From Virat Kohli To Babar Azam: 5 Active Batters Averaging Above 50 In ODI Cricket
Among active players, only five batters can boast of this feat, and we take a look at all of them
Rassie van der Dussen achieved his career-best third place in the latest ICC ODI rankings, courtesy a match-winning century against England in the opening ODI of the series, at Chester-le-Street in Durham. van der Dussen scored 134 off just 114 deliveries, with the help of ten fours, and surprisingly, zero sixes. Usually, such long innings in ODIs are always sprinkled with multiple sixes, but this is what makes van der Dussen special – the ability to score at a rapid pace without doing anything fancy.
Placing him as a perfect replacement for the retired genius AB de Villiers will be an exaggeration, but van der Dussen, at least in the ODIs, has ensured that South Africa don’t fall short of a dynamic hitter in their middle order. He is among the rare set of batters to average north of 50 in the ODIs, a format that has been pushed to the margin. Among active players, only four other batters can boast of this feat, and we take a look at all of them.
5. Joe Root – 50.45
England’s former captain Joe Root is the only active batter to average over 50 in both Tests and ODIs. For the last couple of years, Root has been operating in a different dimension of excellence, veering away from the rest of the fab four and standing alone on the peak he so ruthlessly created with his gluttonous appetite for the runs. A couple of days ago, while the rest of the English batters succumbed to the South Africa attack, Root stood tall and waged a lone war for his well-made 86. He has scored over 6000 runs in 156 innings at a healthy average of 50.45.
4. Imam-ul-Haq 54.78
International cricket hasn’t been a smooth ride for Imam-ul-Haq, who is accused of always being favoured by his uncle Inzamam-ul-Haq to retain his place in the team. However, you need to look at his ODI records – 2,520 runs in just 52 innings at an average of 54.78 – to understand how misplaced these claims are. Imam, a left-handed prodigy with a very old-school approach, has been a solid presence for Pakistan at the top. Now he is fighting to cement his position in the Test side.
3. Virat Kohli – 57.68
As compared to Test, Virat Kohli’s ODI average hasn’t taken a massive hit. Even after an underwhelming 2022, where he has been averaging just over 20 after eight games, his career average in ODI is just shy of 60. For a player with a minimum of 100 ODI appearances, his average of 57.68 is second to none. Only Sachin Tendulkar has notched more ODI centuries than Kohli, who hasn’t reached a triple-figure mark in over two years.
Read More: With T20I World Cup Ahead, Is Virat Kohli Getting More Privilege Than Other Indian Greats?
2. Babar Azam – 59.22
Babar Azam is the second Pakistani in the list, having scored 4,442 runs in 87 innings at an average of 59.22. Azam, who is also the No. 1 ODI batter in the world, has close to 5000 runs in 89 ODIs. He also holds the record for scoring the most number of runs by a Pakistani batter in a single edition of the World Cup. In the 2020-2023 window of the ICC Super League, Azam has amassed 1083 runs at an average of 83.60.
Read More: ‘This Too Shall Pass!’ Babar Azam’s Heart-Warming Message To Virat Kohli Winning The Internet
1. Rassie van der Dussen – 74.95
Leading the chart is van der Dussen, the late bloomer who started his international career at an age when most cricketers are already in their prime. Even in his debut series, against Pakistan in 2019, van der Dussen batted like a seasoned cricketer, scoring a composed 93. He finished the series as the leading run-getter of his side, and has hardly looked back since then.
After 36 matches, van der Dussen’s average stands at 74.95. If he improves his conversion rate, his ODI average will go even higher. Out of the 14 times he has reached half-centuries, he has managed to convert it into a century on only three occasions. Thus, terrifying as it may sound, there’s still scope for improvement.
Featured Image Credit: Babar Azam/Twitter