Top 10 Batters with Most Runs in ODI Cricket

image-lls4wm1eVirat Kohli alongside his idol Sachin Tendulkar (Twitter)

Emerging from the inaugural Cricket World Cup victory by the West Indies in 1975, the One-day format solidified its foundation. Since then, the game has experienced a series of metamorphoses. 

Initially contested with a red ball and spanning 60 overs per innings, ODI cricket underwent a transformative phase with the introduction of the white ball, trimming the overs to 50 for each team. Simultaneously, a sartorial shift took place, with teams embracing colourful attire starting from the 1992 World Cup. 

This evolution was accompanied by the implementation of game-altering rules such as power plays and the utilisation of two new balls per innings, culminating in a revolutionary transition in the landscape of ODI cricket.

Batters with Most Runs in ODI Cricket

Throughout the years, the cricketing arena has witnessed the rise of numerous exceptional batsmen, from Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli, each generation contributing its own greatness to the mix. As the game's evolution remains dynamic, new players will inevitably rise to stamp their authority in the 50-over format. Amidst these transformations, there exists a select group who have pioneered the sport's progress over time. This leads us to a compelling question: Who are the cricketers deserving of a spot among the top ODI batters of all time? Here's a list of the top 10 best ODI batters of all time.

1) Sachin Tendulkar

image-llpdhru4Sachin Tendulkar (Twitter)

Sachin Tendulkar, known as the "Master Blaster," holds the top spot in ODI run records with an incredible 18,426 runs. He played 452 innings, achieving this score at an average of 44.83 and a strike rate of 86.2. Tendulkar marked 145 scores of fifty or more and 49 centuries. His boundary count includes 2016 fours and 195 sixes, with a personal best of 200*, the first-ever double century in ODI history. Yet, Tendulkar's impact goes far beyond numbers. He catalyzed India's white-ball cricket dominance in the 1990s and was the first to reach 10,000 ODI runs. His influence stretches beyond scores and runs, making him a towering figure among ODI legends.

2) Kumar Sangakkara

image-llpdu4p4Kumar Sangakkara (Twitter)

Sangakkara stands as the second-highest run scorer in the format, amassing 14,234 runs, trailing just behind Sachin. His one-day average of 41.89 might not be the highest, yet it's impressive, especially given his role as a wicketkeeper. He secured 93 fifties and 25 centuries during his 15-year-long ODI career with a personal best of 169. Though he missed an ODI World Cup victory, he was part of the Sri Lankan teams that reached the finals in both 2007 and 2011.

3) Ricky Ponting

image-llpdudhjRicky Ponting (Twitter)

Australian cricket's modern colossus, Ricky Ponting, compiled 13,704 runs at an average of 42.03 in 375 matches through his aggressive and commanding style. The right-handed batter has 30 hundreds and 82 fifties to his name with a personal best of 164. A leader par excellence, Ponting also led his country to two World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007. Ponting's supremacy with the bat underscored his stature as one of the game's luminaries.

4) Sanath Jayasuriya

image-llpduq6qSanath Jayasuriya (Twitter)

The trailblazer of innovative opening batting, Jayasuriya blazed a trail of 13,430 runs with his explosive prowess. Being one of the most explosive batters of his time, Jayasuriya’s avant-garde approach redefined the art of power-hitting at the outset of an ODI and his career strike rate of 91.20 proves that. The left-handed batter struck 28 hundred and 68 fifties.  Jayasuriya's aggressive style transformed the role of an opening batsman, setting new standards for scoring in the limited-overs format. His fearless and innovative approach to batting laid the foundation for Sri Lanka's dominance in ODI cricket during the late 1990s and early 2000s. His ability to demolish bowling attacks, particularly during the early overs, made him a game-changer.

5) Virat Kohli

image-llpdv4i1Virat Kohli (Twitter)

Undoubtedly, Kohli reigns as the best ODI batter of the current generation. He stands head and shoulders above all other active ODI cricketers. His match-winning prowess is unmatched and has persisted for more than a decade. There's been no consistent force in ODI cricket quite like Kohli. His remarkable average of 57.32 is a testament to his unwavering performance. Kohli's monumental tally of 12,898 runs in 275 matches at an astounding average of 57.32 and a strike rate of 93.62 underscores his dominance. He boasts numerous records in the ODI format, which truly showcases his mastery. This is indeed the arena where he truly shines.

6) Mahela Jayawardene

image-llpdveuuMahela Jayawardene (Twitter)

Known for his graceful shots and flawless technique, Jayawardene amassed 12,650 runs in One-day cricket at an average of 33.37. The right-handed batter smashed 19 hundreds and 77 fifties. His skill in steadying an innings while sustaining an impressive strike rate highlighted his batting prowess. His leadership abilities were also significant, guiding Sri Lanka to the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup final. With his timeless batting style and contributions in the middle order, Jayawardene emerged as a premier ODI batter during his time. 

7) Inzamam-ul-Haq

image-llpdvojv Inzamam-ul-Haq (Twitter)

The legendary Pakistan cricketer accumulated 11,739 runs in ODI at an average of 39.52 with the help of 10 centuries and 83 half-centuries. His vital role in steering Pakistan towards numerous iconic triumphs cannot be overstated. In pressure-packed situations, Inzamam's ability to perform made him an integral part of Pakistan's batting roster. His illustrious career not only highlighted his batting prowess but also underscored his substantial impact in shaping Pakistan's achievements in the ODI arena.

8) Jacques Kallis

image-llpdvx5cJacques Kallis (Twitter)

Across a remarkable 17-year career, Kallis accumulated 11,579 runs in 328 games, demonstrating his remarkable abilities in both batting and bowling. His well-rounded technique and versatile skills established him as one of cricket's premier all-rounders. His proficiency as a batsman, combined with his exceptional bowling talent, greatly benefited the South African team. Kallis' versatility, whether at the top of the order or down the lineup, reinforced his role as a pivotal player. With his extraordinary achievements and unwavering dedication, he rightfully secured a position among the ODI cricket legends.

9) Sourav Ganguly

image-llpdw88vSourav Ganguly (Twitter)

Ganguly's ODI journey was defined by his bold approach and captivating leadership. Accumulating 11,363 runs at an average of 41.02, including 22 centuries and 72 half-centuries, Ganguly exemplified his remarkable batting prowess as an opener for the Indian team. His pivotal role in shaping India's supremacy in cricket during the early 2000s cannot be overlooked. Ganguly's strategic brilliance propelled him to become one of India's most influential captains, revolutionizing the team's performance and ushering in a new era of competitiveness. His aggressive playing style, complemented by his leadership attributes, etched an enduring legacy in Indian cricket and firmly established him as a central figure in the annals of ODI history.

10) Rahul Dravid

image-llpdwjcxRahul Dravid (Twitter)

Dravid, who was known as a Test specialist, has a stellar record in one-day cricket as well. The gritty batter was defined by his unwavering determination and technical finesse. He established himself as a reliable middle-order batsman for India, accumulating 10,889 runs at an average of 39.16, including 12 centuries and 83 half-centuries. Revered as "The Wall," he adeptly anchored the innings and offered stability in challenging scenarios. Dravid's steadfast commitment to his role as the backbone of the batting lineup played a pivotal role in India's triumphs on both home and foreign soil. Despite often operating in the shadows of more flamboyant teammates, his contributions were fundamental in laying the groundwork for India's victories.