Revealed: Australia's greatest ODI player

Ricky Ponting voted Australia's best ever one-day player by the fans, beating long-time teammate Adam Gilchrist in the final

After almost 1.5 million votes from cricket fans around the world, cricket.com.au can reveal that the unofficial title of Australia’s greatest ever ODI player belongs to ... Ricky Ponting.

In a series of head-to-head fan polls over the past 10 days, lovers of the game have voted in huge numbers to select Ponting as Australia’s best ever when it comes to one-day cricket.

From a shortlist of 16 players, Ponting and his former teammate Adam Gilchrist were well ahead of the pack and faced off in a ‘grand final’ to decide Australia’s best ever.

Image Id: 9DC4097C654044FEAC69DA7176D2811E Image Caption: Ponting in 2007, holding the World Cup for a third time // Getty

And after more than 135,000 votes across cricket.com.au, the CA Live app, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on Thursday and Friday, Ponting prevailed with 57 per cent of the vote compared to 43 per cent for Gilchrist.

Speaking before being announced as the winner, Ponting told cricket.com.au he would vote for Gilchrist - as long as his long-time teammate returned the favour.

"If you ask Gilly, he’s going to say me. And if you ask me, I’m going to say Gilly!" Ponting said with a laugh.

"I’ll say Adam Gilchrist. Hopefully he says me ... Gilly, you better do the right thing!

"I was lucky to play a lot of games with Gilly and I captained him on a lot of occasions. He was a match-winning player at the top of the order and at certain times probably made my job a lot easier going in at No.3."

Players and coaches in Australia's World Cup squad were split between the two legends, with several sitting on the fence and coach Justin Langer - who ended up siding with his assistant Ponting - likening the choice to being asked to pick his favourite daughter.

Allrounder Glenn Maxwell opted for Gilchrist - a call he conceded was "controversial" given Ponting is one of his childhood idols - while assistant coach Brad Haddin broke with the wicketkeeping union in picking Ponting.

"He’s led us to a number of World Cups, he’s got longevity in the game and every time we had a big moment, Ricky Ponting was there to deliver," Haddin said.

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With three World Cup wins to his name - including two as skipper – as well as 4000 more ODI runs than any other Australian, it comes as little surprise that Ponting has been crowned Australia’s best ever by the public.

For more than 15 years, Ponting held down the No.3 spot in an Australian side that enjoyed an unprecedented level of success, highlighted by the unbeaten World Cup campaigns he skippered in 2003 and 2007.

In a career full of great moments, his stunning assault on India’s bowlers in Johannesburg in 2003, on no less a stage than a World Cup final, is an innings that’s difficult to forget.

A hat-trick of trademark Ponting run outs

Ponting was matched-up against Mitchell Starc in the opening round of Australia’s ODI GOAT, winning comfortably, while the first round also saw surprise eliminations for two-time World Cup winners Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan, who were knocked out by Mike Hussey and Matthew Hayden respectively.

In Round 2, Ponting, Gilchrist and Brett Lee all won comfortably, while Shane Warne just edged out his old teammate Glenn McGrath with 51 per cent of the vote to 49 per cent, a margin of less than 4000 votes.

Ponting and Gilchrist both won more than 70 per cent of the vote in their semi-finals, against Lee and Warne respectively, to set up a final between the former captain and vice-captain.

Round 1

Adam Gilchrist (91%) beat Dennis Lillee (9%)

Ricky Ponting (82%) beat Mitchell Starc (18%)

Mark Waugh (75%) beat Dean Jones (25%)

Mike Hussey (68%) beat Steve Waugh (32%)

Brett Lee (54%) beat Shane Watson (46%)

Shane Warne (92%) beat Greg Chappell (8%)

Matthew Hayden (67%) beat Michael Bevan (33%)

Glenn McGrath (70%) beat Andrew Symonds (30%)

Image Id: F528F124B7984796924CC025A7EB9439

Round 2

Ricky Ponting (80%) beat Mike Hussey (20%)

Adam Gilchrist (92%) beat Mark Waugh (8%)

Brett Lee (62%) beat Matthew Hayden (38%)

Shane Warne (51%) beat Glenn McGrath (49%)


Ricky Ponting (78%) beat Brett Lee (22%)

Adam Gilchrist (72%) beat Shane Warne (28%)


Ricky Ponting (57%) beat Adam Gilchrist (43%)

Ricky Ponting

ODI record

M: 375 | Runs: 13704 | Ave: 42.03 | SR: 80.39 | 100s: 30 | 50s: 82 | HS: 164

World Cup record

M: 46 | Runs: 1743 | Ave: 45.86 | SR: 79.95 | 100s: 5 | 50s: 6 | HS: 140*

World Cup titles won: 3