Sourav Ganguly is the only player to win four consecutive Man-of-the-Match awards in ODIs. He did it against Pakistan in Toronto in 1997 © AFP
 

India's hot start to the 2008 Asia Cup was in part due to Suresh Raina's form. He scored 101, 84 and 116 in the first three ODIs and was the Man of the Match in each of them. Monopolising the award in consecutive games is no mean feat, so the List decided to look at players who have done precisely that, and those who went years without an award.

Raina is the tenth player to take a hat-trick of Man-of-the-Match awards. Of the other nine, only three are specialist batsmen and none are specialist bowlers. Mohinder Amarnath won the first two of his three awards in the semi-final and final of the 1983 World Cup and completed the hat-trick in a home ODI against Pakistan in September that year.

Lance Klusener was Man of the Match in four of South Africa's nine matches during the 1999 World Cup, and three of them - against England, Sri Lanka, and Kenya - were in a row. He missed out against Zimbabwe, although he scored 52 and took a wicket, but returned to monopolise the award against Pakistan. Graham Gooch is the only other player to win three in a row during a World Cup. He did it in 1987, against West Indies, Sri Lanka and India .

Aravinda de Silva has two Man-of-the-Match hat-tricks. The first came in Colombo in 1996 against Australia and Zimbabwe. His second was in Sharjah in 1997, where he scored 60 against Zimbabwe, and 97 and 134 against Pakistan. Sourav Ganguly is the only player to have won four in a row; all of them were against Pakistan in Toronto in 1997.

Consecutive Man-of-the-Match awards by a player in ODIs
Player Mat Start MatchOpposition Scorecard End Match Opposition Scorecard
SC Ganguly (India) 4 Sep 14, 1997v Pakistan ODI 1228 Sep 21, 1997 v Pakistan ODI 1232
M Amarnath (India) 3 Jun 22, 1983 v EnglandODI 221 Sep 10, 1983 v Pakistan ODI 224
GA Gooch (Eng) 3 Oct 26, 1987 v West Indies ODI 468 Nov 5, 1987 v India ODI 476
PA de Silva (SL)3 Aug 30, 1996 v Australia ODI 1108 Sep 7, 1996v Australia ODI 1114
G Kirsten (SA) 3 Oct 6, 1996 v Pakistan ODI 1126 Oct 19, 1996 v AustraliaODI 1128
PA de Silva (SL) 3 Apr 3, 1997v Zimbabwe ODI 1189 Apr 7, 1997 v Pakistan ODI 1193
L Klusener (SA) 3 May 19, 1999 v Sri LankaODI 1451 May 26, 1999 v Kenya ODI 1462
A Flintoff (Eng) 3 Nov 7, 2003 v Bangladesh ODI 2057 Nov 12, 2003 v Bangladesh ODI 2060
Imran Farhat (Pak)3 Dec 3, 2003 v New Zealand ODI 2072 Dec 7, 2003v New Zealand ODI 2074
Shoaib Malik (Pak) 3 Jul 25, 2004 v India ODI 2152 Aug 21, 2004 v IndiaODI 2157
Mashrafe Mortaza (Ban) 3 Aug 12, 2006v Kenya ODI 2402 Aug 15, 2006 v Kenya ODI 2404
SK Raina (India) 3 Jun 25, 2008 v Hong KongODI 2716 Jun 28, 2008 v Bangladesh ODI 2721

Chaminda Vaas, the fourth-highest wicket-taker in ODIs, played the most matches before his maiden Man-of-the-Match award. Vaas made his debut in 1994 but it wasn't until his 164th ODI in 2001 that he won his first award by taking 3 for 20 against New Zealand in Colombo.

The longest gap between awards belongs to Javagal Srinath, who was the Man of the Match five times in his 229-ODI career. His fourth award came in January 1998, when he took 5 for 23 against Bangladesh in Dhaka. Ninety-three matches, spanning five years, went by before Srinath was Man of the Match again, this time in the 2003 World Cup. Mahela Jayawardene's 83 ODIs between December 2001 and August 2005 is the longest streak without an award for a batsman.

