ODI GOAT: Ponting v Gibbs

Three-time World Cup winner takes on South African entertainer - who gets your vote?

Adam Burnett

17 April 2016, 06:32 PM

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!


The numbers: Matches: 375 | Runs: 13,704 | Average: 42.03 | SR: 80.39 | 100s: 30 | HS: 164

WATCH: From the Vault: Ponting on top of the world

Why he makes the list: A colossus of one-day cricket, Ricky Ponting emerged as a pint-sized Tasmanian with a ruthless streak that defined every facet of his game. Combining an uncompromising nature with the gifts that moved then Academy coach Rod Marsh to label him the best young batsman he'd ever seen, Ponting went on to establish himself as the greatest ODI No.3 of them all, and perhaps the most imposing figure at the crease since Viv Richards. With an incomparable pull shot the pick of a bagful of strokes, the belligerent right-hander was the driving force behind Australia's dominance in ODI cricket from the beginning of the 21st century. In the field, his catching was phenomenal, but it was his penchant for direct-hit run-outs that set a new benchmark. As captain, he entered uncharted waters, taking his team to consecutive World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007 without dropping a single match. He bowed out of the game in the 2011 tournament, with a fighting century against eventual champions India, having ensured his legacy as one of the all-time greats.   

WATCH: Ponting's World Cup final masterclass

Performance we loved: There were 30 hundreds and plenty of classics among them, but how can we go past the imperious 140no he made in the 2003 World Cup final? India invited Australia to bat, and with a strong platform laid, Ponting took his time to settle in, his 50 coming up from 74 balls with just one four. From there, he flicked the switch, and provided a spectacle of hitting rarely seen; eight sixes were dispatched into the crowd – several of them into the upper tiers – as Ponting launched a blitzkrieg on the Indian bowlers in the back half of the innings. The result was the most emphatic statement imaginable – Ponting's final 90 had come from 47 balls, he'd shared an unbroken 234-run stand with Damien Martyn, and India needed 360 to win the World Cup. They didn't come close.


The numbers: Matches: 248 | Runs: 8,094 | Average: 36.13 | SR: 83.26 | 100s: 21 | HS: 175


Herschelle Gibbs made 21 ODI hundreds // Getty

Why he makes the list: Enigmatic and entertaining, Herschelle Gibbs added the X-factor to the top of the Proteas batting order alongside stalwarts such as Gary Kirsten and Graeme Smith. Gibbs appeared to relish the freedom of the one-day game and was a superb shot-maker with an aggressive streak that saw him produce some of the most remarkable performances of his generation. At the 2007 World Cup, he hit Dutchman Dan van Bunge for six sixes in an over, and while the brilliant fieldsman will be forever remembered for 'dropping the World Cup' off Steve Waugh in '99, his mountains of runs – including 21 hundreds – surely adequately repaid South Africa over the ensuing decade. With Smith, he holds the Proteas' ODI partnership runs record; the pair combined for 3,607 runs with 11 century stands.

Performance we loved: Gibbs was the architect behind the greatest-ever run chase in ODIs, in arguably the greatest ever match – Johannesburg 2006. As Australia were still shaking their disbelieving heads after posting an insane 4-434 – the first time 400 had been scored in an ODI – Gibbs simply let loose. Batting at No.3, the right-hander was in devastating touch, taking South Africa to 2-200 after 23 overs. He posted his own hundred soon after, from 79 balls, and needed only another 21 to reach 150. When he was finally out, for a breathtaking 175 from 111 deliveries, he had made the impossible run chase suddenly seem eminently achievable. 

#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


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