Sam Ferris & Adam Burnett
Sam Ferris & Adam Burnett
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!
GLENN McGRATH (AUSTRALIA)
The numbers: Matches: 250 | Wickets: 381 | Average: 22.02 | SR: 34 | Economy: 3.88 | BB: 7-15 | 5w: 7
#ODIGOAT voting: The first round served up a clash with former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock but it was an easy victory for the Australian, who claimed 85 per cent of the votes.
Why he makes the list: From a scrawny kid bowling to a 44 gallon drum on the red soil of Narromine in the central west of New South Wales, Glenn McGrath grew up to conquer the world as Australia's most prolific paceman. It's often said the best plans are the simplest, and McGrath's no-nonsense assault on or just outside off-stump - along with the odd bouncer - reaped rewards unlike no other. His 50-over game was built on the same fundamentals as his five-day approach; targeting opening batsman with the new ball in search for an edge, before returning in the closing stages and targeting the stumps. Like most Australians of his era, World Cup cricket brought the best out of him. No player in the history of the quadrennial showpiece has taken more than the 71 wickets he claimed in his four appearances and three wins from 1996-2007. He finished his career as the 2007 World Cup player of the tournament, Australia's leading ODI wicket-taker, and a certified legend of the one-day game.
Performance we loved: Australia's 1999 World Cup campaign was on the rails when they faced the West Indies in Manchester. Needing to win - or as it turned out, not lose - seven matches in a row to lift the trophy, the second stop on the road to glory was the Windies at Old Trafford. A sedate start to the tournament from McGrath was forgotten when he ripped the heart of Brian Lara's men, taking 5-14 inside nine overs. It was vintage McGrath; he snared the edge of opener Sherwin Campbell and then trapped Jimmy Adams first ball with one that straightened down the line. But he saved the best for Lara. After tying the master batsman down, McGrath produced the perfect delivery to a left-hander – a ball that pitched on middle and leg, beat the bat and clipped the top of off-stump. The Windies were rolled for 110, Australia won by six wickets and the march to glory rolled on.
IMRAN KHAN (PAKISTAN)
The numbers: Matches: 175 | Wickets: 182 | Average: 26.61 | SR: 40.9 | Economy: 3.89 | BB: 6-14 | 5w: 1
Runs: 3,709 | Average: 33.41 | SR: 72.65 | 100s: 1 | HS: 102no
#ODIGOAT voting: In a first-round showdown with New Zealand legend Sir Richard Hadlee, Imran was the resounding winner, collecting 81 per cent of the vote.
Why he makes the list: Perhaps Pakistan's greatest cricketer, Imran Khan inspired a nation with an imperious all-round game that was matched by the respect he commanded as a leader. Floating to the crease like a butterfly, Imran stung like a bee with the ball through deadly reverse swing, a yorker that dreams are made of, and at his fastest, a fierce bouncer. The captaincy elevated his game and allrounder status, taking more responsibility with the bat to be held in the same regard as peers Botham, Hadlee and Dev. For 18 years he served as Pakistan's most important ODI player, ushering in, and sometimes plucking from obscurity, the likes of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. At 39, Imran capped off a remarkable career by leading Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup title over England.
Performance we loved: In his last match for Pakistan – the '92 World Cup final in Melbourne – Imran produced one final gem. All tournament he wore a white t-shirt with the image of a tiger on it, imploring his men to fight like a cornered tiger – there is nothing more dangerous than a cornered tiger, he proclaimed. He wore the t-shirt to the toss and won it, electing to bat. Entering at first-drop, Imran steadied the ship at 2-24, combining with Javed Miandad to put on 139 for the third wicket. The elegant right-hander batted for 159 minutes and scored 72 to provide the backbone of Pakistan's 6-249. While his bowling was no longer the rapier of his youth, tactically he was a sharp as ever, unleashing his heir Wasim in a match-winning spell. To cap it all off, he claimed the final wicket as the cornered tigers were finally set free.
#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