Virat Kohli – India
The maestro, the GOAT, the modern-day legend, the second coming of Sachin Tendulkar, whichever you like to put it, Virat Kohli is a modern marvel of the sport. Kohli is the only batsman in the world to average more than 50 in all 3 formats of the game. He already has 70 centuries to his name, with a staggering 43 of them coming in ODI’s. He currently represents the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Kohli has already broken several records which have been untouched for decades, and is coming very close to breaking more records, most of which are currently held by the Little Master Sachin Tendulkar. In 242 innings, Kohli has scored as staggering 12040 runs, at an alarmingly high average of 59.31. His strike rate is also very good at 93.25, and he has hit 60 half-centuries.
Kohli is a very aggressive cricketer by nature, even with his body language. He loves to embrace the challenge of taking on the very best of bowlers around the world, and more often than not comes out on top. He plays every single shot to perfection, and has a huge selection of shots he has mastered. His commitment to his fitness levels is alarming, and will definitely help him prolong his brilliant career.
Kohli is also the all-time highest scorer in the IPL, despite never winning the title. The Delhi lad has hit more than 1100 fours and also 125 sixes, highlighting the fact that he can be a very attacking batsman while also shouldering the responsibility of pacing his innings, especially while chasing, which seem to be his specialty. Though Kohli won the 2011 World Cup with India, his form in the 3 World Cups he has played hasn’t been the best. He has a highest score of 183, and among his many records, the best one is that he is the fastest man to reach 10000 runs in ODI cricket, beating Sachin Tendulkar by 54 innings !
At the age of 32, and with plenty of cricket still left for him to play, Kohli is already regarded as one of the all-time best ODI batsmen in the world, if not the best, and is well on course to beat several more records in the near future.
Rohit Sharma – India
The Hit-Man, or the Run-Machine as Rohit Sharma is fondly called, is the most unstoppable batsman in the world on his day. Once he gets past the 40-run barrier in a match, you know he will not be able to stop and will end up with a huge score.
Rohit Sharma is the first cricketer in the world to score 3 double centuries in ODI cricket ! Absolutely unbelievable achievement, and he also boasts of the highest ever individual score in ODI history, when he scored 264 against Sri Lanka and outscored their entire team by 13 runs in that match! In 217 innings, Rohit has scored a staggering 9115 runs, at an amazing average of 49.27, with 29 centuries and 43 half-centuries. He has hit an astonishing 244 sixes as well, proving that he can absolutely dismantle the opposition bowling attack when he is in full flow.
Rohit has always been described as a talented stroke player who makes batting look effortless and free-flowing. He first emerged on the scene in the 2007 T20 World Cup, where he helped India beat South Africa en route their maiden title. He then led the Mumbai Indians to a record 5 IPL titles, and is the most successful captain in the tournament’s history, along with being the second highest run scorer as well. He is also regarded as one of the best ODI batsmen in the world in the powerplay overs.
Babar Azam - Pakistan
Probably the greatest batting talent to come out from the fertile cricket streets of Pakistan in the 21st century, Babar Azam has been breaking records at a record-breaking pace in all 3 formats of the game. One of the only batsmen in the world to average more than 50 in T20s as well as ODI’s, Babar has managed to score 3580 runs in just 75 innings, at an unbelievable average of 55.94. He has hit 12 centuries and 16 half centuries, with a highest score of 125, at a solid strike rate of 87.87.
After 25 innings, Babar had scored 1306 runs, which is the world record for most ODI runs after 25 innings. Babar Azam is the youngest player ever to represent Pakistan in the Under 19 World Cup, making the team at the age of just 15.
Two years late, at the age of 17 he again participated in the Under 19 World Cup, captaining the side and emerged as their top scorer in the tournament. One of the finest strokemakers in the world right now, Azam’s technique is unparalleled. He is not the biggest of hitters and is definitely not a slogger, but can perfectly pace his innings according to the requirements of the match, and is often considered as Pakistan’s answer to the skipper of their bitter rivals Virat Kohli. Many Pakistani fans believe that Azam can go on to become one the best ODI batsmen in the world.
Ben Stokes – England
Arguably THE best all-rounder in all 3 formats of world cricket currently, Ben Stokes is a freak of nature. The most influential cricketer in the world over the last two years, expect him to be knighted soon for his efforts leading England to their first ever World Cup title in 2019!
