Top Ten ODI Innings Played by Indian Batsmen

Ever since Syed Abid Ali became the first Indian to wear the Indian Cap in limited overs cricket in 1974-75 to Akshar Patel, the latest to play for India in 2014, the Indian ODI team has featured over just over 200 cricketers and had played 830 matches in its 40 years. But only a few cricketers had the privilege to earn a place in the honours board. And while speaking of batting records, the Indian batting baton in ODI’s has changed hands from the legendary Sunny Gavaskar to the mastero Sachin Tendulkar and now to the ever reliable Virat Kohli. Here we bring you the list of top ten ODI innings played by Indian batsmen in ODI’s.

Kapil Dev’s Classic at Tunbridge Wells

It might be considered as unfortunate for the cricket lovers around the world. The British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC) workers went on a strike and no provisional cameras were available to capture the miraculous show of extraordinary and aggressive bating by the former Indian captain Kapil Dev. Since then, the fans around the world have been in a spark of imagination recounting the Kapil Dev’s classic innings of 175* against Zimbabwe during the 1983 World Cup. After batting first, India were reeling at 17-5 as the Zimbabwean quick Kevin Curran ran havoc in the Indian top order. Kapil Dev walked into bat trying to restore some pride and inject life into the match.

He played his natural game and took full advantage of the short boundary, threading the field with drives, cuts, flicks and pulls. Roger Binny and Ravi Shastri couldn’t hold the fort and it was left to Kapil Dev along with the company of Madan Lal, Syed Kirmani and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan. Madan and Kirmani are a decent bats at number 9 and 10, gave Kapil the much needed backing and Kapil continued to dispatch the bowling to all parts. His hundred came off 72 balls, and finally he raced to 175 from just over three hours of exhilarating batting, facing 138 balls, hitting six sixes and 16 boundaries. From 17-5 to 78-7, India managed to play out the 60 overs and put on a fighting 266-8 on the board. Later in the second innings, Madan Lal ensured Kapil’s knock was not left in vein as he bowled brilliantly and won India the match by a margin of 31 runs.    

Sachin’s Desert Storm Innings

“The best innings he has ever played” is how commentator Ravi Shastri described Sachin’s performance in an eventual Semi-Finals against Australia at Sharjah. India needed to win the match to qualify for the finals of the Coca Cola Cup or end up scoring atleast 253 runs in order to get a back door entry into the finals and pip the Kiwis with a better Net Run Rate. Sachin began cautiously and after surviving the initial overs, he cut loose. He stamped his authority ovet the Aussie bowlers and literally owned Shane Warne in that particular innings. After a fruitful innings of a well made 143 off 131 balls which included 9 fours and 5 sixes, Sachin got out and India were in a brink of qualifying for the finals.

The match was interrupted in between due to a sand storm and because of that, Sachin’s Sharjah Special was named as “Desert Storm”. “I’ll be going to bed having nightmares of Sachin just running down the wicket and belting me back over the head for six. He was unstoppable. I don’t think anyone, apart from Don Bradman, is in the same class as Sachin Tendulkar. He is just an amazing player.”-  Shane Warne in an interview when he was asked about that knock.

The Yuvi-Kaif show at Lord’s

The aftermath of this knock is history in Indian cricket and it thought the team how to win matches overseas. India faced England in the finals of 2002 Natwest Tri-series and was a give a target of 326 in fifty overs courtesy a twin century from Marcus Trescothick and Naseer Hussain. In those days, there was no T20 cricket and any score in excess of 280is a mountain to climb for the opposition. India started off strongly with some quick-fire knocks from Virender Sehwag and skipper Ganguy before losing its way in the middle overs. When Sachin got out in the 24th over with the score on 146, everyone thought that it was curtains for India. It was when two youngsters rose to the occasion.

Mohammed Kaif came out to join Yuvraj Singh in the middle and started their counter attack from the word go. The duo put on 121 runs in 18 overs and set the platform for India’s victory. Yuvraj was the destructor in chief initially and got out after doing majority of the damage with a 63 ball 67. And in the end, it was Kaif who batted with the tailenders and carried India home with a 75 ball 87. That knock not only won India the seires but started a new era in Indian cricket. Sourav Ganguly’s celebration at the Lord’s balcony is most remembered in that match.

Dhoni’s destruction at Jaipur

After MS Dhoni’s innings of 148 against Pakistan at Vizag in only his fifth International match, everyone thought Dhoni might follow the footsteps of Dinesh Mongia as an one-time wonder. Later that year against Sri Lanka in Jaipur, Dhoni produced a stunning knock and silenced his critics. Chasing exactly 299 to win, India lost their star batsman Sachin Tendulkar early and a surprise was at store for the fans watching the match. Walked in India’s wicket-keeper MS Dhoni at the fall of first wicket and he had a mission in his hand, to see India crossing the line without and hiccups. Dhoni started hiss well aggressively and smashed each and every bowler to all parts of the field.

He showed no respite for the opposition and reached his century within no time. Everyone except Muttiah Muralitharan was taken to the cleaners by the brute power of Dhoni as he carried India home with over 3 overs to spare. Dhoni scored 183 off 145 balls, a destruction that included 15 boundaries and 10 over it and thus signalled the arrival of yet another superstar in Indian cricket. During this knock, Dhoni broke several records and became a sensation among the fans around the world.

