Test cricket was the lone format for 94 years since its inception in 1877. ODI cricket was given birth on 5 January 1971 at MCG and since then it simply grew in stature with World cups happening since 1975. We have seen many great cricketers in the last 50 years who have excelled in this format as the ODI cricket evolved. From 60 overs a side in 1st 3 world cups it was reduced to 50 overs side and continued ever since . Here we have tried to create a best possible ODI XI from the current 21st century. It was a tough assignment to choose from several outstanding cricketers in the last 20 years. The Best ODI XI in 21st century team as under –
He was a legend across Tests and ODIs . Showed unbelievable consistency in his 23 year old career and maintained it from 2001- 2013. Has been the highest ever run getter in ODIs with 18426 runs at 44 average & 49 100s!! Also in World cups he was the highest ever run getter with 2278 runs in the tournament with six centuries at an average of 56.95. His only regret must have been to miss out scoring big in the 2 finals .
Sachin was the first ever double centurion in ODIs which he achieved in 2010 v South Africa at Gwalior . In 21st century the 2011 World Cup winner has scored 8527 runs at an average of 48.17 and a strike rate of 86.41 with 22 centuries and 46 fifties. An absolute certainty in this best ODI XI .
This was a tough choice as Tillakaratne Dilshan had scored more runs than Gilchrist in this century and probably with better averages . However going by the sensational striking power and the impact Gilchrist creates in the top order and his ability to excel in big matches , Gilly makes this team. Also the left and right combination at the top of the order is another consideration . Having scored over 9600 plus runs in his ODI career, Gilchrist smashed 6517 runs in 188 ODIs at 37 average, over 100 strike rate and 10 hundreds in the current century . His partnership with Sachin at the top of the order will be sensational . Gilchrist is the vice captain of this team.
A modern day genius in ODI cricket . Nobody thrives more than him in chasing stiff targets and managing the run rate. He is an all time great in ODIs across eras . Having playing whole of his cricket in the 21st century , Kohli has amassed 11867 runs in 239 innings with the highest score of 183 against Pakistan in Asia Cup 2012 . He has a sensational average of 59.33 with 43 centuries and 58 half-centuries.
22 of Kohli’s 100 has come in successful run chases .
AB De Villiers
Like Kohli , DeVilliers is another modern day genius in ODI cricket playing for South Africa and he also has played only in current century . An innovative strokeplayer of great flair , De Villiers can conjure up different shots from any position. He is a freak. It’s a matter of great regret that he was never a part of any World cup win having retired in 2018.
He holds the record for the fastest 50, fastest 100 and fastest 150 in ODIs. In 223 matches, De Villiers scored 9577 runs with a strike rate of more than 100 and at an average of 53. He is also the highest run getter in this century at number 4 spot with 5736 runs at an average of 53.11. His strike of 98.64 is the best at the position among batsman with minimum 1000 ODI runs at no. 4
A brilliant allrounder across formats and one of the batting greats . Kallis is the biggest allrounder in this team with reliable batting and fast bowling . He can stabilise the innings to provide the batting depth and take wickets .
In the 328 ODIs in which Kallis represented South Africa, he scored 11579 runs with the help 17 centuries and also took 273 wickets. In the 21st century, Jacques Kallis scored 7729 runs at a batting average of 45.73 and also has 171 wickets . He is one of the five players who have completed the double of 5000 runs and 150 wickets in ODIs in the ongoing century. Very consistent and very reliable .
Yuvi was a class act and had an immensely big role in India’s world cup win in 2011 and Natwest series in 2002 . He regularly showed his big match qualities and was an irritating left arm spinner apart from being a dazzling left handed batter in the middle order. In 278 innings for India, Yuvraj Singh scored 8701 runs at an average of 36 that included 8028 runs in the middle order in 21st century .
One of the best finishers on the game which a great captaincy record. He became the captain in 2007 and guided the team to the CB series title in Australia in 2007-08 and later on in 2011, led India to victory in a World Cup after 28 years. In 2013 under Dhoni’s leadership, India won the Champions Trophy also.
Captain Cool has a great ODI record too. He has scored 10773 runs in his 350 matches long ODI career at an average of 50.57 with 10 centuries and 73 fifties to his name. His 123 stumpings is a world record in ODIs . He is the undisputed captain of the team.
The eccentric allrounder of Pakistan. Inspite of odd spells of inconsistency Afridi showed his match winning abilities in ODIs . Youngest to get an ODI century at 16 and also the fastest off 37 balls. In 398 ODIs Afridi scored 8064 runs including 6 centuries and 39 half-centuries & took 395 wickets at 4.67 economy .
In 21st century Afridi scored 5391 runs in 253 innings and an outstanding strike rate of 129 & took 317 wickets . His best figures of 7/12 against West Indies in 2013 are the 2nd best bowling figures in an innings in ODIs.
One of the fastest bowlers ever in the game and could bowl at 150 plus kph , Lee could destroy batting lineups when in his best momentum. He was a quintessential strike bowler and a winner of 2 World cups in 2003 & 2007 .
In 221 ODIs Lee took 380 wickets of which , 346 scalps came in the current century and Lee is the leading wicket-taker in the 21st century.
Murali was a match winner for Srilanka and has won many games singlehandedly. The all time great off spinner with all his tricks is a must in this XI . He was a world cup winner in 1996 .
In the 350 matches , Murali represented Sri Lanka, he took a staggering 534 wickets during which he surpassed Wasim Akram as the leading wicket-taker in ODIs.In the 21st century, Murali is the leading wicket-taker among spinners with 323 wickets at an economy rate 3.83 and a bowling average of 21.01. His economy rate is the best among spinners in this century.
Malinga with his slinging action and scorching Yorkers was a very difficult bowler to face specially in slog overs . He could destroy middle orders with his drop dead accurate yorkers. The 3rd fast bowler in this team apart from Lee and Kallis . He has taken 2 hat tricks in world ups and 3 in ODI history and both are world records.
Making his debut in 2004 , Malinga has 338 wickets to his name in 226 matches including 8 5 wicket hauls. He is the 2nd highest leading wicket-taker in the 21st century after Brett Lee