Wisden’s ODI innings of the 2000s have been announced. Below is the full list from No.5 to No.1.
No.5: Sachin Tendulkar 175 (141 balls)
India v Australia, 5th ODI
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad
November 5, 2009
If ever there was an example of a player single-handedly trying to win a game for his team, this was it. No, seriously. This was something else. Bowl fast, bowl slow, turn the ball, pitch it up, drop it short, stray on the pads, tempt him outside off – it didn’t matter. Sachin Tendulkar simply could not be stopped. When he had a partner on song, he was brutal; when wickets fell at the other end, he was even more savage.
No.4: Ricky Ponting 140* (121 balls)
Australia v India, 2003 World Cup final
The Wanderers, Johannesburg
March 23, 2003
Ricky Ponting’s mastery headlined Australia’s 359-run total in the 2003 World Cup final, a score that threw the trophy clear of India’s reach by the halfway mark itself. It was an atypical Ponting innings, not in terms of domination (for Ponting seldom treated the opposition meekly), but in the relentless manner in which he pummelled a listless India attack.
No.3: Sachin Tendulkar 98 (75 balls)
India v Pakistan, 2003 World Cup
Centurion Park, Centurion
March 1, 2003
After the announcement of the fixture list for the 2003 World Cup, this match followed Sachin Tendulkar everywhere he went. He was pestered about this clash against arch-rivals Pakistan, at the biggest stage, at the peak of his powers (or so everyone thought at the time).
No.2: Adam Gilchrist 149 (104 balls)
Australia v Sri Lanka, 2007 World Cup final
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
April 28, 2007
Going into the 2007 World Cup final, Adam Gilchrist was not a man in form. In his first 10 games at the tournament, he had failed to reach 60, and his two most recent innings altogether had yielded just two runs. Although Gilchrist had played his part in Australia’s 1999 and 2003 World Cup wins, he had yet to register a World Cup hundred. At 35, that window of opportunity was closing.
No.1: Herschelle Gibbs 175 (111 balls)
South Africa v Australia, 5th ODI
The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
March 12, 2006
Despite his 35 international hundreds, it’s the background noise that comes to mind when you think of Herschelle Gibbs. Sex, booze and drugs helped cultivate a bad-boy image, while his involvement in the Hansie Cronje match-fixing scandal and labelling of Pakistani fans as “animals” showcased a far more iniquitous edge.