ODI GOAT: Border v Inzamam

Australia's 1987 World Cup winning captain takes on Pakistan's hero from '92

Sam Ferris

25 April 2016, 02:27 PM

The #ODIGOAT is cricket.com.au's knockout competition to determine the greatest ODI player of all time. We started with 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 are now into the round of 32. Next it will be 16, 8, 4 and ultimately our final. So cast your VOTE and decide just who is the greatest ODI player in history!


The numbers: Matches: 273 | Runs: 6,524 | Average: 30.62 | SR: 71.42 | 100s: 3 | HS: 127no

Wickets: 73 | Average: 28.36 | SR: 36.4 | Economy: 4.66 | BB: 3-20 | 5fa's: 0

WATCH: Mix Tape: The best of ODI AB

#ODIGOAT Voting: The fans were pretty evenly divided on two legendary captains in the first round - 'AB' and West Indian champion Clive Lloyd. Border escaped with the win, claiming 54 per cent of the vote, and now squares off with big Inzy. 

Why he makes the list: The godfather of Australian cricket, Allan Border has a record we couldn't refuse. The batting pillar in a time of transition in Australia, Border brought his uncompromising attitude and work ethic from Test cricket into the one-day game. In a career spanning 15 years, only Ricky Ponting (230) captained Australia more than Border's 178 games at the helm. His gritty, uncomplicated style was most effective against England, averaging 42.46 and scoring 105no in just his second match against the Old Enemy. His greatest feat was bringing together a young team, described as "rank outsiders" by Steve Waugh, to win Australia's maiden World Cup in 1987 on the subcontinent.

Performance we loved: Nine days after scoring 118no off only 88 balls against Sri Lanka at the Adelaide Oval, Border reached triple figures once again in the first tri-series final at the SCG in February, 1985. This time it was against the Hall of Fame West Indies fast-bowling trio of Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding and 'Big Bird' Joel Garner. Entering at 2-7 and copping an early blow to the chest from a rising Garner delivery, Border teamed up with Wayne Phillips to put on 105 for the fifth wicket. The southpaw had help from Simon O'Donnell and Geoff Lawson, but it was a one-man show for a majority of the innings. He struck 13 boundaries in his unbeaten 127, guiding Australia to a match-winning total of 6-247. The 26-run win snapped the Windies 10-game unbeaten ODI run that summer. 


The numbers: Matches: 378 | Runs: 11,739 | Average: 39.52 | SR: 74.24 | 100s: 10 | HS: 137no

WATCH: Inzy goes big in Sydney

#ODIGOAT Voting: Inzy was the shock winner of the first round, garnering huge support from his home base to knock off South African legend Jacques Kallis with a narrow 55 per cent of the vote. He'll need that support again if he's to eclipse the great Allan Border. 

Why he makes the list: A batting pillar in every sense, Inzamam-ul-Haq was a roadblock in Pakistan's middle-order few could easily overcome. Debuting as a lean 21-year-old in 1991, Inzamam was an explosive hitter capable of quick-fire cameos at the back-end of an innings. Those traits were never more evident than in the 1992 World Cup, where his late charges propelled Pakistan through to the title. As the years and runs added up so did his girth, transforming him into a colossus at the crease while never losing his fleet feet. It did however contribute to his dire running between the wickets and the downfall of many of his batting partners. Imran Khan called 'Inzy' the "the best batsman in the world against pace" but he was also sublime against spin, scoring more ODI runs than any other Pakistani. His career ended at the conclusion of the forgettable 2007 World Cup, but not before cementing his place as one of Pakistan's greats.

Performance we loved: Against tournament co-hosts New Zealand in the '92 World Cup semi, Inzy pulled out a gem of an innings to lift Pakistan into the final. The then lanky right-hander used all his leverage to whip the Black Caps to all parts of Auckland's Eden Park, registering seven fours and a six in his whirlwind 37-ball 60. It was a magical innings for a batsman whose star was on the rise, and the momentum Inzamam helped create was carried into the tournament decider and ultimately victory.  

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#ODIGOAT First Round: Akram v Starc

#ODIGOAT First Round: Garner v Donald

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#ODIGOAT First Round: McGrath v Pollock

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#ODIGOAT First Round: Sehwag v Greenidge

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