Top 5 ODI batsmen in the world right now
A look at the five best willow-wielders in limited overs cricket.
With the India vs England Test series nearing its end and the ODI series all set to capture the imagination of cricket followers around the world, we thought now would be a good time to list the movers and shakers of limited overs cricket.
We start with the batsmen:
1. Virat Kohli
Declared by the cricket maestro Anil Kumble as the best player of the under-22 Indian squad, the future of Indian cricket rests in the hands of this batting legend in the making. While some have called him the Tendulkar of tomorrow, others have criticized him for his overly aggressive playing style. Nonetheless, Virat Kohli is considered by many to be the greatest ODI batsman alive. None of the following - Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Dean Jones, MS Dhoni, Michael Bevan, or even Sachin Tendulkar and Vivian Richards - had better records than Kohli at the cricketing timeline he currently finds himself in. After 134 games, Kohli has scored 19 centuries. Nobody else even came close; Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting were all many hundreds short of that number at the same stage in their careers. Whether or not he goes on to fulfill his immense potential, there’s no denying that right now, Virat Kohli is numero uno.
2. Hashim Amla
An elegant batsman blessed with the rare temperament that complements his immense skill with the blade, Hashim Amla loves to slam his wristy leg-side flicks that are a sheer delight to watch. A quiet man by nature, Amla is anything but silent on the pitch. There is no doubting his immense hunger for runs and his phenomenal execution to achieve those titanic totals has been bewitching the world for a while now. Amla is currently ranked second on the ODI batsmen list, below fellow bat-wielder AB de Villiers. He has scored 4312 runs in 88 one-day matches with a prodigious average of close to 55. A healthy strike rate of 90 only further reinforces his case.
3. AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers has slowly but steadily developed into South Africa’s version of Mr. Cricket. Capable of batting almost anywhere in the batting order, the innovative right-hand batting legend has reached the pinnacle of the ODI batting rankings, and he has maintained the top spot for a good amount of time. In his 162 ODI games, he has smashed 6543 runs with a supreme average of 49.98. With 17 centuries and 37 half-centuries, backed by a phenomenal strike rate of 94, it is not difficult to see why de Villiers is already considered a batting god. He is also among the fastest and the most instinctively talented runners between the wickets, making him a dream package for any cricketing side in the world.
4. M.S. Dhoni
Dubbed by cricket pundits as the best finisher in all of cricketing history, Dhoni certainly deserves a sport in the top five ODI batsmen list. His chief rivals for the best finisher spot are Mike Hussey and Michael Bevan, but MS steers clearly higher than both. The first and most important thing that sets Dhoni apart from the rest is the sheer number of 4s and 6s that he can produce on demand. He averages 2.825 fours and 0.82 sixes per match compared to Bevan's 2.3 and 0.1 and Hussey's 2.43 and 0.51 respectively. Secondly, Dhoni strike rate of 89, consistently across 200 innings, with an average of 51.45 makes him better than the Australian veterans. Dhoni has an average of 100 in all successful run chases by India, and he has been not-out in over 60% of them. This stat in itself makes Dhoni a legend.
5. Kumar Sangakkara
This Sri Lankan cricketing idol is considered by some as the greatest batsman since the time of the Don himself. While his Test credentials are simply out of the world, he isn’t far behind in limited overs cricket either. With close to 13,000 runs at a supreme average of 40.39 and a good strike rate of 77.61, Sangakkara is a batting marvel that never ceases to amaze. He is the mainstay of the Sri Lankan line-up and can always be counted upon, whether to accelerate the scoring rate or to hold one end up in trying conditions. A man for all occasions, Sangakkara is certain to go down in cricketing folklore as an all-time great.
This article is courtesy www.sportskeeda.com