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The all-time Australia ODI XI, based on the ICC rankings

Australia ODI XI
by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

Presenting an all-time Australia ODI XI, made up of players with the highest rankings in ICC’s all-time charts.

Similar to our other XIs, the team is made up of the four top-ranked specialist batsmen, the top-ranked wicketkeeper, the top two all-rounders, and four bowlers – three quicks and one spinner.

It’s a list filled with World Cup winners.

Adam Gilchrist

ICC all-time batting ranking: 41, career-best ranking: 1 (February ’04)
287 ODIs, 9,619 runs @ 35.89, 16 100s, HS: 172

Gilchrist’s power-packed presence made him a revolutionary wicketkeeper-batsman, one who could walk into any team by virtue of either asset. Among wicketkeepers, no one has scored more ODI runs at a better strike-rate (96.94), nor has anyone taken more catches (417). The three-time World Cup winner is an easy pick.

David Warner

ICC all-time batting ranking: 18, career-best ranking: 1 (January ’17)
128 ODIs, 5,455 runs @ 45.45, 18 100s, HS: 179

Warner picked up exactly where Hayden and Gilchrist left from, earning a reputation as a combative opening batsman who is ready to tear any attack to bits. Strong on either side of the wicket and always looking for opportunities to pile on the runs, Warner has scored more centuries than any other Australian opening batsman.

Dean Jones

ICC all-time batting ranking: 5, career-best ranking: 1 (October ’89)
164 ODIs, 6,068 runs @ 44.61, 7 100s, HS: 145

A pioneer of the one-day format, Jones was a spark of batting brilliance in Australia’s rise in the late-Eighties, unafraid to take the aerial route while still being a dependable force in at No.3. Beyond that, Jones was also a fine fielder at backward point, making him an electric package for any team.

Greg Chappell

ICC all-time batting ranking: 3, career-best ranking: 1 (February ’81)
74 ODIs, 2,331 runs @ 40.18, 3 100s, HS: 138*
72 wickets @ 29.12, 2 five-fors, BBI: 5-15

The highest-ranked Australian batsman of all time, Chappell was a superstar of his generation, stamping his authority in the nascent stages of the format, and enjoying a fine run from 1977 to 1982. Incidentally, Chappell is also the second-highest ranked all-rounder of all time, with his medium pace fetching him two five-wicket hauls.

Steve Waugh

ICC all-time all-rounder ranking: 8, career-best ranking: 1 (January ’88)
325 ODIs, 7,569 runs @ 32.90, 3 100s, HS: 120*
195 wickets @ 34.67, BBI: 4-33

A batting giant and a captain par excellence, Waugh surprisingly finds a place in this team on the basis of his all-round skills, which were a crucial aspect of his place in the side in the late Eighties and early Nighties. A compact batsman who never let go of a loose ball, and a nippy seamer, Waugh was at the heart of Australia’s rise into a powerful one-day force.

Shane Watson

ICC all-time all-rounder ranking: 19, career-best ranking: 1 (April ’11)
190 ODIs, 5,757 runs @ 40.54, 9 100s, HS: 185*
168 wickets @ 31.79, BBI: 4-36

A career that could have been a lot more, if not for injuries, flourished in its second half as Watson became a formidable force with both bat and ball. Initially a middle-order floater, he became a solid ball-striker in the top order [especially at ICC events], while being a consistently resourceful bowler, especially with the older ball.

Michael Bevan

ICC all-time batting ranking: 16, career-best ranking: 1 (January ’99)
232 ODIs, 6,912 runs @ 53.58, 6 100s, HS: 108*

The original finisher, and one of the cleverest brains in the game, Bevan set the template for many to follow. Combining quick running and calculated strokeplay, Bevan anchored many a chase to end with a career average of 53.58.

Shane Warne

ICC all-time bowling ranking: 34, career-best ranking: 1 (February ’95)
194 ODIs, 293 wickets @ 25.73, 1 five-for, BBI: 5-33

Warne’s one-day career wrapped up after 2003, but he’s still Australia’s top-ranked spinner, and deservedly so. For a decade, Warne mirrored his red-ball success in the one-day format, using all of his trademark tricks to trouble batsmen the world over. Always one to step up on a big occasion, he snared 32 wickets @ 19.50 in two World Cups.

Brett Lee

ICC all-time bowling ranking: 13, career-best ranking: 1 (January ’06)
380 wickets @ 23.36, 9 five-fors, BBI: 5-22

Lee built a legacy in the 2000s with his fiery pace and infectious energy, forming the engine of Australia’s attack for over a decade. With the new ball, Lee was rapid and incisive, and evolved into a clever operator at the death too, hardly letting injuries dim his aura. Barring 2012, he never averaged over 30 across any calendar year.

Dennis Lillee

ICC all-time bowling ranking: 7, career-best ranking: 1 (November ’80)
70 ODIs, 103 wickets @ 20.82, 1 five-for, BBI: 5-34

The fearsome face of Australia’s pace attack of the Seventies and Eighties, Lillee was the hero of a generation of budding bowlers. He generated frightening pace in the company of Jeff Thomson and developed into a crafty bowler with a bagful of variations as age and injuries caught up.

Glenn McGrath

ICC all-time bowling ranking: 5, career-best ranking: 1 (February ’00)
250 ODIs, 381 wickets @22.02, 7 five-fors, BBI: 7-15

The epitome of unerring accuracy, McGrath was the gold standard of seam bowling in the 1990s and 2000s. No bowler has taken more wickets in World Cup history (71), picking up a whopping 301 wickets in wins alone.


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