ODI GOAT: Dhoni v Sangakkara

Two of the best keeper-batsmen of all time go head-to-head - who gets your vote?

The #ODIGOAT is'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!


The numbers: Matches: 404 | Runs: 14,234 | Average: 41.98 | SR: 78.86 | 100s: 25 | HS: 169 | Dis: 501 | C: 402 (19 in field) | St: 99

WATCH: Kumar's classic BBL cameo

Why he makes the list: Kumar Sangakkara's ODI career had been incredible enough, but the manner in which he finished it off at last year's World Cup was something else. Sri Lanka didn't get their hands on the trophy they won in '96, so there was no fairytale, but Sangakkara's personal contribution was a triumph – a history-making four straight hundreds through the tournament. It was a classic sign-off from a classical player; a silky left-hander who was too much for even the world's best attacks when he got going. And that was regularly. Sangakkara began his ODI life as a bustling keeper with a fondness for chatter behind the stumps, slotting into the middle order and immediately producing quality contributions. His batting genius quickly became his chief form of contribution (notwithstanding the 482 dismissals behind the stumps), as he was promoted to No.3 and began churning out hundreds for fun. By the end of World Cup 2015, only Sachin Tendulkar had more ODI runs.

Performance we loved: Among those four World Cup hundreds in succession was a magical effort in Sangakkara's final match against Australia. Chasing an improbable 377 to win, it was clear that Sri Lanka's hopes rested on the genius of the pugnacious left-hander. He was at the crease in the second over, receiving an incredible ovation from a strong contingent of his countrymen among the SCG crowd, and set about his work. Taking on the form bowler of the tournament, Mitchell Starc, and some extreme pace also from Mitchell Johnson, Sangakkara resorted to his textbook strokes – with the occasional flashy ramp – and continued building his score, fellow veteran Tillakaratne Dilshan in tow. While ever he was at the crease, the crowd had reason to believe, and he appeared to feed off their energy, moving to another fabulous hundred in even time. Just as a miracle appeared a distinct possibility, he was gone; but in the process he'd left his adoring Australia-based fans with one final reminder of his brilliance.


The numbers: Matches: 275 | Runs: 8,918 | Average: 51.25 | SR: 89.27 | 100s: 9 | HS: 183 | Dis: 346 | C: 257 | St: 89

Why he makes the list: Perhaps second only to Sachin Tendulkar in terms of the love and adulation he receives from India's supporters, MS Dhoni has forged a remarkable ODI career as a wicketkeeper, a batsman and a captain. The early years were all about his freakish ability to finish an innings with a bang; contrary to Michael Bevan, the other great one-day closer, Dhoni preferred fireworks over finesse, and his six-hitting (he has 192 in 241 ODI innings) as well as his trademark 'helicopter' shot and long locks earned him a legion of fans in a hurry. Along the way he has racked up nine centuries, countless classic catches, and a superb CV as a captain. A 2011 World Cup title – with Dhoni making a majestic 91no in the final – was the crowning glory, but Dhoni keeps on keeping on, and few would rule out the 34-year-old's presence at the 2019 World Cup.

WATCH: Dhoni hammers 112m six

Performance we loved: The aforementioned World Cup final knock was Dhoni at his match-winning best, but we thoroughly enjoyed the carefree, furious 183no he smashed way back in 2005. Still inside his first 12 months of international cricket, Dhoni's remarkable innings made the world sit up and take notice. As always, there were mutterings of 'the next Gilchrist', but this time a billion or more people believed. Sri Lanka had made 298 off the back of Kumar Sangakkara's 138no, but the fresh-faced Dhoni made the target look like child's play. Coming to the crease at 1-7 in the first over, he proceeded to light up the Jaipur stadium, blazing 15 fours and an incredible 10 sixes as he produced the highest score ever made by a wicketkeeper in an ODI. India cantered home with 23 balls to spare, and a legend had been born. 

#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

#ODIGOAT First Round: Hooper v S. Waugh

#ODIGOAT First Round: Imran v Hadlee

#ODIGOAT First Round: Lee v Akhtar

#ODIGOAT First Round: M. Waugh v Jayasuriya

#ODIGOAT First Round: De Villiers v Boucher

#ODIGOAT First Round: Lara v Amla

#ODIGOAT First Round: Gilchrist v McCullum

#ODIGOAT First Round: Gayle v Haynes

#ODIGOAT First Round: McGrath v Pollock

#ODIGOAT First Round: Anwar v Ganguly

#ODIGOAT First Round: Sehwag v Greenidge

#ODIGOAT First Round: Ponting v Gibbs

CATO Sri Lanka