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5 Batsmen who might dethrone Virat Kohli as No. 1 ODI batsman

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These players have been in exceptional form in the ODIs and are ready to grab the top position.

Gondia today news network

This has been Virat Kohli’s decade. He has the most runs in international cricket, most runs in T20Is, most runs in ODI cricket and the third-most in Test cricket. He’s seemed head and shoulders above the rest. While there are people close to him in the Tests (where he is the third-highest) and T20I format, there is daylight between the current Indian skipper and the rest in ODI cricket.

Kohli has been at the top of the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen in spurts till 2017. However, since June 2017, no player has dethroned him from the top. He’s owned that position and numbers back that up as well. 4039 runs, 17 hundreds, 17 half-centuries, an average of 79.19, strike-rate of 99.14 and it can keep going on and on.

At the moment, Kohli has 887 rating points and is sitting clear at the top. For three successive years, he’s ended the calendar year at the top of the ICC ODI rankings. However, there are a few batsmen who can dethrone the Indian captain and here are five of them.

5 batsmen who can dethrone Virat Kohli from the top positions in ODIs:

Rohit Sharma

If there is any player who has matched Virat Kohli’s numbers in the last few years, it is Rohit Sharma. His move to open the batting has worked wonders and he has become supremely consistent in white-ball cricket. The Indian white-ball vice-captain even has more hundreds than Virat Kohli since the start of 2017. Rohit has scored 18 hundreds in this three-year period.

Overall, he’s played 68 ODIs and has amassed 3813 runs at an average of 65.74. He has registered 32 fifty-plus scores which is the second-most after Kohli’s 34. In fact, Rohit and Virat Kohli have been the pillars of the Indian batting and have been one of the reasons for India’s continued success as well.

Thus, Rohit is sitting second on the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen. He has 873 rating points to his name. Thus, a couple of excellent series could well see him ascend to the top.

Babar Azam

Babar Azam is often compared to Virat Kohli. Azam is third in the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen. The premier Pakistan batsman has been one of the most consistent run-getters in the shorter formats for the last few years. He’s arguably the best batsman in Pakistan side and has been churning out runs consistently.

Azam has scored a plethora of runs in the 50-over format. He has aggregated 2876 runs at an average of 57.52 since September 2016. Pakistan’s No. 3 has registered 11 tons and 10 fifties in this period. In fact, no other Pakistani batsman even comes close to matching his record.

Babar has 834 rating points and has been set back due to the number of ODIs Pakistan have played in the recent past. Moreover, they don’t play one till mid-2020 either according to the current schedule. However, Azam is not too far away from Kohli’s 887 and a couple of brilliant series could him go past the Indian skipper.

Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor has been one of the most underrated batsmen in the recent past. Despite churning out runs regularly for New Zealand, he flies under the radar and is hardly talked about. The Kiwi No. 4 has been the best batsman for his team over the last 3-4 years.

In fact, since the start of 2017, he’s played the least number of ODIs in the top 10 run-getters in this period. Yet, he finds himself at No. 5 in the list of most runs and also on the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen. Taylor has a rating of 817 which is only three behind the fourth-placed Faf du Plessis.

In the mentioned period, Taylor has scored 2550 runs at an average of 63.75. Moreover, he has 18 fifties which is the most by any player since January 2017. A total of 23 fifty-plus scores is the fourth-most in this period as well. Thus, he could be one batsman who could dethrone Virat Kohli from the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings.

David Warner

One may argue how could David Warner be in this list despite playing a mere 28 matches since January 2017. However, the Australian opener has been in phenomenal form and despite missing out on ODI cricket for almost 15 months, he is sitting on the seventh spot in the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen.

Since the start of 2017, Warner has been a prolific run-scorer for Australia. Only Aaron Finch who has played 42 ODIs in this period has more runs in ODI cricket than the southpaw. The swashbuckling opener has amassed 1411 runs at an average of 54.26 and a strike-rate of 95.79. He’s also scored six hundreds and four fifties in this period.

Moreover, he was in fine form in the World Cup this year as he made 647 runs and fell one run short of ending the tournament as the leading run-getter. Thus, Warner might be nearly 100 ratings away from Virat Kohli in the ICC rankings but if he continues in the same vein as he did in the World Cup and after that in white-ball cricket, he could well ascend to the top in the near future.

Shai Hope

Here is another underrated cricketer. Shai Hope has been one of the most consistent ODI players over the last couple of years. The West Indian top-order batsman may have been criticised for his strike-rate and tempo but he’s been their most prolific run-getter in the recent years.

In fact, since the start of 2018, Hope is one of the only three batsmen to have amassed more than 2000 runs in ODI cricket (the other two being Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma). He has scored 2220 runs at an average of 63.42 and has 7 tons and 11 half-centuries to his name.

Rather those 18 fifty-plus scores put him third on the most 50+ scores list as well since January 2018. Currently, Hope is ninth on the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen but given his form, he could make giant strides and could threaten Virat Kohli for the top spot.

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