Top 5 Fastest Double Centuries in ODI Cricket

image-lsfr13lrPathum Nissanka is the lastest entrant in the ODI double centuries list (Twitter)

The landscape of One-Day International (ODI) cricket has been revolutionized over the past decade, with batters pushing the boundaries of what was once thought possible. A century in any form of cricket is a significant achievement, but scoring a double century in the high-pressure, time-constrained environment of limited-overs cricket is a monumental feat.

Historically, the prospect of a double century in ODIs seemed like a distant dream, with cricketing legends like Sir Vivian Richards and Saeed Anwar coming extremely close but falling short. However, the narrative began to change on February 24, 2010, when Sachin Tendulkar shattered the barrier, scoring the first-ever double-century in ODI cricket which set the stage for a new era of batting dominance.

Here’s a look at the top three fastest double centuries in ODI cricket.

1. Ishan Kishan: 126 Balls

In a groundbreaking performance in December 2022, Ishan Kishan etched his name in history books by becoming the seventh cricketer to notch up a double century in ODIs, achieving this milestone in the quickest time on record. During India's third ODI against Bangladesh, the left-handed batsman unleashed a batting masterclass, reaching his 200 in just 126 deliveries, courtesy of an explosive display that included ten sixes and 24 fours. Partnering with Virat Kohli, Kishan was instrumental in stitching a mammoth 290-run stand for the second wicket, with Kohli contributing a formidable 113 off 91 balls.

image-lsfr38lwIshan Kishan (Twitter)

Their combined efforts propelled India to a commanding total of 409 for 8, setting the stage for a dominant bowling performance that saw Bangladesh dismissed for 182 in just 34 overs. Closing his innings at 210 runs from 131 balls, Kishan not only had a strike rate of 160.31—surpassing all previous double-centurions in this metric—but also became the youngest player to score a double-century in ODIs. Remarkably, this was also his maiden century in the format, which he converted into a double ton.

2. Glenn Maxwell: 128 Balls

Glenn Maxwell brought the house down with an unbeaten 201 off 128 balls during the ICC World Cup 2023, a knock that stands as one of the most extraordinary innings in cricket history. In a crucial match, Maxwell's masterclass performance singlehandedly turned the tide for Australia, rallying from an abysmal position of 91/7 to successfully chase down a target of 292, thereby securing their place in the World Cup semi-finals. 

This remarkable innings was filled with 21 fours and 10 colossal sixes, summing up Maxwell's aggressive and fearless batting style. Facing a significant challenge after Afghanistan's Ibrahim Zadran set a formidable foundation with a historic 129 not out from 143 balls—the first World Cup century by an Afghan player—the Australian team found themselves in dire straits.

image-lsfr2vdsGlenn Maxwell (Twitter)

The Afghan bowlers had effectively dismantled the Australian batting lineup, leaving Maxwell as the sole recognized batter standing amidst the ruins of Australia's top order. Despite reaching a seemingly consolation century in just 76 balls, Maxwell's celebration was muted, perhaps an acknowledgment of the uphill battle that lay ahead. 

However, battling cramps and the mounting pressure, Maxwell's resolve only hardened, his innings growing in stature as he took the Afghan bowlers to task. His unbeaten 201 not only marked the first instance of a player scoring a double century in the second innings of an ODI but also highlighted his pivotal role in what can only be described as a miraculous chase, firmly imprinting his name in the history books with one of cricket's most unforgettable performances.

3. Pathum Nissanka: 136 Balls

Pathum Nissanka recently became the first Sri Lankan to score a double century in One-Day International (ODI) cricket, achieving this remarkable milestone against Afghanistan on February 9 in Pallekele. Nissanka's innings saw him reach the 200-run mark off just 136 deliveries, positioning him as the third-fastest cricketer to achieve such a feat, trailing only behind Ishan Kishan and Glenn Maxwell in the record books. 

In a match where Afghanistan's captain Hashmatullah Shahidi elected to field first, Sri Lanka capitalized on the opportunity to amass a huge total of 381 for 3.

image-lsfr2hijPathum Nissanka (Twitter)

Nissanka, in a display of both patience and explosive power, spearheaded the Sri Lankan innings. Alongside Avishka Fernando, he laid a solid foundation with an opening stand of 182 runs in 26.2 overs before Fernando's dismissal for 88 off 88 balls. Post-Fernando's exit, Nissanka escalated his attack, punishing the Afghan bowlers mercilessly and closing his innings unbeaten at 210 off 139 balls, including 20 boundaries and 8 sixes. In response, Afghanistan was restricted to 339/6, falling short by 42 runs.

4. Chris Gayle: 138 Balls

West Indies stalwart, Chris Gayle made history during the ICC World Cup 2015 by becoming the first non-Indian batsman to score a double century in ODIs. His exceptional innings came against Zimbabwe in a group stage match played at Canberra. Gayle's explosive 215 runs came off 147 balls, with the 200-mark reached in just 138 deliveries. 

This innings was not just significant for its sheer volume of runs but also for the context in which it was scored, marking the first double-century in the history of the ODI World Cup.

image-lsftivuxChris Gayle (Twitter)

Gayle's innings was a spectacular display of power-hitting, featuring a barrage of boundaries, including 10 fours and 16 sixes, setting a new benchmark for batting in limited-overs cricket. This performance was a key factor in the West Indies amassing a formidable total of 372 for 2. Zimbabwe, in response, could not keep up with the required run rate and was eventually bowled out for 289, handing the West Indies a comfortable victory by 73 runs. 

Additionally, this innings allowed Chris Gayle to etch his name in cricket history uniquely, becoming the first cricketer to score a century in T20 Internationals, a double century in ODIs, and a triple century in Test matches.

5. Virender Sehwag: 140 Balls

Known for his aggressive batting style, Virender Sehwag became the second batsman ever to score a double century in ODIs during a match against West Indies on December 8, 2011, in Indore. Opening the batting for India, Sehwag unleashed an array of strokes all around the ground, bringing up his 200 in just 140 balls. 

He eventually finished with a then world-record ODI score of 219 runs from 149 deliveries, including 25 fours and 7 sixes. Sehwag's remarkable innings was the cornerstone of India's massive total of 418 for 5, setting a massive target for the West Indies.

image-lsftj69iVirender Sehwag (Twitter)

In response, the Caribbean side was restricted to 265 all out, with India securing a staggering 153-run victory. This performance by Sehwag was instrumental in showcasing the potential for high-scoring individual feats in the 50-over format and highlighted his reputation as one of the most destructive openers in cricket history.

His record stood as the highest individual score in ODIs until November 2014, when it was surpassed by fellow Indian Rohit Sharma. Sehwag's double century was a groundbreaking moment in ODI cricket, demonstrating the evolution of batting in the limited-overs format and setting new standards for future generations.