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!
MICHAEL BEVAN (AUSTRALIA)
The numbers: Matches: 232 | Runs: 6,912 | Average: 53.58 | SR: 74.16 | 100s: 6 | HS: 108no
#ODIGOAT voting: It was an all-Aussie showdown for Bevan in the round of 64 against Mike Hussey and he emerged on top by the slimmest of margins, claiming 51 per cent of the vote.
Why he makes the list: Before there was James Faulkner or Virat Kohli, before there was MS Dhoni or Mike Hussey or Lance Klusener … there was Michael Bevan. The original – and many argue still the best – 'Finisher', Bevan turned a run chase into an art form. Composed, classy and always confident, the left-hander's presence in the middle of a tense ODI eased the collective nerves of a nation. The key to his success was his ability to assess the situation and respond accordingly, usually with the perfect blend of sharply run ones and twos, and a perfectly-timed boundary to ease the pressure. His phenomenal ODI average is second only to AB de Villiers among Test-playing countries, and few players can have been as responsible for steering their sides to victory on so many occasions.
Performance we loved: There was no shortage of Bevo-inspired magical nights but we'll take the New Year's Day, 1996 SCG epic. Certainly among the most memorable nights of cricket in Australia's modern era, Bevan was the man to steer his country out of serious early trouble (chasing 173 in a rain-affected match against the Windies, the hosts slipped to 6-38), resurrecting the innings and setting his sights on victory. He found strong lower-order support and it all came down to the final ball – with four runs needed to win. Bevan was 74, facing Roger Harper, and he went straight, picking the gap down the ground and sealing history. Few realise it was just his second ODI half-century – he would go on to score another 44 in an incredible career.
VIRENDER SEHWAG (INDIA)
The numbers: Matches: 251 | Runs: 8,273 | Average: 35.05 | SR: 104.33 | 100s: 15 | HS: 219
#ODIGOAT voting: Two flamboyant openers went head-to-head in the top 64, with Sehwag trumping Colin Greenidge with 63 per cent of the vote.
Why he makes the list: The phrase 'stand and deliver' sums up no player better than Virender Sehwag. With almost non-existent footwork but a brilliant eye and hands to match, Sehwag was at his best when he planted his feet and swung through the line. While he stood in the shadow of Sachin Tendulkar (who didn't?) in his early years, both in style and substance, he quickly became his own man by thrashing bowling attacks with disdain at a rate not even the Little Master could match. His favourite victims were New Zealand; in 23 matches against the Black Caps he plundered six centuries at 52.59. The two crowning moments of his 14-year career came eight months apart; the first was winning the 2011 World Cup in April (despite making a second-ball duck) and the second in December when he set a new high water mark in ODI cricket by hitting 219 against the West Indies in Indore.
Performance we loved: Look no further than his double-century. Sachin got there first in 2010, but Viru trumped him to post the highest score in the 50-over format. Amid the carnage there was a method to his mayhem. Sehwag brought up his 50 with a six from 41 balls before motoring to triple figures, needed only another 28 deliveries to bring up his century. Another 43 balls were needed before he raised the bat for his 150, which was followed by another 28-ball blitz to get to the magical 200.
#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