Sri Lanka v India, 2nd ODI, Hambantota July 25, 2012

Kohli, Perera in exalted company

Both Virat Kohli and Thisara Perera, the top performers in the ODI series so far, have won Man-of-the-Match awards at an astonishing rate

Virat Kohli, who scored his 12th ODI century (fourth in 2012) and set up India's comfortable win in the first ODI, has won 11 Man-of-the-Match awards so far in his career, in just 87 matches. Since 2011, he has won seven awards in just 47 matches. However, the rise of Thisara Perera, who was Man-of-the-match in the second ODI, is even more astonishing. In just 41 ODIs, Perera has won six awards, including five in 26 matches since the beginning of 2011. In the heavily batsman-dominated ODI format, it is, however, no surprise that majority of the awards have been won by batsmen and allrounders. With Perera and Kohli winning awards at an exceptionally good rate (one in seven and eight matches respectively), here's how they compare with the other top players in ODIs over the years.

Sachin Tendulkar, by far the highest run-getter and century-scorer in ODIs, has won a remarkable 62 awards in 463 matches, which translates into a rate of 7.46 matches per award. Tendulkar, however is third on the list of batsmen with the best rates of winning match awards. Viv Richards, who maintained a 90-plus strike rate in a period when the rest of the top-order (1-7) batsmen managed a corresponding figure just over 65, ended with 31 awards in 187 matches (rate of 6.03). He is followed by Gordon Greenidge, who was Player-of-the-Match 20 times in just 128 matches (rate of 6.40). Martin Crowe, the leading run-getter in the 1992 World Cup, is fourth (rate of 7.52) and is followed by Virat Kohli (7.90). Although not the most consistent, Nathan Astle, one of New Zealand's best matchwinners in the shorter form, won 25 awards in 223 matches (8.92). The top ten is rounded off by Sanath Jayasuriya, who has won 48 awards in 445 games (rate of 9.27). Jayasuriya took time to find his feet in international cricket winning only four awards in his first 91 matches (till the end of 1995). Since the start of 1996, however, he went on to win 44 awards in 354 matches at an excellent rate of 8.04.

Bowlers have hardly been able to keep up with the batsmen in the shorter format, though Glenn McGrath is a notable exception especially in World Cup matches. In a list dominated yet again by batsmen and allrounders, McGrath stands out with six awards in 39 matches including a series award in 2007. Shane Warne, who was Player-of-the-Match in both the 1999 semi-final and final, also has an excellent rate (four awards in 17 matches). The World Cup match award stats, however, have been dominated by Lance Klusener, who won five awards in just 14 matches (rate of 2.80).

Players with the best rate of Man-of-the-Match awards in ODIs (min 10 awards)
Player Matches Awards Matches per award
Viv Richards 187 31 6.03
Gordon Greenidge 128 20 6.40
Sachin Tendulkar 463 62 7.46
Martin Crowe 143 19 7.52
Virat Kohli 87 11 7.90
Saeed Anwar 247 28 8.82
Nathan Astle 223 25 8.92
Lance Klusener 171 19 9.00
Geoff Marsh 117 13 9.00
Sanath Jayasuriya 445 48 9.27

Although he has played a majority of his matches against lower-ranked teams, Ryan ten Doeschate of Netherlands has the best rate of winning awards (4.71) among players who have won between five and nine awards. Glenn Turner, with seven awards in 41 matches and Chris Broad, with five in 34 games, are second and third. Among contemporary players (top teams), Perera and Hashim Amla are on top, with rates of 6.83 and 7.12 respectively. The top-ten list is rounded off by Greg Chappell and Alastair Cook, who have won nine and six awards in 74 and 51 matches respectively.

Players with the best rate of match awards in ODIs (five to nine awards)
Player Matches Awards Matches per award
Ryan ten Doeschate 33 7 4.71
Glenn Turner 41 7 5.85
Chris Broad 34 5 6.80
Thisara Perera 41 6 6.83
Hashim Amla 57 8 7.12
Michael Atherton 54 7 7.71
Zaheer Abbas 62 8 7.75
Neil Johnson 48 6 8.00
Greg Chappell 74 9 8.22
Alastair Cook 51 6 8.50

Jayasuriya, who has won the second-highest number of match awards (48) after Tendulkar, has done even better in matches when he has been captain. In 118 matches when he has captained Sri Lanka, Jayasuriya has won 19 match awards at an excellent rate of 6.21 matches per award. Ricky Ponting, the most successful ODI captain, and Arjuna Ranatunga, have also won 19 match awards as captain but have taken far more matches than Jayasuriya to do so. Richards, who won 14 awards in 105 matches as captain, has the second-best award rate (7.50).

Best rate of match awards in matches as captain (min ten awards)
Player Matches Awards Matches per award
Sanath Jayasuriya 118 19 6.21
Viv Richards 105 14 7.50
Arjuna Ranatunga 193 19 10.15
MS Dhoni 124 11 11.27
Imran Khan 139 12 11.58
Ricky Ponting 230 19 12.10
Sourav Ganguly 147 12 12.25
Hansie Cronje 138 11 12.54
Allan Border 178 13 13.69
Stephen Fleming 218 13 16.76
Mohammad Azharuddin 174 10 17.40

Click here to download the complete list of players with the best rates of winning match awards in ODIs.

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    I see Saeed Anwar's name in the first table after Virat Kohli but he is not mentioned in the article ... The writer just skipped from Virat to Nathan Astle without mentioning Saeed Anwar... Biased Cricinfo or what?

  • HIran on July 28, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    the way Kholi is going we could see another great run making machine, but not great cricketer for the game because if his not given some guide lines to appreciate the game his not going make it to the top of Aravinda's / Tendulkars / Dravids / Kumbles / Waugh's / Kirstans / Viv Richards / Dhoni's

  • Lakmal on July 28, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Both Perera and Virat are good players. But I don't think they are good as numbers suggested. Both has some luck in these days.Recently Perera improved a lot specially his fielding. I like to see his fielding than his bowling & batting. If he can learn some off side shots, he will be much better batsman than now.

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    @jindal priyank , well doesn't that mean all-rounders are more valuable than batsman

  • Dishan on July 27, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    Love both these cricketers some of you might have a thing or two to say about Virat Kohli, I think he's a talented hard working cricketer who talks a lot of sense, Thissara is like wise I really enjoy watching the never say die attitude of the Sri Lankan, Thissara is a awesome athlete

  • Dummy4 on July 26, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    Virat the great young gun of india future of the men in blue

  • Dummy4 on July 26, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    being the largest populated country among cricketing nationsit is shame! being the samallest populated country it is amazing!

  • jayesh on July 26, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    Interesting Stats..For Kohli if he plays like he is doing now,for next 10 to 12 years,still difficult to match Sachin's record.Because 2 month IPL+ 1/2 month Champions league will comprise almost one fourth time in an year.How ca he get to play atleast 350-400 ODI's?

  • Abhishek on July 26, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    Once again... Love reading these stats! Absolutely brilliant!

  • Dushan on July 26, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    kohli looks like another Tendulkar in the making for India and Perera looks like another Jayasuriya in the making for SL. Hopefully the silly IPL doesnt end their careers prematurely or as Mr. Jayawardena likes to candy coat it as....."Helping them" :)

    Good luck to both young players. I like both of them but Perera more, not because I'm a Sri Lankan but Perera seems to be enjoying every bit of the game win or loose, whereas Kohli seems to be wearing a look of "getting done and over with a torrid unwanted burden" Someone should tell him to smile a bit, atleast put up a grin like MS !!!

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