabbers. Other than this, the excitement, the thrill and the magical moments associated with the ODI format are something which every cricket fan looks forward to and simply can’t forget.
Right from bowlers to batsmen to fielders, the format plugged new chords for everyone and once the players struck these chords properly, cricket was changed forever. India is host to some of the most amazing ODI talent in World Cricket. We take a look at the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen. The top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen is a list which will always be criticized by lovers of the game. But even then, let’s give it a shot and try to come up with something solid when talking about the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen. The list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen will take you through a journey down the memory lane and introduce and re-introduce you to some of the best ODI innings by Indian batsmen.
Before I begin, I would like to apologize for not including your favourites or someone else’s favourites. I’d like to tell you all that it is after a lot of research, thinking and game watching that I have formulated this list. The ranks are interchangeable but it’s just that sometimes it’s impossible to rank certain innings and players. And when it’s impossible, we just put them in places we wish to see them as of now. We all know the greatest innings or the best ODI innings by an Indian batsman is, as always, yet to come.
TOP TEN GREATEST ODI INNINGS BY INDIAN BATSMEN- Number 10, 9 and 8
10. Kapil Dev’s 175* against Zimbabwe (Tunbridge Wells, June 18, 1983)
It’s World Cup 1983 and India are struggling at 17/5 against a not so competitive Zimbabwe. Kapil Dev walks out with a motive, a plan, and the harfanmaula of Indian cricket executes it in style. His battle against the Zimbabwe bowlers along with the tailenders is perhaps one of the greatest innings in ODIs by an Indian. The ninth wicket partnership with Syed Kirmani was a record 126 runs. Unforgettable and unavailable for the viewers to see (as the match was not aired), Kapil’s 175 makes it to the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen quite easily. Huge Respect!
9. Navjot Singh Sidhu’s 134* against England (Gwalior, March 4, 1993)
Navjot Singh Sidhu’s image as a destructive ODI player is well known among his counterparts and also the worshippers of the game. His 134* against England is one of his personal favourites and actually greatest as per his statement during his retirement in 1999. Not even a single six, a strike rate of 83.7 and 15 boundaries saw Sidhu reach 134* in 160 balls against a strong English bowling attack. Chasing a modest but competitive 256, India had a poor start but Sidhu and Azharuddin ensured that the team reached the total in time and with 3 wickets remaining. It was a non-Sidhu like innings and he steered India out of the blues and fetched them a victory. An innings of control and class. Many consider his 124 against Sri Lanka to be his greatest, where he hit 8 spell binding maximums destroying the Lankan bowling attack with Murali and others looking helpless. But in the end, I believe it was this 134* against England which should be a part of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen. The top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen is proud to have Sidhu as a member of the list.
8. Sourav Ganguly 141 against South Africa (Nairobi, Oct 13, 2000)
An innings which deserves multiple replays and an incalculable amount of respect for the GOD of off-side in cricket. Ganguly manoeuvred his innings smartly and cracked at the African bowlers taking India to 295-6 in what was the semi-final of the ICC Knockout tournament. Rated as one of Wisden’s Top 100 innings of all time (Ed. 2002), this Ganguly special races to the list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen. The top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen features this master class innings by Sourav Ganguly.
TOP TEN GREATEST ODI INNINGS BY INDIAN BATSMEN- Number 7, 6 and 5
7. Sachin Tendulkar’s 143 against Australia (Sharjah, April 22, 1998)
This list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen gets bigger and brighter with every rank. For example, this particular innings by Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is a big one and yet manages a number 7 spot in the list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen. India were struggling to reach to the finals of the Coca Cola Cup and in comes the God of cricket, the little man swinging his blade around making the Aussie bowling line up disappear into the fences. Perhaps one of the most ruthless innings in ODI history as Tendulkar did not stop for a second and seemed to be out there with only one thing in his mind- the entry into the finals. India lost the match but entered the finals on net run rate basis. The news was all over the world that Tendulkar has surpassed Bradman after this particular innings. The top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen is but a humble way to pay respect to this gem of an innings.
6. Rahul Dravid’s 145 and Sourav Ganguly’s 183* against Sri Lanka (Taunton, May 26, 1999)
Taunton was the venue and ‘taunting’ and ‘tantalizing’ was the player- Rahul Dravid. The list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen had no trouble making space for a deserving classy Rahul Dravid who played an innings not quite to his liking. But it was something which the crowds enjoyed; after all, a positive change is always welcome. Of course we can talk about the mammoth 318 run partnership that Dravid put up along with Dada’s hammering 183*, but it was Dravid’s unusual offensive against the Lankan bowlers which surprised everyone. Now how many times do you Dravid reaching his fifty in just 43 balls and his hundred in just 102 balls? Not the usual is it? That’s why this innings dances into the list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen.
Now, the same day, the same match… another run making machine decides to bamboozle the Lankans. It was nothing short of a gory Gladiator sorts bloodshed scenario. Ganguly’s 183 included an unbelievable 17 fours and seven ‘Prince of Calcutta’ special sixes. The way he treated the Lankan bowlers can be compared to any battle scene in history where the onslaught by a certain warrior by the name of Sourav Ganguly was truly mesmerizing . The top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen is incomplete without Ganguly’s 183 which then became the highest ODI knock by an Indian batsman. Truly it remains one of the best ODI innings in history and a frontrunner for the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen.
