Youngest or oldest for longest in ODIs
In last week's List, we dug up players who were the youngest or oldest in their team for the most Tests. This week we've done the same for one-day internationals. While Sachin Tendulkar, who played 48 Tests as the baby of the team, also played the most ODIs as the youngest, it isn't Alec Stewart, with 85 Test caps as England's oldest, who holds pride of place in one-dayers. Sanath Jayasuriya does, and he could still add to his 208 matches as the oldest player in the Sri Lankan team.
Tendulkar's run in Tests as India's youngest cricketer continued until 1999, nearly 10 years after his debut. In ODIs, though, it ended in 1997, when he was 24. During that time Tendulkar played 159 one-dayers and scored 5540 runs at an average of 39.29, which is among the 10 best averages for a team's youngest player.
It's hard to predict who might play more than Tendulkar's 159 games, and perhaps no one will, given that India played an absurdly high number of ODIs in the 1990s. None of the players in the table below are their team's youngest anymore, and among the emerging crop, the closest to Tendulkar is Ravindra Jadeja, who has played a mere 32 games. He's not a permanent fixture in India's one-day team, though, but there's no one younger pushing for selection at the moment. Virat Kohli is older than Jadeja by 31 days. Tim Southee, 21, has been New Zealand's youngest player for 31 matches but he won't be for much longer with the emergence of 20-year-old Kane Williamson, who didn't play against Bangladesh on Tuesday but is certainly part of New Zealand's future plans. The likelier candidates are Wayne Parnell, if he can play another 148 ODIs before South Africa select someone younger, and 18-year-old Mohammad Amir, whose future is uncertain after 15 matches. George Dockrell, an 18-year-old left-arm spinner, has an outside chance if England decide they want a second Irishman in their set-up.
|Player||Span||Mat||Runs||HS||Bat Av||100||Wkts||BBI||Bowl Av||5||Career||%|
|SR Tendulkar (India)||1989-1997||159||5540||137||39.29||12||49||4/34||57.87||0||442||36.0|
|SR Waugh (Aus)||1986-1991||98||2037||83*||33.95||0||90||4/33||31.61||0||325||30.2|
|Aaqib Javed (Pak)||1988-1996||93||78||17||8.66||0||101||3/21||31.87||0||163||57.1|
|Shahid Afridi (Pak)||1996-2003||91||1898||109||22.06||2||70||5/40||41.55||1||296||30.7|
|BB McCullum (NZ)||2002-2007||88||1170||52*||21.66||0||0||-||-||0||171||51.5|
|RT Ponting (Aus)||1995-2001||80||2719||145||37.24||4||1||1/41||62.00||0||350||22.9|
|Yuvraj Singh (India)||2000-2005||77||1494||98*||25.32||0||27||4/6||35.22||0||251||30.7|
|WJ Cronje (SA)||1992-1996||71||2063||112||36.83||2||43||5/32||37.41||1||188||37.8|
|DL Vettori (NZ)||1997-2002||63||304||25*||10.85||0||52||4/24||39.59||0||251||25.1|
|SP Fleming (NZ)||1994-1997||60||1712||106*||31.70||1||1||1/8||28.00||0||279||21.5|
|Tamim Iqbal (Ban)||2007-2009||58||1735||154||29.91||2||0||-||-||0||85||68.2|
|BC Lara (WI)||1990-1994||58||2244||153||42.33||4||2||2/5||2.50||0||295||19.7|
|MJ Clarke (Aus)||2003-2008||57||1477||97||39.91||0||20||5/35||37.90||1||178||32.0|
|WPUJC Vaas (SL)||1994-1999||57||273||33||13.00||0||60||4/22||27.96||0||321||17.8|
|C Sharma (India)||1983-1989||55||411||101*||27.40||1||62||3/22||32.90||0||65||84.6|
|CK Kapugedera (SL)||2006-2009||55||995||95||22.11||0||2||1/24||96.00||0||82||67.1|
|WU Tharanga (SL)||2005-2007||49||1427||110||29.72||4||0||-||-||0||105||46.7|
|MD Crowe (NZ)||1982-1988||48||1428||105*||34.00||1||20||2/9||29.90||0||143||33.6|
|B Lee (Aus)||2000-2003||48||198||51*||15.23||0||95||5/27||20.10||3||186||25.8|
|SCJ Broad (Eng)||2006-2009||47||295||45*||17.35||0||70||5/23||27.48||1||73||64.4|
Ramnaresh Sarwan is the only one with an average of more than 50 while being the team's youngest player. He made his debut in 2000, at the age of 20, and was West Indies' youngest in 12 ODIs, scoring 362 runs at 51.71 and remaining unbeaten five times. Brian Lara had a high average as well in the 58 games in which he was the baby of the team, scoring 2244 runs at 42.33 between 1990 and 1994. He averaged only 34 in 61 games in which he was West Indies' oldest.
Three of the top four bowling averages for youngest players in a team belong to Australians; the other is Ian Bishop's 18.40 in 29 ODIs for West Indies between 1988 and 1991. Carl Rackemann was 23 when he made his debut, and in 11 matches as Australia's youngest player he took 25 wickets at 17.60 apiece. Since then, Brett Lee (2000-03) and Shaun Tait (2007) have also had sub-20 averages for matches in which they were the youngest in the XI.
