Top 10 Indian Players Who Played the Most ODI Matches
Playing cricket for India is a dream of everyone taking first steps on the long path of playing the game. Yet, very few succeed and get a chance to play for the country and even fewer handle the pressure of expectations from the fans to keep on playing for a longer period of time. So far, 990 ODIs have been played by India. Any idea who has played the most ODIs for India?
Let’s find that out.
List of top 10 Indian players who played the most ODI matches
- Sachin Tendulkar (463 Matches)
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni (350 Matches)
- Rahul Dravid (340 Matches)
- Mohammad Azharuddin (334 Matches)
- Sourav Ganguly (308 Matches)
- Yuvraj Singh (301 Matches)
- Anil Kumble (347 Matches)
- Virat Kohli (251 Matches)*
- Virendar Sehwag (241 Matches)
- Harbhajan Singh (234 Matches)
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar leads the list with 463 matches, 116 more than second-placed Mahendra Singh Dhoni. While Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh are the only 2 left-handers on the list, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh are the only bowlers who made it to the top 10. Current Indian Captain Virat Kohli is the only active player on the list with 251 matches played to date.
Let’s take a brief look at the list.
- 1. Sachin Tendulkar (463 Matches)
- 2. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (350 Matches)
- 3. Rahul Dravid (340 Matches)
- 4. Mohammad Azharuddin (334 Matches)
- 5. Sourav Ganguly (308 Matches)
- 6. Yuvraj Singh (301 Matches)
- 7. Anil Kumble (347 Matches)
- 8. Virat Kohli (251 Matches)*
- 9. Virendar Sehwag (241 Matches)
- 10. Harbhajan Singh (234 Matches)
1. Sachin Tendulkar (463 Matches)
Well, this name certainly needs no introduction. The god of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, played the most ODIs for India. Sachin made his ODI debut against Pakistan in December 1989 in Gujranwala. He took part in 463 ODIs for India in the span of 23 years. He scored 18426 runs – a world record for the most runs scored in ODIs – at an average of 44.83 in 452 innings and remained not out 41 times. He made 49 centuries- another world record in international cricket – and 96 half-centuries.
In the process, he became the first man to score a double-hundred in an ODI. He achieved this feat against South Africa in the later stage of his career. He was awarded the Man of the Match trophy 62 times and was named the Man of the Series 15 times – two records among the many he set or broke. Tendulkar also bowled more than 8000 balls and picked up 154 wickets at an economy of 5.10. His bowling records include two fifers, both in Kochi.
2. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (350 Matches)
Known as Captain cool, Jharkhand’s MS Dhoni played 350 matches for India to claim the second spot on the list. Dhoni started his career in 2004-05 against Bangladesh with a duck in his first innings. Nobody at that time thought that a wicket-keeper from Ranchi would end up playing for a longer period of time. However, his explosive batting style at number 3 made him a regular in the team. He subsequently became the captain of the ODI team after the heroics in the ICC T20 World Cup 2007. Dhoni played 350 games for India and scored 10773 runs at an average of 50.57 with 10 centuries and 73 half-centuries. Famous for hitting long sixes, Dhoni cleared the rope 229 times to enter the list of the top 5 players to hit the most ODI sixes. Behind the stumps, Dhoni took 321 catches and stumped the opposition players 123 times. He is the only captain to win all ICC trophies including a T20 World Cup, ICC World Cup and Champions Trophy.
3. Rahul Dravid (340 Matches)
Rahul Dravid made his debut against Sri Lanka in 1996 in Singapore. In a 15-year-long career, Dravid played 344 ODIs for India. He scored 10889 runs at an average of 39.16 with 12 centuries and 83 half-centuries. He played at almost all positions in ODIs, except 9th and 10th. Dravid also kept stumps for India for a brief period. He took 196 catches out of which 124 as a fielder and 72 as a keeper.
4. Mohammad Azharuddin (334 Matches)
Azharuddin began his career against England in Bengaluru in 1985. Having started as a middle-order batsman, he played 334 matches for India before getting dismissed from the team. Known for his amazing wrist control, Azhar scored 9378 runs for India at an average of 36.92 with 7 centuries. His career ended after his name came out in the match-fixing scandal.
5. Sourav Ganguly (308 Matches)
Prince of Kolkata Sourav Ganguly debuted for India against West Indies in 1992. But he had to wait 4 years to play his second match. After making a comeback in 1996, he never looked back. He played 311 ODIs for India scoring 11363 runs at an average of 41.02. Promoted as an opener, Ganguly paired successfully with Tendulkar to put 6609 runs on board with 21 hundred runs partnership – a record for the most successful pair in the history of ODIs. Ganguly was given the opportunity to lead India after the match-fixing scandal. He is regarded as one of the best captains of India. Out of 146 ODIs as a captain, he won 76 games for India.
6. Yuvraj Singh (301 Matches)
Yuvraj Singh caught the eye of cricket followers after scoring an impressive 84 runs against Australia in his 1st innings. In 301 ODIs for India, Yuvraj scored 8701 runs at an average of 36.55 with 14 centuries. Yuvraj won the Man of the Series awards for both T20I and ICC world cups which India won. His career hit a low patch after he had been diagnosed with cancer. Regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders for India, Yuvi picked 111 wickets before hanging up his boots.
7. Anil Kumble (347 Matches)
Anil Kumble is one of the only two bowlers included in the list. Kumble played 269 ODIs for India. The leading wicket-taker for India in ODIs, he took 337 wickets at an average of 30.89 and an economy of 4.30. His career-best 6 wickets for 12 runs is still the second-best performance by an Indian bowler.
8. Virat Kohli (251 Matches)*
Current Indian captain Virat Kohli is the only active player on the list. Kohli made his debut against Sri Lanka in 2008 in Dambulla as an opener and slowly moved to the 3rd position. He has played 251 ODIs for India so far to score 12040 runs at an average of 59.31. He has a whooping 43 ODI hundreds and looks like the only player to break the records set by Sachin Tendulkar.
9. Virendar Sehwag (241 Matches)
Considered the most explosive opener in the history of world cricket, Sehwag made his debut against Pakistan in 1999. It was then Indian captain Ganguly who asked him to open the innings in 2001. Sehwag scored 8273 runs in 241 ODIs for India at an average of 35.05 and a strike rate of 104.33 – a feat no one on this list has achieved.
10. Harbhajan Singh (234 Matches)
Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh completes this list with his 234 games. After an impressive Test series against Australia, Bhajji became regular in the team to partner Anil Kumble in the bowling department. He took 269 wickets at an average of 33.35 and an economy of 4.31.
With the number of ODIs played yearly increasing, it looks like the list will keep on changing. Though Virat Kohli is the only active player on the list, many players including Rohit Sharma will find a place on the list soon. Interestingly, Sachin Tendulkar was a part of 47% of the ODIs India have played so far, a record hard to break by any player anywhere in the world.
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