Best Cricket ODI Innings of Decade
2 years ago
Cricket has a huge fan base around the world. Some people also consider it as a religion. The most popular format of this game is ODI. There are many great innings played in the previous decade in which players have showcased their talent, focus, power and class. When on the field, a player tries to give 100% for the victory of his team and in this process results in great innings. So here we look up on the 10 best cricket ODI innings of the previous decade
Harmanpreet Kaur (171* off 115 balls in 2017 Women’s World Cup Semifinal)
This can be considered as one of the most spectacular innings played in a major tournament. Harmanpreet is one of the most flamboyant players in the Indian Women’s Cricket team. The dominance of Australian women’s cricket team can be seen from the fact that they have won 6 out of the 11 ODI World Cups. India faced the Australian side in the semi finals of the tournament. The Australian’s had a star studded lineup consisting of Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Villaini, Healy. It was an immensely difficult task to defeat the defending champions. India chose to bat first after winning the toss. Harmanpreet came in to bat at 35/2 after 9.2 overs. Then started the show. Harmanpreet started bashing the Australian bowlers in and out of the field. Her sheer class, brilliance and power was showcased throughout. She scored 171 not out of the 115 deliveries faced which consisted of 20 fours and 7 sixes. Her innings helped India to reach 281 in a rain reduced game of 42 overs each. India defeated Australia in this game by 36 runs. This is regarded as a milestone in Indian Women’s Cricket.
Gautam Gambhir (97 off 122 balls in 2011 World Cup Final)
This is one of the most underrated innings in cricketing history. Most of us remember the 2011 World Cup Final match played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai for Dhoni’s 91* runs innings. Gambhir also played an equally good inning in this match. He came in after the dismissal of Virendra Sehwag in the first over itself. Sachin also got out in the 7th over. Understanding the gravity of the situation, Gambhir didn’t take any risk and started building up his innings. And then Gambhir played one of the most calm and poised knocks of the decade. He stayed on the crease till the 42nd over, in which he was bowled by Perera. He scored 97 runs with the help of 9 fours in the 122 balls that he faced against the fierce Sri Lankan bowling attack which had Lasith Malinga, Muralidharan and Kulasekara. The team effort ultimately led India to win this World Cup. This innings deserves to be in the list of the best innings of the decade because of the immense pressure under which it was played. Remaining calm and composed in a world cup final in front of your own home crowd, and that too when you haven’t won it for 28 years. This feat is certainly very difficult yet was achieved by Gambhir.
Rohit Sharma’s 264
Rohit is that kind of a player whom if you give a target, will double it and then chase it with ease. Rohit was making a comeback after injury in an ODI against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens in 2014. He wasn’t looking in a good touch in the initial phase of his innings and was even dropped on 4. But then, he took his time to settle down a bit and the rest remains history. Once he got his rhythm back in the middle overs, he started his art of destruction. Be it frontfoot or backfoot, he was cutting, slicing, pulling, hooking and sweeping the outclassed bowlers. After completing the century, he took 51 more balls to score the second hundred and another 21 balls to reach 264. He hit 33 fours and 9 massive sixes to score 264 runs off the 173 balls that he faced. This innings is remembered as one of the most ruthless hittings of any bowling attack in ODIs. This record of 264 runs is still registered as the highest score by an individual in an ODI match.
Ben Stokes (2019 World Cup Final vs New Zealand)
A country which invented Cricket hadn’t won its ODI World Cup till 2019. The 2019 World Cup was happening on their home soil and the team was also full of in-form players. New Zealand batted first and set up a target of 242 in 50 overs. Stokes arrived at the crease when England’s innings was stumbling at 71/3 in the 20th over. Along with Buttler, he built up a partnership and steered England further. In the last 5 overs when wickets were falling at regular intervals, Stokes remained calm and instead of going for reckless shots, he took calculated risk. He mostly played grounded shots. He was converting 1s into 2s, and was diving to save his wicket. He scored 84 not out off the 98 balls that he faced with the help of 5 fours and 2 sixes. Finally, he tied the scores which led to a super over, in which again he scored 8 runs off 3 balls and ultimately led England to win this World Cup. Though there are many controversies about a boundary and the super over rules, yet this innings remains as one of the most iconic innings played at a big stage and that too in such a pressure situation.
