The Indian cricket team has always been a batting powerhouse and the trend doesn’t seem to alter anytime soon. The last decade was also a testament to their batting prowess, especially in the One-Day International (ODI) format.
With Indian captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma leading the ICC Men’s ODI Batting Rankings, the dominance of the Indian batters has been there for all to witness in 50-over cricket.
Kohli has been a prolific performer for India and has emerged as the highest run-getter in ODI cricket between 2010 and 2019. The 31-year-old had started the decade with one ODI century and will be finishing it with 43, in between earning himself the tag of ‘King Kohli’.
5 best ODI innings of Indian batsmen 2010-2019
1. Gautam Gambhir’s 97 vs Sri Lanka in ICC World Cup 2011 Final
While Mahendra Singh Dhoni with his unbeaten 91 has become immortal in the cricketing memory of the country, a better cricketing perspective will still hold Gautam Gambhir’s 97 as a more-important knock during the final of ICC World Cup 2011 between India and Sri Lanka.
Following a disastrous start to India’s chase of 278 which saw them getting reduced to 31/2, it was Gambhir who held the Indian innings with a young Kohli and laid the foundation for Dhoni to come and swing his arms freely.
The former opener was the common thread in the two defining partnerships (Gambhir/Kohli: 83, Gambhir/Dhoni: 109) which eventually turned the tide in India’s favour. Also, how Gambhir had timed his innings was a testament to the man’s determination for the cause.
2. Virat Kohli’s 133 vs Sri Lanka at Hobart in 2012
Requiring 320 in 40 overs to stay in contention for a spot in the final of a tri-series in Australia, Team India had, for the first time, experienced the run-scoring machine they had at their disposal to the full extent.
Already 8-ODI-hundred-old Kohli had not only reinvented himself with his old-school techniques and timing but launched himself on the world stage. One of the most feared white-ball bowlers of the time Lasith Malinga was outmanoeuvred with ease by the gifted wrists of the soon-to-be-best-cricketer.
Also, the Hobart knock came at a time when the hallucinating effect of T20 had put the cricketing world under the impression that theatrical shots were essential in scoring runs. But with Kohli’s advent as an international cricketer, it was re-established that the traditional style of play can and will fetch numbers.
3. Rohit Sharma’s 209 vs Australia at Bengaluru in 2013
Rohit Sharma had been at foray of Indian cricket since 2008 and was often at the receiving end of criticisms during the initial days of his career for the number of chances he received over others in the national team.
While a chance to open the innings had saved his ODI career, it was the double-hundred, 209 to be precise, against Australia in Bengaluru in 2013 which initiated his quest of becoming one of the best Indian limited-overs batsmen.
The criticisms and doubts which loomed large over his career were also put to rest by the 209 as the cricketing world geared up to witness the brilliance of a special cricketer, which Rohit Sharma was always destined to become.
4. Sachin Tendulkar’s 200* vs South Africa at Gwalior 2010
Before February 2010, there could have hardly been a soul who fancied a double-hundred in ODI. But with the Master in-charge, no batting record was ever safe and the first individual 200 of white-ball cricket was the reaffirmation of Sachin Tendulkar’s greatness.
The wicket was not an easy one to bat on as was evident during South Africa’s innings when the Proteas were bundled out for 248 despite them getting the advantage of dew.
More than the runs he had scored, it was a great display of his physical ability as a batsman as he played his fiery knock of 147 for the length of entire 50 overs.
5. Virat Kohli’s 100* and 115* vs Australia at Jaipur and Nagpur in 2013
If Kohli’s Hobart Hurricane was the dawn of his great international career, the 2013 home series against Australia gave Kohli’s cricket a new dimension and made him an undisputed batting great while chasing.
With 360 to win, India were in a similar kind of position like that of Hobart a year ago. Kohli played another fiery and unbeaten knock of 100 off just 52 balls and along with Rohit Sharma, took India to a comfortable victory with 9 wickets and more than six overs to spare.
The next innings in Jaipur was another masterclass in chasing a big total. In the foundation laid by the openers, Kohli batted with the strike rate of 174.24 for his unbeaten 66-ball 115 to snatch victory from the jaws of the Australians.