Sachin Special at Hyderabad

One cannot simply forget Sachin’s spectacular knock of 175 off just 141 balls against the Aussies in Hyderabad. India chasing a mammoth target of 351, needed their opener Sachin to fire. Sachin started off with a bang by reaching his 17,000th ODI run when he flicked a Ben Hilfenhaus’ delivery to the deep square leg. Sachin’s innings reminded everyone of the Desert Storm innings and he scored his 45th ODI ton in the process. He didn’t face any difficulties throughout the knock and got out to a Clint MccKay’s variation when India needed 19 off 17. Guess what happened in the end? It was a repeat of Sachin’s 136 against Pakistan in Chennai and India went on to lose the game by 3 runs. Even though India lost the match,

Sachin Tendulkar gave the fans a visual treat which could never be forgotten in life.“The last time I watched Sachin was last week when he was on his way to a spectacular 175 and once again I felt that I was watching a player who comes but once in a century. It can be said that he is the Bradman of our times and I do feel privileged to have played a lot of cricket against him”- Steve Waugh on the Knock of 175 against Sachin.

Sachin’s Super Man’s show at Gwalior

200* off 147 balls- The first double hundred by a batsman in ODI’s. Nothing can describe this innings better than what Ravi Shastri said at the commentary when the history took place. “First man in the Planet to score a Double Hundred and it’s the Super Man from India Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar”

Gauti and Dhoni’s historical innings at Wankhade

April 2, 2011, the day that most of the Indian fans won’t forget in their life time as India lifted the World Cup after a long gap of 28 years. After starting well, India conceded runs towards the end of the innings and Sri Lanka posted a challenging 275 on the board. India, under pressure to win the tournament in their own backyard lost their openers Sachin and Sehwag early. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli steadied the ship before Kohli was caught and bowled by Dilshan. To everyone’s surprise, out of form MS Dhoni walked out to bat ahead of the man in red hot form Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina. Known to maintain his cool under pressure, Dhoni played sensibly and counter-attacked the Lankan attack. Gambhir was at his fluent best and the left-right combo denied Sri Lanka yet another breakthrough.

Gambhir used his feet well against the spinners reached a pole position to score a ton but got out trying to charge down the wicket to Thisara Perera for 97 off 122 balls. By the time Gauti got out, India reached a safer position with just 52 needing of 57 balls. MS Dhoni remained calm and carried India to their second World Cup victory with a superb 78 ball 91. The 111 partnership between Dhoni and Gambhir set India the platform and both their innings carried equal importance in India winning the World Cup.

Vintage Viru at Indore

After Sachin scored the first double century at Gwalior in 2010, it was considered as the feat that can never be achieved. But Sachin’s long time opening partner Virender Sehwag got the better of that knock against West Indies at Indore a year later. After choosing to bat first, Indian skipper Sehwag started his show right from the word go. He was his usual self throughout the fearless knock against a decent West Indian attack. Sehwag’s hand-eye co-ordination worked to perfection as he smashed 25 fours and 7 sixes in his 149 ball 219. He didn’t even spare West Indies’ mystery spinner Sunil Narine as he went berserk against their bowling attack. At the end of their 50 overs, India finished their innings by scoring 418-5.

Virat Kohli’s Hobart Humdinger

India were down and under in the 2011-12 CB series held down under. Out of nowhere, India were given a lifeline of making it to the finals of the CB series if they win their final round-robin match against Sri Lanka and wait for the result of Sri Lanka vs Australia to go their way. Batting first at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart, Sri Lanka posted 320-4 with a brilliant 105 from Kumar Sangakkara and a master class of Dilshan that had an innings of 160. India needed to win the match before 40 overs for staying alive in the tournament. Openers Sachin and Sehwag gave India the start they wanted and got out before the tenth over with 86 on the board.

Virat Kohli walked out and with the company of experienced Gautam Gambhir, he started playing his shots. He completely owned the Sri Lankan bowling attack as he whacked the ball to the boundary and over it. Gambhir got out for 63 leaving Suresh Raina to join Kohli in the middle. Kohli continued his onslaught and stamped his own authority over the Sri Lanka bowlers especially Lasith Malinga as the World best death overs bowler was assaulted with 96 runs in less than 8 overs with 24 coming from a single over from the bat of Kohli. India reached the target in 36.4 overs with seven wickets left in hand and stayed alive in the tournament. Kohli’s brutal knock of 133 off 86 balls that had 16 fours and 2 sixes carried India home.

Hit-Man’s destruction at Bengaluru

After Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, it was yet another Indian who scored a double hundred in ODI’s. After so much criticisms over his place in the Indian team for a long time, highly talented Rohit Sharma silenced his critics with a gem of an innings at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. The special part of the innings is the way how he carried it out.

After starting the innings in his own fashion, he batted cautiously till he reached his fifty off 71 balls and started to attack the bowlers. He was at his best during the knock and took 32 more balls to reach his fourth international hundred. It was when he stepped on the accelerator. He smashed the bowlers beyond the ropes and out of nowhere he got to his double hundred with the second hundred coming off just 42 balls. His 158 ball 209 included 12 boundaries and 16 maximums, which is a record for most number of sixes in an innings. Rohit helped India to reach 383 for 5 in their fifty overs.

With that Top Ten ODI Innings played by Indian batsmen since the inception of ODI cricket is listed in the order of its time period.

Some of the knocks that deserved to be in the Top Ten ODI Innings played by Indian batsmen but couldn’t take place because of those above mentioned innings are:

Rahul Dravid’s 153 vs Sri Lanka

Sourav Ganguly’s 183 vs Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli’s 183 vs Pakistan

Sachin Tendulkar’s 163 vs New Zealand

Sachin Tendulkar’s 98 vs Pakistan

Dinesh Mongia’s 159 vs Zimbabwe

Sourav Ganguly’s 141 vs Pakistan

Sachin Tendulkar’s 143 vs Australia


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