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ODI GOAT: Gilchrist v McCullum

15 April 2016

Two brutal batsmen go head-to-head in this trans-Tasman ODI GOAT clash

The #ODIGOAT is cricket.com.au's knockout competition to determine the greatest ODI player of all time. We've selected our top 64 ODI players and now we're asking YOU to do the hard work – that is, narrow it down to one. Set up in much the same way as a tennis tournament, each day you'll see head-to-head match-ups, with the winner of those progressing to the next round to square off with their next challenger. From 64, we'll go to 32, to 16, 8, 4 and ultimately our final. So cast your VOTE and decide just who is the greatest ODI player in history!

ADAM GILCHRIST (AUSTRALIA)

Matches: 287 | Runs: 9,619 | Average: 35.89 | SR: 96.94 | 100s: 16 | HS: 172

Dismissals: 472 | Catches: 417 | Stumpings: 55

From the Vault: Welcome to Gilly's Gabba

Why he makes the list: You can find the genesis of Adam Gilchrist's transformation of the wicketkeeper-batsman role with his promotion to the top of the order in one-day cricket. Steve Waugh famously made the call in 1998, sparking a reign of terror on new-ball bowlers for a decade, one which produced 16 centuries, 55 fifties and countless unforgettable innings. In just his second match at the top of the order, Gilchrist peeled off an even 100 from 104 balls against South Africa. Two matches later he reached triple figures again, 118 from 117 balls with five sixes against New Zealand in Christchurch. There was no scarier sight for an opening bowler than seeing Gilchrist impatiently tapping the bat against the pitch with that trademark high-grip for extra leverage. He was player with a sense of occasion, scoring big, and fast, in the three triumphant World Cups finals he played in. Gilchrist's frenetic batting overshadowed his exemplary glovework. Only Sri Lanka champion Kumar Sangakkara has been responsible for more dismissals than Gilchrist's 472. He believed there was more room in the air, and it's in rare air where Gilchrist ranks among the game's greats. 

Performance we loved: In 1999 he pounded Pakistan with 54 from 36 balls at Lord's. In 2007 he was imperious against India with 57 from 48 in Johannesburg. And in 2007, he finally went on with it in a World Cup final, smashing Sri Lanka to all parts of Kensington Oval in Bridgetown with a match-winning 149 off 118 deliveries. Gilchrist took no prisoners, showing complete disdain for legends Chaminda Vaas and Muthiah Muralidaran, nor any of their teammates, crashing 13 fours and eight sixes. But he didn't do it alone. While he formed a colossal 172-run opening stand with Matthew Hayden, it was his partnership with a squash ball concealed in his left glove which proved to be the difference maker. 

BRENDON McCULLUM (NEW ZEALAND)

Matches: 260 | Runs: 6,083| Average: 30.41 | SR: 96.37 | 100s: 5 | HS: 166

Dismissals: 277 | Catches: 262| Stumpings: 15

WATCH: McCullum blasts fastest World Cup fifty

Why he makes the list: At the peak of his powers, Brendon McCullum was arguably the most entertaining batsman in the game. With a pair of dancing feet Fred Astaire would envy, McCullum sashayed down and around the wicket, confusing bowlers, creating angles and cashing in with run after run after run. It took a few years to get going after his 2002 debut; 2005 was a good year but 2008 was his best, scoring 750 runs at an average of 47.53 and a strike rate of 110. Most of the modern-day greats share a core of key characteristics; power, timing and balance to name a few. While McCullum had those attributes and more, he was truly fearless. As a 'keeper he would throw his body around like a ragdoll, often defying gravity to pouch a wide edge with an outstretched glove. It didn't help his dodgy back which forced him to give up the gloves to prolong his career as a specialist batsman. When the captaincy fell his way, he carried his attacking principles into his leadership approach, daring his men to challenge the best on the planet. His men answered his call all the way to a ground-breaking World Cup final appearance in 2015.

Performance we loved: Hamilton, 2007. Matthew Hayden scores an Australian record 181no. The tourists post 5-346 from 50 overs. New Zealand are in all sorts at 5-116 in the 17th over. Enter McCullum. The dashing right-hander keeps his calm. He collects ones and twos early, waiting 38 balls to hit his first boundary. At the other end, Craig McMillan was teeing off on his way to blistering century. Australia struck back, chipping away at the Black Caps tail while McCullum stood firm. He kept rotating the strike, kept hitting the bad ball when it arrived, and kept New Zealand in the game. With seven needed from the final over, McCullum delivers the KO – a huge six over fine leg off Nathan Bracken. Two balls later, McCullum bosses a full toss behind backward point, one-handed, to seal the memorable win and sweep the Australians 3-0.   

#ODIGOAT First Round: Tendulkar v Sharma

#ODIGOAT First Round: Akram v Starc

#ODIGOAT First Round: Garner v Donald

#ODIGOAT First Round: Richards v de Silva

#ODIGOAT First Round: Azharuddin v Miandad

#ODIGOAT First Round: Dev v Vettori

#ODIGOAT First Round: Lloyd v Border

#ODIGOAT First Round: Jones v Clarke

#ODIGOAT First Round: Waqar v Johnson

#ODIGOAT First Round: Warne v Kumble

#ODIGOAT First Round: Hooper v S. Waugh

#ODIGOAT First Round: Imran v Hadlee

#ODIGOAT First Round: Lee v Akhtar

#ODIGOAT First Round: M. Waugh v Jayasuriya

#ODIGOAT First Round: De Villiers v Boucher

#ODIGOAT First Round: Lara v Amla

ODI GOAT bracket update

CATO Sri Lanka

About the Writer

 @samuelfez
@samuelfez

Sam Ferris is a Sydney-based journalist for cricket.com.au. He started in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent and continues to monitor the domestic scene and national sides closely.

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