The opening spots were filled by the intimidating pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Adam Gilchrist, but there were several others who came up in the conversation:
246 matches, 8,305 runs @35.79, SR: 91.61, 21 100s, HS: 189
148 wickets @ 39.72, ER: 4.70, 1 five-for, BBI: 5-17
BG: I picked Sanath and Gilchrist, with Sachin at No.4, though that’s a bit of a cheat. They have quite similar records to each other. Gilchrist’s batting numbers are slightly better, but Sanath had loads more hundreds, and that Champions Trophy hundred is one of the great forgotten innings. I’m pretty sure it’s the only time a player has scored more than 50 per cent of the runs in a completed ODI. And then he also took nearly 150 wickets.
198 matches, 7,371 runs @ 41.17, SR: 83.62, 19 100s, HS: 153*
148 wickets @ 33.45, ER: 4.75, 1 five-for, BBI: 5-49
BG: More hundreds up top than Sachin, and as many wickets in the decade as Sanath.
215 matches, 6,933 runs @ 34.49, SR: 102.95, 12 100s, HS: 146
YR: An honourable mention to Sehwag, an almost identical record to Gilchrist but without the World Cups.
And there were some who didn’t, but perhaps should have, come under consideration.
148 matches, 5,847 runs @ 45.32, SR: 80.82, 10 100s, HS: 181*
While he didn’t score as quickly or make the same weight of runs as Adam Gilchrist, he did average significantly more than the wicketkeeper, and only slightly less than Tendulkar.
123 matches, 4,335 runs @ 37.37, SR: 85.21, 12 100s, HS: 137
Until recently England’s record ODI hundreds maker, and still joint-second on the list, Trescothick played his entire career in the 2000s. His record doesn’t quite compare to some of the others however, both in terms of raw numbers and in terms of big tournaments affected.