Most ODIs between awards
Player Mat Match 1Opposition Scorecard Match 2 Opposition Scorecard
J Srinath 93 Jan 10, 1998v Bangladesh ODI 1271 Mar 10, 2003 v Sri Lanka ODI 1985
DPMD Jayawardene 83 Dec 15, 2001 v West IndiesODI 1780 Aug 3, 2005 v India ODI 2265
Harbhajan Singh 83 Oct 10, 2001 v South Africa ODI 1757 Mar 28, 2006 v England ODI 2357
CA Walsh80 Dec 3, 1986 v Sri Lanka ODI 405 Feb 25, 1993v Pakistan ODI 808
JN Rhodes 80 Apr 2, 1997 v Australia ODI 1188 Dec 15, 2000 v Sri LankaODI 1661
DK Morrison 78 Mar 14, 1989v Pakistan ODI 561 Nov 11, 1996 v Sri Lanka ODI 1142
RB Richardson 77 Oct 21, 1991 v PakistanODI 682 Mar 4, 1996 v Australia ODI 1072
KD Mills 76 Apr 17, 2001 v Sri Lanka ODI 1710 Jun 21, 2008 v England ODI 2710
Ramiz Raja75 Mar 6, 1985 v West Indies ODI 317 Mar 11, 1989v New Zealand ODI 559
MV Boucher 75 Jan 27, 2002 v New Zealand ODI 1797 Feb 25, 2005 v ZimbabweODI 2229
DR Martyn 70 Nov 1, 2003v India ODI 2054 Oct 21, 2006 v England ODI 2434
IA Healy 69 Jan 10, 1991 v EnglandODI 662 Mar 11, 1995 v West Indies ODI 986
EJ Chatfield 68 Nov 23, 1980 v Australia ODI 94 Apr 10, 1986 v India ODI 381
PJL Dujon68 Jan 10, 1982 v Australia ODI 133 Nov 14, 1986v Pakistan ODI 398
SP Fleming 68 Jan 6, 2000 v West Indies ODI 1534 Jan 14, 2003 v IndiaODI 1935

Jayawardene also features in the table of players with the longest gap between Man-of-the-Match awards in Tests. He won his first in his fourth Test, in which he scored 167 against New Zealand in 1999. The second came two Tests later, against India in Colombo. The third, however, took a while, coming only in 2004, after 51 Tests, for scoring 237 against South Africa in Galle.

Jason Gillespie was Man of the Match only twice in his 71-Test career. And those awards came nearly nine years apart. The first was in his eighth Test, at Headingley in 1997, when Gillespie ripped through England with 7 for 37. That was his only award for his bowling, for the next time Gillespie won, it was for scoring 201 not out against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2006.

Most Tests between awards
Player Mat Match 1 Opposition Scorecard Match 2 OppositionScorecard
JN Gillespie 62 Jul 24, 1997 v England Test 1373 Apr 16, 2006 v BangladeshTest 1799
N Hussain 53 Jun 5, 1997v Australia Test 1368 Jul 25, 2002 v India Test 1610
DPMD Jayawardene 51 Feb 24, 1999 v IndiaTest 1445 Aug 4, 2004 v South Africa Test 1709
R Dravid 47 Apr 17, 1997 v West Indies Test 1365 Aug 22, 2002 v England Test 1613
WPUJC Vaas46 Mar 18, 1995 v New Zealand Test 1293 Nov 29, 2001v West Indies Test 1572
CA Walsh 44 Apr 8, 1995 v Australia Test 1295 Jun 15, 2000 v EnglandTest 1500
ME Waugh 42 Mar 14, 1997v South Africa Test 1360 Dec 1, 2000 v West Indies Test 1520
MA Atherton 41 Jan 4, 1991 v AustraliaTest 1160 Nov 30, 1995 v South Africa Test 1315
Aamer Sohail 40 Jul 2, 1992 v England Test 1191 Oct 22, 1998 v Australia Test 1427
Ijaz Ahmed40 Sep 23, 1988 v Australia Test 1105 Mar 12, 1999v Sri Lanka Test 1450
D Gough 40 Jan 1, 1995 v Australia Test 1281 Mar 7, 2001 v Sri LankaTest 1532
DJ Cullinan 39 Sep 14, 1993v Sri Lanka Test 1234 Jan 15, 1999 v West Indies Test 1441
DL Haynes 38 Aug 9, 1984 v EnglandTest 993 Apr 12, 1990 v England Test 1144
B Lee 38 Nov 8, 2001 v New Zealand Test 1565 Mar 31, 2006 v South Africa Test 1795
Saleem Malik37 Dec 10, 1984 v New Zealand Test 1003 Nov 15, 1990v West Indies Test 1154

Only one player has bagged four consecutive Man-of-the-Match awards in Tests. Muttiah Muralitharan did it in Sri Lanka in 2001 when he took 42 wickets in four matches: one each against India and Bangladesh and two against West Indies.

Ian Botham won three in a row during his Ashes in 1981. Wasim Akram's last three awards were consecutive and took his tally to 17, the highest at the time. He's been overtaken since by Jacques Kallis, the most recent player to win three in a row. Kallis' 20 Man-of-the-Match awards are followed by Murali's 18.

Consecutive Man-of-the-Match awards by a player in Tests
Player Mat Start Match Opposition Scorecard End Match OppositionScorecard
M Muralitharan (SL) 4 Aug 29, 2001 v India Test 1559 Nov 21, 2001 v West IndiesTest 1570
IT Botham (Eng) 3 Jul 16, 1981v Australia Test 905 Aug 13, 1981 v Australia Test 907
Wasim Akram (Pak) 3 May 25, 2000 v West IndiesTest 1497 Jun 21, 2000 v Sri Lanka Test 1501
JH Kallis (SA) 3 Jan 26, 2007 v Pakistan Test 1830 Oct 8, 2007 v Pakistan Test 1844

Click here for the full tables.

Note: All numbers exclude matches in which no award was given, such as rain-affected matches, early Tests, etc.

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George Binoy is a staff writer at Cricinfo