Jayasuriya was only 29 when he played his first ODI as the oldest player in the Sri Lankan team in 1998. What a sprightly XI that must have been. Taking over from Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva, Jayasuriya played 207 more games as Sri Lanka's oldest over the next 11 years, scoring 6748 runs and taking 129 wickets. The only other presently active player in the table below is Paul Collingwood, who has been England's oldest for 72 out of his 189 matches.
|Player||Span||Mat||Runs||HS||Bat Av||100||Wkts||BBI||Bowl Av||5||Career||%|
|ST Jayasuriya (SL)||1998-2009||208||6748||189||34.42||16||129||5/17||38.16||2||440||47.3|
|A Ranatunga (SL)||1992-1999||162||4624||131*||37.59||4||20||2/21||50.20||0||269||60.2|
|M Azharuddin (India)||1993-2000||161||4784||153*||38.27||4||0||-||-||0||334||48.2|
|AR Border (Aus)||1986-1994||153||3551||91*||29.84||0||53||3/20||25.54||0||273||56.0|
|A Flower (Zim)||1997-2003||129||4292||145||36.68||3||0||-||-||0||213||60.6|
|Wasim Akram (Pak)||1995-2003||129||1603||79||20.29||0||180||5/28||24.38||1||356||36.2|
|Imran Khan (Pak)||1985-1992||118||2709||84*||33.44||0||128||6/14||27.94||1||175||67.4|
|AJ Stewart (Eng)||1994-2003||112||3239||116||32.71||3||0||-||-||0||170||65.9|
|ME Waugh (Aus)||1997-2002||110||3961||173||40.41||8||14||2/38||59.28||0||244||45.1|
|SR Waugh (Aus)||1997-2002||105||2568||120*||35.17||2||23||4/40||38.43||0||325||32.3|
|Mohammad Rafique (Ban)||2001-2007||93||805||72||12.98||0||93||5/47||36.79||1||123||75.6|
|SM Gavaskar (India)||1981-1987||83||2525||103*||38.84||1||0||-||-||0||108||76.9|
|PD Collingwood (Eng)||2006-2010||72||2058||105*||36.10||1||41||4/15||40.85||0||189||38.1|
|CZ Harris (NZ)||1998-2004||71||1142||63*||22.84||0||44||3/23||41.75||0||250||28.4|
|N Kapil Dev (India)||1989-1994||69||737||48*||17.13||0||69||4/31||29.39||0||225||30.7|
|SM Pollock (SA)||2003-2008||69||716||90||23.86||0||77||5/23||25.72||1||294||23.5|
|CG Greenidge (WI)||1984-1991||66||2452||133*||41.55||5||0||-||-||0||128||51.6|
|SC Ganguly (India)||2002-2007||66||1885||98||30.90||0||15||3/41||55.06||0||308||21.4|
|Saleem Malik (Pak)||1993-1999||64||1490||93*||33.11||0||44||4/36||27.93||0||283||22.6|
The three highest averages by the oldest player in a team belong to current batsmen. Shivnarine Chanderpaul has played 45 matches as West Indies' oldest batsman and averaged 63.23 in them. Virender Sehwag is India's oldest when Sachin Tendulkar does not play and he averages 55.50 in 15 such games. Tendulkar himself has been in sparkling form as India's oldest player. He took on that mantle after Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly stopped playing one-dayers, and he has scored 1466 runs in 32 innings at an average of 52.35.
Among bowlers who were the oldest players in their teams, only Bob Willis has an average of less than 20. He was England's oldest in 12 ODIs, in which he took 19 wickets at 19.47. Glenn McGrath is next best, with an average of 22.07 in 57 matches as Australia's eldest.
The table below contains players who've played the most matches as either their team's youngest or oldest player.
|ST Jayasuriya (SL)||221||1989-1991||13||108||1||1998-2009||208||6748||129|
|SR Waugh (Aus)||203||1986-1991||98||2037||90||1997-2002||105||2568||23|
|SR Tendulkar (India)||191||1989-1997||159||5540||49||2005-2010||32||1466||0|
|A Ranatunga (SL)||168||1982-1984||6||84||2||1992-1999||162||4624||20|
|M Azharuddin (India)||162||1985-1985||1||47||0||1993-2000||161||4784||0|
|AR Border (Aus)||160||1979-1980||7||155||4||1986-1994||153||3551||53|
|Wasim Akram (Pak)||160||1984-1987||31||75||42||1995-2003||129||1603||180|
|A Flower (Zim)||133||1992-1992||4||147||0||1997-2003||129||4292||0|
|ME Waugh (Aus)||132||1988-1991||22||463||20||1997-2002||110||3961||14|
|RT Ponting (Aus)||132||1995-2001||80||2719||1||2008-2010||52||1993||0|
|Imran Khan (Pak)||121||1974-1975||3||9||4||1985-1992||118||2709||128|
|BC Lara (WI)||119||1990-1994||58||2244||2||2003-2007||61||1746||0|
|AJ Stewart (Eng)||112||-||0||0||0||1994-2003||112||3239||0|
|Mohammad Rafique (Ban)||93||-||0||0||0||2001-2007||93||805||93|
|Aaqib Javed (Pak)||93||1988-1996||93||78||101||-||0||0||0|
|S Chanderpaul (WI)||91||1994-1999||46||1244||9||2005-2010||45||1897||0|
|Shahid Afridi (Pak)||91||1996-2003||91||1898||70||-||0||0||0|
|BB McCullum (NZ)||88||2002-2007||88||1170||0||-||0||0||0|
|N Kapil Dev (India)||87||1978-1981||18||279||20||1989-1994||69||737||69|
|CZ Harris (NZ)||87||1990-1993||16||167||17||1998-2004||71||1142||44|
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Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for Cricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo