ODI GOAT: Kohli v Gayle

Two of the current biggest names in world cricket face off in the round of 32 - who gets your vote?

Sam Ferris & Adam Burnett

30 April 2016, 02:30 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: 171 | Runs: 7,212 | Average: 51.51 | SR: 89.97 | 100s: 25 | HS: 183

WATCH: Kohli slams ODI ton No.25

#ODIGOAT voting: King Kohli reigned supreme over Kevin Pietersen in the round of 64, claiming 68 per cent of the vote compared to KP's 32.

Why he makes the list: At 27, Virat Kohli might already be the best batsman ever in ODI cricket. His technique is flawless. His mindset is unforgiving. His numbers are mind-boggling. In what may be deemed as blasphemy by Australian readers, Kohli is even better than Michael Bevan in a run chase. Settle down, settle down. Hear us out. Kohli has 15 centuries in 91 innings batting second, two less than record-holder Sachin Tendulkar with 17 in232 innings, and 12 more than Bevan's three in 81. In games where India has won batting second, Kohli averages 84, has 13 tons in 57 knocks and was not out 18 times (yes, Bevo averaged 86). Kohli averages 50 or more against seven Test-playing nations and no less than 38. It's a stunning record which gets better every time you look at it.

WATCH: Kohli's Hobart heroics

Performance we loved: This 2012 innings has been relatively forgotten, but it's still one of the most mind-bending run-chases in history. Needing to win inside 40 overs to secure a bonus point and keep their tournament alive, India were set an unfathomable 321 to win by Sri Lanka after centuries to Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara. The few thousand in attendance at Hobart's Blundstone Arena were treated to perhaps the best run chase of all time, as Kohli bossed 133 from only 86 balls to steer India to victory in the 37th over. It started a chain reaction for the dashing right-hander who scored three centuries and a 66 in his next four innings. 


The numbers: Matches: 269 | Runs: 9,221 | Average: 37.33 | SR: 85.11 | 100s: 22 | HS: 215

Wickets: 163 | Average: 35.20 | SR: 44.3 | Economy: 4.76 | BB: 5-46 | 5w: 1

WATCH: Records tumble in Gayle onslaught

#ODIGOAT voting: Gayle took on countryman Desmond Haynes in the first round, advancing with 72 per cent of the vote.

Why he makes the list: More runs than Viv. More hundreds than Lara. Love him or loathe him, Christopher Henry Gayle is a modern-day batting giant, in every sense of the term. Gayle arrived on the international scene shortly before his 20th birthday, in late 1999, and more than 15 years later he was hitting a double hundred in a World Cup match. Through the intervening years, the left-handed opener developed a reputation as arguably the biggest-hitting batsman on the planet. When in the mood, Gayle is virtually unstoppable; no boundary is too big, and even the good balls tend to be sent soaring into the stands. Be it a preference for the T20 game or the ongoing dispute between Windies players and the WICB, Gayle's presence in the ODI format has been haphazard since the onset of the Indian Premier League, with the Jamaican having played 90 out of a possible 147 matches in that time.

WATCH: Gayle stars for World XI

Performance we loved: South Africa were looking to defend a strong total of 258 in the semi-final of the 2006 Champions Trophy in Jaipur. Gayle was having none of it. Shaun Pollock's first two balls of the innings flew back past him to the boundary, and there was no respite thereafter. With a difficult target and a spot in the final on the line, Gayle settled in for the long haul, punching boundaries straight to keep his strike-rate hovering around 100 and all the while making the task at hand look less and less challenging. He was still there at the end, unbeaten on 133 (135), having played one of the finest hands seen in any edition of the tournament.

#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 | Bevan v Sehwag | Symonds v De Villiers

Vote for the greatest ODI player of all time