5 Best Ever Indian Batsmen In ODIs

The Indian team has progressed by leaps and bounds since first making its initial steps in the ODI circuit. Under the guidance of the legendary Kapil Dev, India first won the Cricket World Cup in 1983.

 Later, this feat was repeated only after 28 years, as MS Dhoni led his group of men with aplomb to lift the World Cup at Wankhede Stadium in 2011. However, over the years, it became apparent that batting was India’s biggest strength in limited overs cricket.

The Indian batting order boasted of some of the best batsmen from world cricket, and hence they seemed to dominate the opposition bowlers in ODI matches even in overseas conditions. And here are the top 5 ODI batsmen in the history of Indian cricket…

#5 MS Dhoni

Perhaps the most uncanny name in this list, but MS Dhoni has time and again proven his mettle in ODI cricket due to his prolonged consistency and a unique skill set.

Having started off as a swashbuckling batsman who was primarily tasked with finishing the innings, Dhoni developed and adapted himself into becoming a more mature, calmer version of him for the betterment of the team and his career alike.

He has been a pillar in the middle order for India in the last decade or so and has played some extremely crucial knocks throughout the course of his career. Dhoni’s unbeaten innings of 91 runs from 79 deliveries in the finals of the 2011 Cricket World Cup will forever be etched in the memories of all cricket enthusiasts.

His ability to deliver brilliant performances under pressure means that the former captain is banked upon to carry the team ahead in strenuous situations during chasing big totals. He has scored 10046 runs from 321 ODI matches, which is an astonishing stat for a player who majorly played in the middle order in his career.

His technique might not be of everyone’s liking, but surely is effective and the Indian team has reaped its benefits over the years.

#4 Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid is someone whose name is often associated amongst the greats in Test cricket, but the Bangalore-based batsman’s exploits in ODIs often undeservedly are unnoticed.

With a classical Test match technique, Dravid brought solidarity to the Indian team’s batting lineup and was often tasked with steadying the ship and guiding the innings through the middle overs.

He was well-equipped in dealing with both spinners and pacers, and even sportingly took up the wicket-keeping duties when then-captain Saurav Ganguly asked him to do so. Dravid might not have been the most aggressive batsman but ensured that he instilled stability in the innings with his composed demeanor and a solid batting technique.

Dravid scored 10889 runs from 344 ODIs, whilst also notching twelve centuries during this process. He averaged 39.16 overall, but it was the sheer consistency that he brought into the game, which warrants his place in this list.

Maybe, he was very unlucky to finish without a World Cup winners’ medal. However, Dravid’s legacy in 50 overs cricket should not be diminished because of this.

#3 Sourav Ganguly

India’s one of most successful captains, Sourav Ganguly is India’s second highest run-scorers in ODI cricket too. Ganguly usually opened the batting with Sachin Tendulkar, but occasionally shifted to the number 3 position too, in order to accommodate Virender Sehwag in the setup.

He was a very dynamic batsman, whose strokes through the off side were sumptuous and his footwork was fleet and tidy too. Ganguly was an aggressive batsman, who tried to impose himself upon the bowlers through some initial boundaries.

His technique was profound whilst dealing with the extra bounce, and he usually stood on his feet to accurately play the cut shot through the point region. He did not fear to hit the ball in the air and used to dominate the spinners once he acquired the proper knack of the pitch condition.

Being a left-handed batsman, Ganguly’s natural bat swing allowed him to hit the left-armed off spinners over the mid-wicket region.

He scored 11221 runs from 308 ODI internationals and played a huge role in integrating a young group of players in the first team who quite effectively took over the mantle from him and ensured that the team stayed in the correct pathway after Ganguly’s retirement.

#2 Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli’s rise to prominence has been fascinating to the layman, as the current Indian captain made rapid strides ever since making his debut in 2008. He made his debut in India’s tour to Srilanka and has not looked back ever since.

Kohli’s ability to constantly adapt, improve and implement his skills on the field helps him consistently notch runs at the important stages. Kohli’s temperament is commendable, and so is his mental strength that allows him to take control of the game from delicate situations.

He has the ability to completely change the momentum of the game while batting, and more often than not, Kohli tends to come out victorious in the end. He has developed his batting technique over the years, gradually overcoming his shortcomings while facing short-pitched deliveries and sharp out-swingers.

Already, Kohli has scored 35 centuries in ODI cricket, having scored 9779 runs from 211 matches. Considering his fitness and form, one could well bank on Kohli to upstage the next person in this list as India’s, and arguably, world cricket’s greatest ever ODI batsman.

#1 Sachin Tendulkar:

Undoubtedly, the top spot belongs to probably the most graceful batsman to have played for the Indian cricket team. Tendulkar defied odds with supreme performances for over a course of two decades.

He opened the innings for the majority of his career, and had a peculiar way of pacing the innings.

Tendulkar looked to dominate any sort of bowler in front of him, but was smart too and adapted well to any condition in which the team was supposed to play. He scored runs with a strike rate of 86.23 and scored 49 centuries in ODI cricket.

Tendulkar’s ability to bounce back in form from regular injuries throughout his career indicates that his mental resolve was stronger than many other players.

Eventually, he scored 18426 runs from 463 ODIs and was India’s highest, and the overall the second highest run scorer (behind Tilikaratne Dilshan) in India’s 2011 World Cup winning campaign. As of now, no one except probably Kohli looks to be close to match the credentials of the Tendulkar, at least in ODI cricket. 


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