ODI cricket is considered to be the most popular format of the game. After Test matches were supposed to be too long for the audience, ODI cricket was introduced to procure the continuation of the game. ODI cricket became immensely popular, and the start of the Cricket World Cups made the fans passionate about the game. Batters capture the limelight in the sport, and cricket fans love seeing their favourite batters dominate the opposition bowler by hitting them for boundaries. Many great ODI batters have proved time and again their batting capabilities in the worst of situations. Today, we will try to rank a few players who have scored the most runs in their ODI careers. So let’s get on with it.
- Sachin Tendulkar
The person with the most runs in their ODI career is none other than the Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar. Born on 24 April 1973 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, Sachin made ODI debut for India in 1989 against Pakistan. He was the youngest Indian to ever play in ODI cricket at the age of 16 years. The 49-year-old has played 463 ODI matches, the most by any player, and scored 18,426 runs, at an average and a strike rate of 44.8 and 86.2, respectively. He holds the record for scoring the most number of centuries, with 49 of them, and half-centuries, with 145 of them.
- Kumar Sangakkara
The Sri Lankan southpaw, Kumar Sangakkara, has the second-most scored runs in an ODI career. The Sri Lankan wicketkeeper batter was born on 27 October 1977 in Matale, Sri Lanka. He also made ODI debut against Pakistan on 5 July 2000. The 44-year-old has scored 14,234 runs in ODI cricket at an average of nearly 42 and a strike rate of almost 80. Before his retirement, Sangakkara had made 404 ODI match appearances and scored 25 centuries and 93 half-centuries. He holds the record for the most number of hundreds scored in consecutive innings, with four of them.
- Ricky Ponting
The former Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, who led his team into two successful Cricket World Cup campaigns, has also scored the third-most number of runs in an ODI cricket career. The Australian legend was born on 19 December 1974 in Launceston, Australia, and he made ODI debut against South Africa on 15 February 1995. From then until his retirement, Ponting had played 375 ODI matches and scored 13,704 runs, including 30 centuries and 82 half-centuries, at an average and strike rate of 42 and 80.4, respectively. The 47-year-old holds the record for the most matches played as a captain, with 230 games, and also for being the second-fastest to reach 13,000 runs.
- Sanath Jayasuriya
The explosive Sri Lankan opening batsman, Sanath Jayasuriya, ranks fourth in cricket’s list of all-time highest run scorers. Born in Matara, Sri Lanka, on 30 June 1969, Jayasuriya made ODI debut against Australia at the age of 20 on 26 December 1989. In his illustrious ODI career, he scored 13,430 runs in 445 matches, at a strike rate and average of 91.2 and 32.4, respectively. Throughout his cricketing career, Jayasuriya managed to score 28 centuries and 68 half-centuries. As an aggressive batsman, Jayasuriya deservedly holds the record for hitting the 3rd most number of sixes in one’s ODI career.
- Mahela Jayawardene
Claimed as the most successful Sri Lankan captain, Mahela Jayawardene stands fifth in the rankings. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 27 May 1977, Jayawardene is the third Sri Lankan to feature in the top five rankings. He played his first ODI match against Zimbabwe on 24 January 1998, at the age of 20. Jayawardene has played 448 ODI games and scored 12,650 runs, including 19 centuries and 77 half-centuries, at an average and strike rate of 33.37 and 79, respectively. The 45-year-old Sri Lankan is the only batsman to score a century in both the semi-final and the final of a Cricket World Cup.
- Virat Kohli
The former Indian captain and the only player who is currently active on the list, Virat Kohli, ranks sixth in the list of all-time highest ODI cricket run scorers. The modern-day legend was born on 5 November 1988 in New Delhi, India. Kohli had made ODI debut against Sri Lanka on August 18, 2008, at the age of 19 years. Within 14 years, Kohli has scored over 12000 runs, including 43 centuries and 64 half-centuries, at a phenomenal average of above 57 and strike rate of almost 93. The 33-year-old has played 262 ODI matches for his country and captained his side in 95 of them. He has been the fastest to 8,000-12,000 runs in ODI cricket and holds the record for scoring the most number of centuries against a single team.
The Pakistani cricketer, who has been a professional cricket coach in recent times, has the seventh most number of runs in one’s ODI career. The tall Pakistani was born in Multan, Punjab, Pakistan, on 3 March 1970 and made ODI debut against the west Indies on 22 November 1991. Inzamam has scored 11,379 runs, including ten centuries and 83 half-centuries, at an average and strike rate of 39.5 and 74.2, respectively. He has represented his nation, Pakistan, in 378 ODI matches. Inzamam holds the record for scoring the fifth most ODI runs in a single ground, with 2464 runs scored at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, and scored the tenth-highest number of half-centuries in ODI cricket, with 93 of them.
These seven players have been a rockstar in the game during their respective eras. The bowlers feared them, and special meetings were held by the opposition to discuss how to get these legendary players to play a loose shot and uproot their wicket. They were run-machines for their respective country and helped their team achieve various milestones. Virat Kohli is the only person in the group still playing International cricket and probably even has the chance to break Sachin’s humongous records, which seem unbreakable for any other player. You can check out cricket highlights today to learn more about your favorite players.
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