Virat Kohli 133*
2012 was a time when most of the Indian legends were in the phase of retiring and the new generation was taking the place. Although Kohli had announced his entry into the international level before this account by some good knocks, he was not yet established as such a great batsman as he is today. India was playing the CB tri series with Australia and Sri Lanka in Australia in February of 2012. The 11th match of the series held in Hobart became a knockout match for India due to the positions in the points table. To stay in the competition India required to chase down a target of 321 in mere 40 overs against Sri Lanka. Kohli stepped on the crease in the tenth over and then the world saw an unprecedented inning. He remained careful till the 24th over and then started changing his gears rapidly. He flicked Malinga and Kulasekara like a beast throughout the innings. He bashed four fours in the 31st over to Kulasekara. And then came the peak moment of this innings. Kohli hit Malinga for 2, 6, 4, 4, 4, 4 in the 35th over. He made Malinga look like a school kid in this over. India chased down the target of 321 in 36.4 overs. Kohli scored 133* off 86 balls including 16 fours and 2 sixes. This innings is a complete book of how to chase down targets in Cricket – steady and cautious in the beginning and power hitting towards the end. The fact that this was played on foreign soil adds to its glory. Since then, there has been no looking back for him. He is just evolving and evolving.
AB de Villiers 149 off 44 balls
South Africa was playing West Indies in the 2nd ODI on 16 January 2015 at the Wanderers. De Villiers came to bat in the 39th over after the fall of the first wicket. South Africa had a great start in this game but de Villiers made the end even greater. Captaining the side, in the next 44 balls he scored 149 runs. He made the records of fastest half century (in 16 balls) and fastest century (in 31 balls) in an ODI match. During this innings, he hit 9 fours and 16 massive sixes and proved his tag of Mr 360° true in this game. He literally hit the sixes all around the ground, ranging from third man to fine leg. The Windies bowlers were no match to de Villiers’s class in this game. A particular six, in the 47th over, which he hit on deep point off Russell’s yorker, is evident of ABD’s sheer masterclass.
Dhoni 91* World Cup Final 2011
Probably the most iconic innings played in the decade. India has to chase down the target of 274 in the 2011 world cup final. With early dismissals of Sehwag and Sachin, India was in a pressure situation from where Gambhir and Kohli steered India by a partnership of 83. In the 22nd over, Kohli got out with India still 161 away from the target. Dhoni pushed himself above in the lineup on the consultation of coach Gary Kirsten and Sachin Tendulkar. This was tactically a good decision as the opponent had 2 quality spinners including the likes of Muralidharan, which would have created difficulties if there were 2 lefties on the crease. From the first ball of the innings, Dhoni showed his firm intent of bringing back the World Cup to India. He very calmly built up his innings by taking his time in the beginning. But when the time was apt for slogging towards the end overs, he didn’t hesitate to do so even. By hitting 2 fours off Malinga in the 48th over, he confirmed the victory of India. In the next one, he hit Nuwan over long-on for a sweet six and thus India won the World Cup after 28 years. This innings has a special place in every Indian cricket fan’s memorabilia.
Yuvraj Singh’s 57* off 65 balls
The 2011 World Cup quarter final against Australia was a major breakthrough in Indian Cricket. Australia were three time consecutive World Champions. Australia set up a target of 261 with the help of Ricky Ponting’s 104. Yuvraj held the Indian innings when it was on the verge of falling apart. India lost Kohli, Gambhir and Dhoni in a span of 10 overs. And then Yuvraj had a 73 run stand with Raina to glide India to a victory in this match. His final boundary in the covers and then the celebration is worth remembrance. He scored unbeaten 57 runs off 65 balls with the help of 8 fours. He also took 2 wickets while bowling. Playing such a poised innings in a dry pitch, against the best of the oppositions and in a pressure situation at home ground while battling a disease on the personal level is not an easy task. Yet, Yuvraj did it and the whole tournament is a memory of his all round performance.
What a way to start the decade! Before February 2010 an individual 200 score in an ODI match seemed like a distant dream. But Sachin Tendulkar being ahead of his generation as always, realized this dream too. This was a slightly tricky wicket with South Africa having a young and fierce Dale Steyn and Kallis. The whole knock looked like a glimpse of Sachin’s hard work over these years. He scored 200 not out off the 147 deliveries he faced. He hit 25 fours and 3 sixes. He remained on the crease for full 50 overs. India scored 401/3 and won the match by 153 runs. Sachin was full of patience, determination and fierceness throughout the innings. This was the first individual 200 in Men’s ODI. This innings changed the perception of people towards ODIs. Teams started playing a more aggressive version of the game in this format.
Kevin O’Brien (113 runs off 63 balls in 2011 World cup)
Ireland was playing the world cup for the second time in 2011. They faced England in a group stage match in which England posted a mammoth total of 327 in the scoreboard. In response Ireland’s innings fumbled with a score of 106/4 after 23 overs. At this moment, Kevin O’Brien came on the crease and what happened next remains history. Kevin O’Brien broke the record for fastest century in a world cup match which holds till date. He completed his century in 50 balls. He single handedly destroyed the English bowling lineup consisting of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Gream Swann. He scored 113 runs of 63 balls to help Ireland win this match by 3 wickets and 5 balls remaining. This innings gave a major boost to motivate the players of the associate nations. This is one of those innings that awestruck the whole cricketing world.