He scored 5 fifties in that tournament and was also given the Man Of The Match award in the final. Stokes has scored 2682 runs in 81 innings, at a brilliant average of more than 40, studded with 3 centuries. He has hit 20 half centuries and has also hit 75 sixes, batting with an impressive strike rate of 93.94. He has also taken 70 wickets in ODI’s, highlighting his importance to the national team, and has also taken some of the best catches in cricket history.
Stokes is also very famous for an incredible test innings, where he scored an unbeaten 135 to secure a memorable victory against Australia to tie the Ashes series 2-2. Stokes can be one of the best ODI batsmen in the world on his day, with his big hitting prowess.
David Warner – Australia
One of the few players in this article who could have easily been mentioned in the lists of all 3 formats, David Warner is one of Australia’s greatest ever batsmen. The diminutive southpaw has blasted bowlers all over the pitch in all 3 formats of the pitch.
In ODI’s, he has scored 5455 runs in just 126 innings, at a brilliant average of 45.08 and even more impressive strike rate of over 95. He has scored 18 tons and 23 half centuries, studded with 85 sixes and 571 fours, highlighting his aggressive playing style. Warner was absolutely brilliant in back to back World Cups for Australia, as he was their second highest scorer in the 2015 edition, and then the highest scorer in the 2019 edition, where he scored more than 500 runs, with 3 stunning centuries.
He also became the only player to boast 2 different 150+ scores in World Cup cricket. Warner also averages more than 48 in test cricket and more than 41 in the IPL, proving that he is one of the finest batsmen of our generation, and one of the current best ODI batsmen in the world.
Jonny Bairstow - England
One of the most explosive openers in the England international set up in recent times, Jonny Bairstow has been a revelation in white ball cricket. He has formed a destructive opening pairing with both Jos Buttler as well as Jason Roy in ODI’s and T20’s. In just 76 innings, Bairstow has amassed 3207 runs at a staggering average of 47.16, which is one of the highest for any opener who has played more than 50 matches.
He also has an incredible strike rate of 103, and has hit 10 centuries and 13 half-centuries, with a highest score of 141. Bairstow is a very attacking batsman and is responsible for giving England many amazing starts, none less than his performances at the 2019 ICC World Cup.
He hit 2 half-centuries and then proceeded to hit back-to-back centuries against New Zealand and India in crucial games, as England eventually lifted their first ever World Cup title, with Bairstow cementing his status as a modern-day legend and one of the best ODI batsmen in the world of the modern era.
Aaron Finch - Australia
The current Australian ODI captain is a pint-sized dynamite just like his opening partner David Warner. Finch has become even better with the bat ever since he was chosen as Australia’s captain after the infamous ball tampering incident which got Steve Smith and David Warner banned from the sport for 2 years.
Finch has scored 5232 runs in 128 innings, at an impressive average of 41.86. He has a solid strike rate of 88.41 and as struck 17 centuries and 29 half-centuries, with a stunning highest score of 153.
Finch is a fairly attacking batsman who loves dealing in boundaries, having hit 126 sixes and 519 fours in his ODI career. At the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, Finch struck a brilliant 135 against England in the opening match, before struggling for the rest of the tournament, as Australia won their record 5th WC title. In the 2019 ICC World Cup, Finch led from the front as he scored more than 500 runs in just 10 innings, with 2 stunning match-winning centuries against Sri Lanka and England.
Though Australia had a disappointing campaign, Finch was widely regarded as one of the best captains of the tournament, and has been among the best ODI batsmen in the world over the last 2 years in ODIs. He is also the top run scorer of 2020 with 673 runs in 13 innings.
FAF Du Plessis – South Africa
One of the most consistent batsmen in white ball cricket, Francoise du Plessis, or Faf as he is commonly known as, is a modern day great of South African cricket. In just 136 innings, he has managed to pile up 6218 runs at a mind-blowing average of 46.67. He has hit 12 centuries and 35 half-centuries, and has a highest score of 185.
Du Plessis has been incredibly consistent at the ICC World Cup, scoring more than 380 runs in each of the past 2 editions, highlighting his importance to the team. Du Plessis is famous for his calm and composed approach to batting, pacing his innings perfectly and helping his team post imposing totals and also chase down challenging totals. He is also one of the best fielders in the world and has taken some absolute blinders over the years.
Faf is a very versatile batsman, and is equally comfortable opening the innings as he is batting at number 3 or 4. His IPL performances tell us that he can also be very explosive if the situation demands, highlighting his versatility and importance to South Africa, and his status as one of the best ODI batsmen in the world.