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George Binoy and Travis Basevi dig into our stats database

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Is Vivian Richards the most effective ODI player?

The List looks at the best batsmen, bowlers and allrounders in the one-day game

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

March 1, 2006

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Some statistics, like Bradman's average and the number of centuries Tendulkar has made are known to pretty much every cricket buff. But The List will bring you facts and figures that aren't so obvious, adding fuel to those fiery debates about the most valuable middle-order bat, and the most useless tailender. If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.



Viv Richards: scored lots of runs, and got them quickly © Getty Images
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Who would you prefer in your one-day team? A grafter with an average of 44.18 and a strike-rate of 70.42, or a dasher who scores at 97.82 with an average of 32.21? The List looks at players who have combined both, and have emerged as some of the most effective one-day players.

To rank batsmen, we've multiplied the batsman's average by his strike-rate and divided the result by 100 to arrive at an index.

In spite of one-day cricket increasingly becoming a batsmen's game in the last ten years, Viv Richards still tops the list of best ODI batsmen. But three current players, Michael Hussey, Kevin Pietersen and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have had fairytale starts to their careers and, at the moment, easily push Richards to fourth place on the list.

Hussey averages 95.79 at a strike-rate of 98.05, giving him a whopping batting index of 93.93. Pietersen's equivalent is 68.61 and Dhoni's 58.66. Unfortunately, they do not make our qualification of having played at least 50 innings.

Best ODI batsmen (Qual.: 50 innings) - Average multiplied by runs per ball
Player Span Mat Inns Runs HS Ave SR Index
IVA Richards (WI) 1975-1991 187 167 6721 189* 47.00 90.20 42.39
MJ Clarke (Aust) 2003-2006 75 68 2290 105* 46.73 86.84 40.58
Zaheer Abbas (Pak) 1974-1985 62 60 2572 123 47.62 84.80 40.39
MG Bevan (Aust) 1994-2004 232 196 6912 108* 53.58 74.16 39.73
SR Tendulkar (India) 1989-2006 362 353 14146 186* 44.20 85.98 38.01
L Klusener (SAf) 1996-2004 171 137 3576 103* 41.10 89.91 36.95
AC Gilchrist (Aust/ICC) 1996-2006 235 229 7999 172 36.35 96.32 35.02
A Symonds (Aust) 1998-2006 141 112 3491 156 37.94 92.01 34.91
RR Sarwan (WI) 2000-2006 90 85 2896 104* 44.55 77.14 34.37
RT Ponting (Aust/ICC) 1995-2006 247 241 8958 145 42.25 78.72 33.26

  • Click here for the full tables.

    For the bowlers, we have multplied the bowling average by the runs conceded per ball to arrive at a comparable number. Shane Bond, whose career has been interrupted by injuries as often as there are dashes in Morse code, is the only current bowler in the top ten with Glenn MCgrath coming in at No.11.

    Best ODI bowlers (Qual.: 2000 balls) - Average multiplied by runs conceded per ball
    Player Span Mat Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ Index
    J Garner (WI) 1977-1987 98 2752 146 5/31 18.84 3.09 9.73
    AME Roberts (WI) 1975-1983 56 1771 87 5/22 20.35 3.40 11.54
    MA Holding (WI) 1976-1987 102 3034 142 5/26 21.36 3.32 11.84
    RJ Hadlee (NZ) 1973-1990 115 3407 158 5/25 21.56 3.30 11.88
    DK Lillee (Aust) 1972-1983 63 2145 103 5/34 20.82 3.58 12.43
    SE Bond (NZ) 2002-2006 43 1546 83 6/19 18.62 4.23 13.16
    RGD Willis (Eng) 1973-1984 64 1968 80 4/11 24.60 3.28 13.46
    CEL Ambrose (WI) 1988-2000 176 5429 225 5/17 24.12 3.48 14.00
    Sarfraz Nawaz (Pak) 1973-1984 45 1463 63 4/27 23.22 3.63 14.08
    TM Alderman (Aust) 1981-1991 65 2056 88 5/17 23.36 3.65 14.24

  • Click here for the full tables.

    To arrive at the leading allrounders in one-dayers, we calculated the differences between batting and bowling index and ranked the differences in descending order.

    It's perhaps a surprise that Richards emerges atop the allrounders list ahead of Imran Khan, Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff. A look at his stats reveal that his bowling record was more than competent and when coupled with his batting, Richards was an extremely effective allrounder - a superior version of Sachin Tendulkar to draw a modern-day parallel.

    Best ODI allrounders - difference between the batting formula and the bowling formula
    Player Span Mat Ave SR Bat Ave Econ Bowl Diff
    IVA Richards (WI) 1975-1991 187 47.00 90.20 42.39 35.83 4.49 26.84 15.55
    L Klusener (SAf) 1996-2004 171 41.10 89.91 36.95 29.95 4.70 23.48 13.47
    A Flintoff (Eng/ICC) 1999-2005 98 35.14 89.75 31.54 25.87 4.39 18.96 12.58
    GS Chappell (Aust) 1971-1983 74 40.18 75.70 30.42 29.12 4.04 19.65 10.77
    Imran Khan (Pak) 1974-1992 175 33.41 72.64 24.27 26.61 3.89 17.27 6.99
    N Kapil Dev (India) 1978-1994 225 23.79 95.07 22.62 27.45 3.71 17.01 5.60
    JH Kallis (Afr/ICC/SAf) 1996-2006 229 44.18 70.42 31.12 32.07 4.79 25.64 5.47
    SM Pollock (Afr/ICC/SAf) 1996-2006 256 24.04 84.15 20.23 24.21 3.76 15.19 5.03
    CH Gayle (ICC/WI) 1999-2006 126 38.11 79.21 30.19 32.06 4.78 25.56 4.63
    A Symonds (Aust) 1998-2006 141 37.94 92.01 34.91 37.02 4.91 30.33 4.58

  • Click here for the full tables.

    For those of you who didn't guess, the grafter and the cavalier mentioned at the beginning were Jacques Kallis and Virender Sehwag.

    If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.

  • George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo

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    George BinoyClose
    George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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