As part of Wisden’s 2020 in Review series, a panel of staff writers picked out the ODI innings of the year.
Two came against England, two were made against India, while the other was made against Australia.
Wisden’s ODI innings of the year, No.5: Heinrich Klaasen 123* (114)
South Africa v Australia
Runs came slowly at first – Klaasen was nine off 24 before the introduction of D’Arcy Short and Mitchell Marsh offered some respite – but it was David Miller’s entrance that saw him truly up the tempo, with Hazlewood and Zampa taken for three boundaries in three consecutive overs. The first two were smashed disdainfully to midwicket, while the third was delightful, a picture-perfect straight drive to celebrate a half-century. Still, this was a knock about much more than big hits; it was a supremely paced innings on a two-paced pitch, expertly assessed and dealt with through plenty of clubbed and squirted singles.
Wisden’s ODI innings of the year, No.4: Steve Smith 105 (66)
Australia v India, 1st ODI
Sydney Cricket Ground
November 27, 2020
“I just found a nice rhythm again.”
Playing his first ODI in nine months, Steve Smith blazed Australia’s third-fastest one-day century of all time, later admitting that he had rediscovered some of his batting form after a couple of scratchy months. A brilliant exhibition of one-day acceleration in the middle overs, the knock possibly set the tone for the entire tour.
Wisden’s ODI innings of the year, No.3: Ross Taylor 109* (84)
New Zealand v India, 1st ODI
Seddon Park, Hamilton
February 5, 2020
When you speak of ODI batting greats, for some inexplicable reason, Ross Taylor’s is a name that doesn’t often get mentioned, despite the fact that only three batsmen – all of whom do get mentioned in that conversation – have scored more runs than him since 2010.
On a February evening in 2020, just weeks before Covid-19 changed the face of life as we knew it, Taylor made his case again, in the presence of India’s captain, who is already widely regarded as an all-time ODI great.
Wisden’s ODI innings of the year, No.2: Paul Stirling 142 (128)
England v Ireland, 3rd ODI
Ageas Bowl, Southampton
You didn’t have to be a brainbox to read Stirling’s thoughts: “Toss it up, Rash, and I’ll send you over cow.” When the Irishman got on one knee, there was nothing romantic about it; he wanted to give it a whack and so he did, taking three sixes off England’s most potent weapon in a riveting duel.
Wisden’s ODI innings of the year, No.1: Glenn Maxwell 108 (90)
England v Australia
Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
Invariably now, when he comes to the crease, the game is set; Maxwell is reacting to a specific match scenario. Concerns over his game management are less relevant when he is almost always in search of quick runs from ball one. This was never more the case than against England in the series decider at Manchester, when Maxwell had no choice but to try and hit Australia out of trouble, and succeeded in spectacular style.