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!
SIR RICHARD HADLEE (NEW ZEALAND)
The numbers: Matches: 115 | Wickets: 158 | Average: 21.56 | SR: 39.1 | Economy: 3.30 | BB: 5-25 | 5w: 5
Runs: 1,751 | Average: 21.61 | SR: 75.50 | 100s: 0 | HS: 79
Why he makes the list: New Zealand have not, and probably will never, produce another wicket-taking machine like Sir Richard Hadlee. Playing in an era which included the great West Indies fast bowlers, Lillee and Thomson and three of the finest allrounders the game has produced, Hadlee was perhaps the pick of the lot. As a bowler he was slender and efficient, wasting no energy with a lengthy run-up or a complicated action, striking out foes with the accuracy of a surgeon and relentless probing outside off-stump. Hadlee was at his best in 1983, taking 30 wickets in 20 matches, but he saved his best performances for his rivals across the Tasman. In 36 matches against Australia, Hadlee captured 46 wickets, including 5-26 in the first tri-series final in 1981 at the SCG.
Performance we loved: Hadlee was often as frugal as he was fearsome. On March 19, 1986, he combined both to sink Australia in Dunedin. Defending 186, in which Hadlee contributed a brisk 21 from 17 balls, New Zealand needed something special from their ace fast bowler. Like he did so often throughout his career, Hadlee answered the call. On a wicket which aided seam bowling, Hadlee bowled five maidens out of his nine overs that day, taking four wickets and conceding only 15 runs. He bowled opener Geoff Marsh for a 96-ball 35, before removing Craig McDermott, Bruce Reid and finally Steve Waugh to finish off the match and complete an impressive 30-run victory.
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
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
#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: Dev v Vettori
#ODIGOAT First Round: Lloyd v Border
#ODIGOAT First Round: Jones v Clarke
#ODIGOAT First Round: Waqar v Johnson
#ODIGOAT First Round: Warne v Kumble