ODI GOAT: Jones vs Clarke
One revolutionised the way the game was played in Australia, while the other led his side to World Cup glory on home soil
10 April 2016, 03:40 PM AEST
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!
DEAN JONES (AUSTRALIA)
The numbers: Matches: 164 | Runs: 6,068 | Average: 44.61 | SR: 72.56 | 100s: 7 | HS: 145
Why he makes the list: With his lips smothered in white zinc and possessing the confident strut to match, 'Deano' was a one-day cricket icon in Australia through his glittering career between 1984 and 1994. Where Allan Border had provided the gritty backbone of a side that had emerged from the doldrums in the early 1980s, Jones added a captivating blend of brilliance and bravado with the bat, aggressively setting a new pace for the men in green and gold. He ran hard between the wickets, stalked batsmen in the field, and even stood up to the might of the Windies; most famously telling Curtly Ambrose to remove his wristbands on one memorable afternoon at the SCG. The middle-order man scored three fifties at the 1987 World Cup to play an integral role in Australia's march to a maiden World Cup title.
Performance we loved: Jones was at his entertaining best at the Gabba against England in 1990, blitzing 145 from 136 balls to set up an easy win for the Aussies. It was the seventh and final ODI hundred from the man considered a revolutionary among one-day batsmen, contained 12 fours and four sixes, and was for nine years the highest score made in the 50-over format by an Australian.
MICHAEL CLARKE (AUSTRALIA)
The numbers: Matches: 245 | Runs: 7,981 | Average: 44.58 | SR: 78.98 | 100s: 8 | HS: 130
Why he makes the list: Alongside the likes of Ponting, Gilchrist and Symonds, Michael Clarke was rarely a headline stealer in ODI cricket but between overs 15 and 40, there were few better accumulators of runs. Like Damien Martyn before him, that was the role Clarke was tasked with for much of his career; with an all-conquering Australia blessed with explosive batting in both the top and lower middle-order, he regularly used his hard running, gap picking, and superb play of spin to maintain a run rate while the field was lining the boundary. He was outstanding in Australia's 2007 World Cup triumph, scoring 436 runs at 87.20 and a strike-rate of 94.98, and by February 2008, he'd surged to No.2 on the ODI world batting rankings. Seven years later, he was again front and centre on the world stage, making 74 to all but see Australia home at the MCG in the World Cup final – a glorious conclusion to a wonderful ODI career.
Performance we loved: Clarke had already led Australia 24 times in ODIs before he was officially handed the full-time job in 2011, and in a sign of things to come on the Test front, he promptly scored a hundred straight up against Bangladesh in Mirpur. Revelling in the leadership, it was a classic Clarke contribution; made amid the crumbling of wickets to steady an innings that might otherwise have fallen apart, scored at roughly a run a ball and featuring precise placement and footwork as he helped his side to what proved a match-winning total.
#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: Lloyd v Border