5. Sachin Tendulkar’s 134 against Australia (Sharjah, April 24, 1998)
After making sure that the team reached the finals of the Coca Cola Cup, Tendulkar ensured that the team won the cup. It was the Sharjah Cup after which Warned was served with nightmares of Sachin dancing down the pitch and hitting him for big sixes and it was the same Sharjah Cup which made Kasprowicz say that they did not lose to a team called India, they actually lost to a man called Sachin Tendulkar. All by himself, Tendulkar won the Cup for India leaving only a meagre amount of 25 runs for the team to score once he was dismissed. This innings has all the class to make it to the top of the list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen. But it misses out as there are others which will head the list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen.
TOP TEN GREATEST ODI INNINGS BY INDIAN BATSMEN- Number 4,3 and 2
4. MS Dhoni’s 183* against Sri Lanka (Jaipur, October 31, 2005)
How lethal, destructive, merciless and virulent I’ll have to say here, can a batsman get? MSD’s 183* against an almost crying and dumbstruck Lankan bowling line-up is an example of all these features wrapped together in an innings of a lifetime. The crowd at Jaipur never believed what they saw and audiences across the world stormed online video portals for highlights which are viewed in thousands till date. An innings which saw the future Indian captain hit ten sixes, yes people , ten heightening sixes to an ear-deafening crowd. MS Dhoni introduced himself to World cricket and that too by exploding a bomb in the middle of the pitch. Many pity the cricket ball used in that match, got beaten ruthlessly… for a good cause though. MSD helicopters his way into this list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen.
3. Virendra Sehwag’s 219 against West Indies (Indore, December 8, 2011)
After missing out on what could have been the first double hundred in a World Cup, Sehwag decided to better his score of 175 in 140 balls against Bangladesh by showering runs all over the ground with his 219 off 149 balls. Is there a limit to what this lad can do? Hitting 25 boundaries and seven massive sixes, Sehwag trolled the Lankan bowlers beyond limits and reached his double hundred in just 140 balls. One of the most special ODI batsman in World cricket, with this innings, cruises to the list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen.
2. Virat Kohli’s 133* versus Sri Lanka (Hobart, February 28, 2012)
India had to win this one match in order to stay alive in the Commonwealth Bank Series 2012 and they had to win it with a bonus point. Sri Lankan batsmen ensured more blues for the already struggling Indian side by amassing 320-4 in their 50 overs. Now, India had to chase down this huge total in less than 40 overs. This was, without a doubt, one of the most difficult challenges faced by any batting line-up in one day cricket. No one can argue why Kohli’s innings sits at number 2 in this list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen.
Surprises, shockers and emotional roller coasters are an understatement for this one. India reached the total in 36.4 overs with Kohli standing tall scoring 133* off just 86 balls. He hammered Malinga for 24 runs in a single over with boundaries which can be a learning process for budding cricketers. The precision, the technique, the style and the composure were all there. With so much to do in a single match, Kohli looked completely focussed and not for one second did he miss out on announcing and declaring that he is indeed the future of not only Indian cricket but actually world cricket. Kohli’s innings of 133* will make it to any list of the best innings in ODIs and hence its addition to this list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen is nothing but a humble attempt at trying to pay respect to one of the best innings ever played in ODi cricket by an Indian batsman. India pays respect to Kohli with this out of the world innings which is the second best in the list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen.
TOP TEN GREATEST ODI INNINGS by INDIAN BATSMEN– THE ::GREATEST:: EVER
1. Sachin Tendulkar’s 200 versus South Africa (Gwalior, February 24, 2010)
No I’m not being biased. No I’m not like that Indian who is not content with any list unless Sachin is at the top. No, you are wrong my friend. Go and watch this innings one more time. But before you do that, I’ll ask you to carry a few things with you. Carry the weight of a billion Indian fans if you can, carry the pressure of performing in front of a crowd which includes middle class families who save money to watch you play. Carry the weight of the emotions and expectations of children who are learning to play cricket and the hopes of those who live for the game here in India. Carry along the darting and penetrating arrows of more than a thousand critics who are waiting for you to make one mistake. Carry the age, injuries and newspaper headlines with you if you can. Above all carry what it is to be Sachin Tendulkar.
A record which escaped the likes of Anwar, Ganguly, Jayasuriya and several other pioneers of ODI cricket… finally submitted to perhaps the greatest batsman in world cricket-Sachin Tendulkar. The G.O.A.T. Sachin Tendulkar’s 200 was the first double hundred in the history of One Day cricket. The legendary run scorer, the God worshipped by one and all reached his double century at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior. Sachin scored 200 runs in 147 balls hitting 25 boundaries and three sixes. He batted with a strike rate of 136.05 and dismissed the strong and capable bowling line-up of Steyn, Kallis and Lagenveldt.
Sachin’s innings heads this list of the top ten greatest ODI innings by an Indian batsmen as it was scored under a lot of pressure and by a man who has become more than the game of cricket itself. One can only imagine what it would have meant to the little master, finally reaching the record which was considered as one of the most difficult by cricket experts across the world. Not starting a Tendulkar-Bradman greatest ever debate but I personally feel that Sachin has surpassed anyone to everyone when it comes to cricket. This list of the top ten greatest innings by Indian batsmen salutes the little master-the thirst never dies.