ODI GOAT: Murali v Hogg | cricket.com.au

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ODI GOAT: Murali v Hogg

Two greats of the modern era clash in our round of 64 - who gets your vote?

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!

MUTHIAH MURALIDARAN (SRI LANKA)

The numbers: Matches: 350 | Wickets: 534 | Average: 23.08 | SR: 35.2 | Economy: 3.93 | BB: 7-30 | 5w: 10

WATCH: Murali's Big Bash best bits

Why he makes the list: Divisive, destructive and deceptive, Muthiah Muralidaran was an unassuming talking point in world cricket for a decade-and-a-half. Throughout that time, the mystery spinner from Kandy in the heart of Sri Lanka baffled the world's best batsman with his variations; the great Adam Gilchrist admitting as much recently when he said facing Murali made him feel like a child. Controversy centred upon his action – he was called for throwing in an ODI against England in Adelaide in the summer of 1998-99 and his captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, threatened to lead his team from the field. Law changes and legalities aside, Murali was a master of his craft, a spinner capable of unerring accuracy with an ability to turn the ball both ways with barely a change of action. It all resulted in the most wickets by one man in ODI cricket, a World Cup title in '96, and endless comparisons with Shane Warne as the greatest spinner of the modern era, perhaps ever.

Performance we loved: Sharjah, October 2000. Murali ran through India like the proverbial hot knife through butter, claiming 7-30 – then the single best figures in the history of ODIs. With 294 to defend, Murali went to work, removing Robin Singh for his 200th one-day wicket, then Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and four more batsmen in a stunning rout that handed his side a 68-run win.

BRAD HOGG (AUSTRALIA)

The numbers: Matches: 123 | Wickets: 156 | Average: 26.84 | SR: 35.6 | Economy: 4.51 | BB: 5-32 | 5w: 2

WATCH: Hogg Bamboozles Yuvraj

Why he makes the list: That Australia's post-Warne transition was so much smoother in ODI cricket than in Test cricket can be put down to George Bradley Hogg. A left-arm Chinaman from WA – surely among cricket's rarest species – Hogg enjoyed a brief taste of ODI cricket in 1996 but it was in his second life, following Warne's final appearances for Australia, that he came into his own (his ongoing third life is another story altogether). That of course coincided with Warne's suspension from the 2003 World Cup, paving the way for Hogg to begin his love affair with the tournament – a key factor in his ascension into cricket.com.au's top 64 ODI players. In two World Cups – 2003 and 2007 – he played 21 matches for 21 wins, and was a vital factor in Australia's unprecedented success, taking 34 wickets at 19.23 with his sharp turn and a lethal wrong'un.

Performance we loved: There were five-wicket hauls against Sri Lanka and West Indies but we'll take his 4-29 against the Kiwis in the '07 World Cup. Australia posted 348 and Hogg attacked ruthlessly from the beginning of his spell, dismissing top-scorer Peter Fulton before knocking over Brendon McCullum and running through the lower order. It was a classic spinner's spell, and put Australia through to the semi-finals of a tournament they went on to win. 

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CATO Sri Lanka

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