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5 Batsmen to score most runs in a calendar year in ODI

In a sport like cricket, it is always advisable to make the most of the purple patch a player procures at some point in his career. Given the challenges and hardships that come with international cricket, a player might not always get the chance he desires and may thus rue the opportunities squandered. While there are many examples of players who haven’t made it big inspite of possessing the rub of the green, there are some who have latched onto this invaluable opportunity with both hands and made merry for themselves by scoring heaps of ODI runs.

During this bright phase, these players have accumulated plenty of runs and thus cemented their spot in the illustrious side. Under their dominance, the nation enjoyed some of it’s greatest days in the long history of cricket and set a benchmark for the future generation to emulate. Cricket pundits rightly hail them as the one, who are produced once in a lifetime and there is no-one who could be like them or surpass what they have done in their celebrated career. In the below piece, we look at 5 such batsmen who scored most number of runs in a calendar year in ODI:

1. Sachin Tendulkar

It is a matter of fact that no batting record can be complete without mentioning the ‘Little Master’s’ name in it. This great Indian batsman rightly tops the list for the most number of runs scored in a year, having enjoyed a dream phase back in the year 1998.

Tendulkar featured in 34 matches that year and smashed 1894 runs at an average of 65.31 and strike rate of 102.15. He had 9 hundreds to his name and his best score that year came against Australia during the 6th game of the Coca-Cola Cup at Sharjah.

Chasing a revised target of 277 in 46 overs, India owing to Tendulkar’s famous ‘desert storm’ knock of 143 off 131 balls could reach 250-5 in their allotted overs, losing the contest by 26 runs. Inspite of the loss, India ended up qualifying for the final, having surpassed the required total of 237 to eliminate the Kiwis.

2. Sourav Ganguly

This elegant southpaw from India scored the most number of runs in the year 1999 which also happened to be the year of the World Cup. Ganguly slammed 1767 runs from 41 games at an average of 46.50 and a strike rate of 76 to go with his 4 centuries that year.

His best knock came against Sri Lanka during the 21st match of the ICC World Cup at Taunton. India while batting first posted a mammoth 373-6 on the board, owing to an attacking 183 off 158 balls by Ganguly and 145 off 129 balls by Dravid.

In reply, the Lankans could manage just 216 on the board, which was largely owing to de Silva’s 56, losing the encounter by a whopping margin of 157 runs.

3. Rahul Dravid

The ‘Unbreakable Wall’ of Indian cricket amassed the most number of runs in the same year as Ganguly i.e. 1999. Dravid stroked 1761 runs from 43 games at an average of 46.34 and strike rate of 75.16. He also hammered 6 centuries during that year.

His best innings came against New Zealand during the 2nd ODI at Hyderabad. Batting first, India posted a gargantuan total of 376-2 on the board, courtesy a brilliant 186 off 150 balls by Tendulkar and a superb 153 off as many balls by Dravid.

The Kiwis surrendered under scoreboard pressure, getting bowled out for 202 and bestowing the host nation a victory by a humongous margin of 174 runs.

4. Sachin Tendulkar

Yet again, Tendulkar appears on this list but for an authority stamped in some other year. The ‘Master Blaster’ of Indian cricket scored runs for fun in the year 1996, slaughtering 1611 runs from 32 games at an average of 53.70 and strike rate of 82.40. He had 6 hundreds to his name that year.

His highest score came against Sri Lanka during the 24th game of the Wills World Cup in 1996 at Delhi. The hosts, who batted first posted a tricky 271-3 on the board in their 50 overs, predominantly due to Tendulkar’s 137 which provided some impetus to their batting innings.

India, however, were unable to defend the total as a rampant Jayasuriya smacked a wonderful 79 off 76 balls to help his side beat the hosts by 6 wickets and 8 balls to spare.

5. Matthew Hayden

This aggressive southpaw from Australia relished a great run of form throughout the World Cup year of 2007. Hayden hammered 1601 runs from 32 games at an average of 59.29 and strike rate of 89.19. He had 5 centuries against his name during that year.

His best score came against the Kiwis during the 3rd ODI at Hamilton. Australia owing to Hayden’s one-man-show of 181 off 166 balls, posted a challenging 346-5 on the board.

The advantage definitely lied with the visitors after the total but they couldn’t capitalise on it as the hosts won the game by 1 wicket and 3 balls to spare, making it one thriller of a contest between two close neighbours.

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