We talk of batsmen of old days for their run-scoring ability against the superior quality of bowlers on uncovered tracks. Undeniably, the anachronistic times produced some of the best batsmen in the game, who have crunched some outstanding numbers. With minimum protective gears, those batsmen fearlessly stood up to some fastest bowlers. But that is not to say that the batsmen of today aren’t any less superior.
As a matter of fact, the active batters as of the current era are touching new heights with each passing day. ODI cricket has not only changed in terms of the number of overs and the colour of the clothing, but the ever-changing rules and the advent of the T20 format have forced batsmen to keep evolving. And there are a few, who have kept up with the changes and accumulated runs freely.
We take a glance at top ten non-retired batsmen with most runs in ODI cricket:
10. Brendan Taylor – 6326 runs
Brendan Taylor is one of the most successful batsmen to come out of Zimbabwe and is the third-highest run-getter in ODIs for them. With 6326 in 196 ODIs, the right-handed batsman is also their most dependable batsman at present. Taylor quit playing for Zimbabwe after the 2015 World Cup; however, returned in September 2017, having terminated his contract with Nottinghamshire.
The 2015 World Cup turned out as a highly successful tournament for him. Even though Zimbabwe failed to make it past the group stage, the former skipper was the fourth-highest run-scorer in the competition. Brendan Taylor accumulated 433 runs in six games at a mind-numbing average of 72.16. The 34-year old made those runs at a strike rate of 106.91.
9. Martin Guptill – 6843 runs
New Zealand’s Martin Guptill is one of the cleanest strikers of the ball and a quintessential limited-overs player. The elegant right-handed batsman has established his spot at the opening position in white-ball cricket. With 6843 runs in 183 ODIs, he sits at the ninth place for most runs by an active player in the format.
The 33-year old has accumulated a mountain of runs in 183 fixtures at an average of 42.50. Guptill’s unbeaten 237 against the West Indies in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final is also the second-highest individual score in One-day internationals in men’s cricket.
8. Upul Tharanga – 6951 runs
Upul Tharanga was once a regular fixture in Sri Lanka’s ODI set-up, having also served as their captain. His 6951 runs makes him eighth on the list of most runs mustered by a non-retired batsman. Tharanga was part of the Sri Lankan squad that made it to the final of the 2011 World Cup.
Opening along with Tillakaratne Dilshan, the left-handed batsman scored 395 runs in nine outings at a healthy average of 56.43. In the subsequent years, the 35-year old’s inconsistencies crept up. In 2017, Tharanga’s run-scoring uplifted, having scored 1011 runs in 25 games at 48.14.
7. Tamim Iqbal – 7202 runs
Tamim Iqbal is arguably one of the finest batsmen produced by Bangladesh. With 7202 runs, the left-handed batsman is the highest run-getter for Bangladesh in ODIs. Iqbal’s individual score of 158 is the second-highest to Liton Das’ 176 from the nation.
The newly-appointed ODI captain’s best year in ODI cricket came in 2018. The 31-year old mustered 684 runs at a whopping average of 85.50 with an unbeaten 130 as his highest score. The present year has also transpired impressively for Tamim Iqbal so far, having amassed 310 runs in three matches at 155.
6. Eoin Morgan – 7368 runs
English limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan is sixth on the list with a tally of 7368 runs in 236 games. The 2019 World Cup-winning skipper has grown in stature, having built a team from scratch to guide England to their first World Cup title in 2019 from being eliminated in 2015.
Morgan’s 2019 was also one of his fruitful years, having mustered 791 runs in 21 games at 52.73. In the 2019 World Cup, the southpaw mustered 371 runs in 11 fixtures at an average of 41.22 with a strike rate of 111.06. It was in 2018 that Eoin Morgan took over from Ian Bell as the leading run-scorer for England in 50-over cricket.
5. Ross Taylor – 8274 runs
Ross Taylor is one of the modern-day greats and solid as a rock in New Zealand’s middle-order. Across all formats, Taylor has become exceptionally reliable and transformed into a genuine match-winner. Having made his ODI debut in 2006, the Wellington-born batsman has amassed 8274 runs in 232 fixtures.
More than 8000 ODI runs have come at an average of 48.44 and a strike rate of 83.46. Ross Taylor’s World Cup record is also impressive, having clattered 1002 runs in 33 games at 37.11 with six half-centuries and one ton. At 36, the number four batsman in the ICC rankings has displayed no signs of slowing down and still has an insatiable appetite for scoring runs.
4. Rohit Sharma – 9115 runs
Rohit Sharma has become one of the best opening batsmen in ODI cricket, blessed with a natural ability to accumulate runs at will. The 33-year old’s career took a turn for good when he was promoted to the top-order in 2013. Out of his 9115 career runs in 217 games at 49.27, Rohit Sharma has scored 7115 of those while opening the innings.
Out of 29 ODI tons, 27 have come while at the top of the batting line-up, including three double centuries. The impressive run-scoring ability has earned the Mumbai batsman the limited-overs vice-captaincy. Rohit Sharma presently occupies the second spot in the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen. 2019 ended with 1490 runs under Rohit’s belt, making him the highest run-getter that year.
3. Chris Gayle – 10480 runs
Chris Gayle may have lost his whirlwind touch yet remains as one of the most experienced players with a truckload of runs across formats. Gayle has transformed into a T20 freelancer but participates in all the ICC events, including being part of the 2019 World Cup, which took place in July last year.
With 10480 runs in 301 games, Gayle is the highest run-getter for West Indies in One-day internationals. The 40-year old is also one of the few batsmen in the format to score a double-hundred, having done so in the 2015 World Cup against Zimbabwe. It could be a matter of few months before the Jamaican calls time on his career.
2. MS Dhoni – 10773 runs
Former Indian captain MS Dhoni may not have donned the Indian colours since July 2019; however, he remains one of the most impactful players for Indian cricket. Having made his ODI debut in 2004, the 38-year old is a genuine match-winner and known as the best finisher as far as modern cricket is concerned.
MS Dhoni batted at the lower middle-order for the most part of his career. Out of 350 ODIs, the keeper-batsman batted at number six and mustered 1464 runs out of 10773 at that position. The tally of 10773 runs from the veteran have come at an average of 50.57.
1. Virat Kohli – 11867 runs
Present Indian captain Virat Kohli is arguably the greatest One-day international batsman today. The right-handed batsman bats at number three and is known for taking the attack to the opposition straight away. In 248 games, Kohli has amassed 11867 runs at an impressive average of 59.33.
As far as batting second goes, there is hardly anyone better than the 31-year old. Kohli’s 26 out of 43 tons and 7039 out of 11867 runs have arrived in the second innings. Virat Kohli presently sits pretty at the top of ICC ODI rankings for batsmen and is first in line to take over Sachin Tendulkar both in terms of runs and number of centuries.
(All stats updated till 7th June, 2020)