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Most runs in ODI World Cups

More than a third of the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is over and we have already witnessed some extraordinary cricket being played in the tournament. From India finding their way to come out on top after being heckled by the Australian pacers in Chennai to Afghanistan and the Netherlands upsetting England and South Africa respectively, we have seen a lot in the competition so far.

On the batting front, we have seen some exquisite batting performances from a few players. While the Indian duo of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been absolutely fiery, New Zealand’s Devon Conway and Pakistan’s Muhammad Rizwan have impressed the critics significantly.

Interestingly, three batters competing in the 2023 edition of the quadrennial event, feature on the list of top 10 highest run-getters in World Cup history. Here, we have a look at those 10 batters:

Players with the most runs in ODI World Cup history:

Player Country Career Span World Cup matches Runs Average
Sachin Tendulkar India 1992 – 2011 45 2278 56.95
Ricky Ponting Australia 1996 – 2011 46 1743 45.86
Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka 2003 – 2015 37 1532 56.74
Virat Kohli India 2011 – present 30 1289 53.7
Rohit Sharma India 2015 – present 21 1243 65.42
Brian Lara West Indies 1992 – 2007 34 1225 42.24
AB De Villiers South Africa 2007 – 2015 23 1207 63.52
Shakib Al Hasan Bangladesh 2007 – present 32 1201 42.89
Chris Gayle West Indies 2003 – 2019 35 1186 35.93
Sanath Jayasuriya Sri Lanka 1992 – 2007 38 1165 34.26

 

Sachin Tendulkar | 2278 runs

Raising no eyebrows, the Master Blaster tops the list with ease. Indian stalwart Sachin Tendulkar struck 2278 runs across six editions of the ICC Cricket World Cup at a staggering average of 56.95 and is the leading run-scorer in Cricket World Cup history. Moreover, he smashed six centuries and 15 fifties in the 44 innings he batted. He also holds the record for the most World Cups played having participated in six different World Cups between 1992 and 2011.

Sachin Tendulkar’s highest score in the tournament’s history came against Namibia in 2003 when he smacked 152 runs in 151 balls including 18 boundaries. However, his knock of 120 runs against England at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru during the 2011 World Cup remains one of his most iconic World Cup hundreds. Intriguingly, the clash still stands as India’s only World Cup match that ended in a tie.

Ricky Ponting | 1743 runs

The most successful captain in ICC World Cup history, Ricky Ponting, finished his career with 1743 runs in the tournament. The right-handed batter played 46 ODI World Cup matches across five editions – the most number of matches by a player. He had a batting average of 45.86 and a strike rate of nearly 80.

Ponting smashed five tons in the competition along with six half-centuries. His most memorable hundred was against India during the World Cup 2003 final. The Australian struck 140 unbeaten runs to guide his team to a massive first innings score of 359 that eventually helped them win the second ODI World Cup on the trot. For his 121-ball knock, Ponting was declared the Player of the Match.

During the 2011 World Cup quarter-final in Ahmedabad, Ponting struck another hundred against India. However, he could not lead his side to victory on that occasion as a match-winning partnership between Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina forced Australia to bow out of the competition.

Kumar Sangakkara | 1532 runs

Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara features at the third position on this list with 1532 runs. Sangakkara accumulated the runs at an average of 56.74 in 35 innings. He is also the highest run-scorer in the competition’s history to not finish his career with a World Cup trophy.

Astonishingly, the southpaw hammered four back-to-back hundreds during the 2015 World Cup. Bangladesh, England, Australia, and Scotland emerged as the four victims of Sangakkara’s berserk batting form. Unluckily, his side could not beat the eventual World Cup champions Australia despite his 104-run knock. Eight years later, the Sri Lankan still remains the only batter in the history of ODIs to hit four consecutive hundreds.

Virat Kohli | 1289 runs

Modern-day batting maestro Virat Kohli has amassed 1289 runs in ODI World Cups at a striking average of 53.70 and a strike rate of 87.38. Before the start of the 2023 edition of the tournament, Virat was not a part of this list, but an accumulation of 259 runs in four innings so far has helped him move to the number four spot.

Recently, the 34-year-old reached his third ton in the competition’s history as he struck 103 unbeaten runs against Bangladesh in Pune. Apart from three hundreds, Virat Kohli has eight World Cup fifties to his name.

Notably, Virat is one of those rare players who have scored a hundred on their ODI World Cup debut. The right-hander scored 100 runs against Bangladesh in the 2011 World Cup opener and remained not out till the end of the innings.

