ODI GOAT: Symonds v De Villiers

One of the great Aussie allrounders meets a modern-day superstar in the round of 32 - who gets your vote?

Sam Ferris & Adam Burnett

29 April 2016, 04:30 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: 200 | Runs: 8,621| Average: 54.56 | SR: 100.18 | 100s: 24 | HS: 162no

Dismissals: 169 | Catches: 164 | Stumpings: 5

WATCH: AB blasts fastest ever ODI century

#ODIGOAT voting: De Villiers' first-round match-up with compatriot Mark Boucher produced one of the most emphatic results to date, with ABdV claiming 96 per cent of the vote.

Why he makes the list: There's only one AB de Villiers. While he's not quite the statistical outlier of Don Bradman, his record to the uninitiated prompts a second glance and rechecking of the figures. It's astonishing. Having played a neat 200 ODIs, no player has scored more runs than his 8,621 or has a higher average than his 54.56. He is the fastest batsman to 7,000 runs in terms of innings. And he owns the fastest century of all time; a 31-ball demolition of the West Indies in 2015. De Villiers is a marvel to watch. Like a tiger ready to pounce, he crouches down, knees bent, eyes focused as his prey enters its delivery stride. In that position, he can hit the ball anywhere, 360 degrees, and for six. He has no weakness. He treats spin and seam with the same disdain, revels on fast and slow pitches. He gave the gloves away to focus on his batting, but the numbers suggest he should have kept them – he averages 71 as a 'keeper, with 10 tons in 55 digs. Perhaps only one man, India's Virat Kohli, can challenge de Villiers as the 50-over format's modern master, but even he is in awe of the South African. "He (de Villiers) is the best batsman of this generation," Kohli said. There's only one AB de Villiers.

Performance we loved: It was like a video game with cheat mode on. De Villiers' 31-ball century at the Wanderers defied belief, logic, and 44 years of ODI history. Walking out to bat in the 39thover, he hit his first ball for four to the straight boundary. Three balls later he went four, six, four, six, six. Either side of his world record 16-ball half-century, de Villiers put another string of boundaries together; six, six, six, four, six. Two more lucrative streaks followed – six, four, six, six (that's his hundred, in the46th over), six and six, six, four, six, six. He was out for 149 in the final over, one run short of another record. In total he hit 16 sixes, or one every 2.75 balls he faced.


The numbers: Matches: 198 | Runs: 5088 | Average: 39.75 | SR: 92.44 | 100s: 6 | HS: 156 | Wickets: 133 | Average: 37.25 | SR: 44.6 | Economy: 5.00 | BB: 5-18 | 5w: 1

WATCH: Symonds sizzles in Sydney

#ODIGOAT voting: Symonds took on another brilliant allrounder in the round of 64 - Lance Klusener - advancing with 58 per cent of the vote.

Why he makes the list: The barnstorming best of Andrew Symonds almost never materialised at international level. A laidback Queenslander with world-beating skills in every facet of the game, Symonds scored just two half-centuries and took a couple of four-fers in his first 54 ODIs. Suddenly, he flicked a switch. Selectors gambled on him for the 2003 World Cup and he duly repaid the faith, hammering a maiden hundred first-up and rescuing Australia with an unbeaten 91 in the semi-final against Sri Lanka. For the ensuing six years Symonds was among the premier allrounders in ODI cricket. Built like a rugby league player (he once trialled with the Brisbane Broncos), he used his imposing figure to his advantage both with bat in hand and even in the field, where he reigned supreme whether in the ring or in the outfield. From his unpredictable early days, Symonds morphed into one of Australia's most bankable stars, regularly churning out match-turning knocks in the middle order with an impressive blend of fireworks and finesse. It all ended in ignominy, with a fishing trip and some cross words, but in between, the dreadlocked entertainer had become a cult hero in Australian sport.

WATCH: Symonds takes a screamer

Performance we loved: Symonds' 143 not out (from 125 balls, with 18 fours and two sixes) against Pakistan in the '03 World Cup transformed Australia's tournament after it began in the shambles of the Shane Warne controversy, and transformed the allrounder's career. Coming to the crease at 4-86 in the 16th over, he played second fiddle to Ricky Ponting initially before the captain's departure for 53 meant he had to take on the lead role. He did it brilliantly, flaying a high-quality Pakistan attack to all parts and leading Australia to what proved to be a match-winning 8-310.

#ODIGOAT First Round

Tendulkar v Sharma | Akram v Starc | Garner v Donald | Richards v de Silva | Azharuddin v Miandad | Dev v Vettori | Lloyd v Border | Jones v Clarke | Waqar v Johnson | Warne v Kumble | Hooper v S. Waugh | Imran v Hadlee | Lee v Akhtar | M. Waugh v Jayasuriya | De Villiers v Boucher | Lara v Amla | Gilchrist v McCullum | Gayle v Haynes | McGrath v Pollock | Anwar v Ganguly | Sehwag v Greenidge | Ponting v Gibbs | Dhoni v Sangakkara | Inzamam v Kallis | Murali v Hogg | Bond v Ambrose | Malinga v Vaas | Kohli v Pietersen | Symonds v Klusener | Afridi v Saqlain | Bevan v Hussey | Dilshan v Jayawardena

#ODIGOAT Second Round

Shoaib v Waqar | Jayasuriya v S. Waugh | Ambrose v Vaas | Miandad v Lara | Warne v Dev | Border v Inzamam | Gilchrist v Sangakkara | Richards v Jaywardena | Wasim v Garner | Ponting v Clarke | McGrath v Imran | Tendulkar v Anwar