Rohit Sharma | 1243 runs

Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has 1243 ODI World Cup runs to his name. The right-hander has an extraordinary average of 65.42 and an excellent strike rate of 102.55. Just like Virat, Rohit Sharma was not a part of this list prior to World Cup 2023.

In this World Cup, the 36-year-old has already struck 265 runs in four innings and is on his way to repeat the 2019 World Cup heroics. During the last edition, Rohit scored 648 runs in just nine innings.

Appreciably, Rohit Sharma holds the record of most centuries in ODI World Cups. He has smacked as many as seven centuries along with four half-centuries in just 21 innings so far.

Brian Lara | 1225 runs

Brian Lara, who also holds the record of the highest individual score of 400 unbeaten runs in Test cricket, finds himself at the sixth position on this list. The southpaw from Trinidad scored 1225 runs for West Indies in the 33 World Cup innings he played.

The Caribbean batter contested in five ODI World Cups for the West Indies and managed to hit a couple of tons along with seven fifties. Coincidentally, both of his hundreds came against South Africa and resulted in West Indies’ victory. Overall, he maintained an average of 42.24 and a strike rate of just over 82 in the 50-over World Cups.

Ab de Villiers | 1207 runs

Often regarded as Mr.360, Ab de Villiers had a sparkling career for South Africa. The right-hander amassed 1207 runs for his team in a mere 22 knocks across three editions of the ODI World Cup. He had an excellent average of 63.52 and a walloping strike rate of 117.29 including 10 scores in excess of 50.

Though he could not win an ICC trophy for the Proteas, he ended up owning some swashbuckling batting records in the ODI format. In January 2015, Ab de Villiers struck the fastest ODI hundred off just 31 deliveries against the West Indies, and in less than a couple of months’ time, he smacked the fastest 150 against the same team during the World Cup in Australia.

Shakib Al Hasan | 1201 runs

One of the all-time greatest all-rounders to play the ODI format is Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan. The left-handed batter has often found himself at the top of the ICC Men’s ODI rankings for all-rounders. With the bat, his impact on Bangladesh has been outstanding over the years. In 32 World Cup innings, Shakib has accumulated 1201 runs at an average of 42.89 and a strike rate of 81.58.

He made his ODI World Cup debut back in 2007 but managed to score his first hundred in 2019. Incidentally, he went on to score a couple of hundreds during the 2019 World Cup. Notably, the West Indies and the eventual champions England were his two victims.

Appreciably, Shakib is also the 11th-highest wicket-taker in the history of ODI World Cups. The left-arm spinner has grabbed 39 scalps at an average of 34.82 and an economy of 5.08.

Chris Gayle | 1186 runs

Jamaican powerhouse Chris Gayle smacked 1186 runs in 35 ODI World Cup matches for the West Indies. The southpaw had an average of nearly 36 and a strike rate in excess of 90 across the five editions of the tournament.

In 2015, Gayle became the first batter to hit a double hundred in a World Cup game. Batting against Zimbabwe in the Australian capital, Gayle piled up 215 runs off just 147 balls including 10 fours and 16 sixes. Also, he stitched a mammoth 372-run partnership with Marlon Samuels for the second wicket, which still stands tall as the highest partnership for any wicket in the 50-over format.

Overall, Chris Gayle struck six fifties and two hundreds for his team in ODI World Cups.

Sanath Jayasuriya | 1165 runs

One of Sri Lanka’s finest all-rounders, Sanath Jayasuriya, scored 1165 runs for his team in 38 World Cup innings at an average of 34.26 and a strike rate of 90.66. Apart from six half-centuries, Jayasuriya smacked three hundreds during the five World Cups he was a part of.

Two out of his three World Cup centuries came during the 2007 edition when Sri Lanka went on to play the final of the tournament against Australia. Jayasuriya’s scores of 109 and 115 helped his team to pull off important victories against Bangladesh and the West Indies respectively.

With the ball, the left-arm spinner bagged 27 wickets for Sri Lanka in World Cups at an economy of 4.83 and an average of just under 40.

FAQs

Who has scored the most runs in T20 World Cups?

With 1141 runs in 27 matches, India’s Virat Kohli is the leading run-scorer in T20 World Cup history.

What is the highest score by a player in an ODI World Cup match?

Martin Guptill holds the record for the highest score in a single World Cup match after scoring 237* against West Indies in 2015.

Who had scored the most runs at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015?

Martin Guptill was the highest run-scorer at the 2015 Cricket World Cup with 547 runs in nine games.

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