If you’re a cricket fan, you can waste hours on the stats section of Cricinfo, finding out increasingly obscure, but interesting, information. Today, after looking to see where Shane Watson’s 161 came in the all-time list – 28th – I took a look at the progression of the highest individual score in one-day cricket. If you want to see how the one-day game has evolved over the years, it shows some interesting data.
Back in 1972, Dennis Amiss scored the first century in an ODI – 103 for England against Australia in the second-ever ODI. Nearly thirty-eight years and three thousand matches later, Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to score a double century in an ODI, when he managed the feat against South Africa. What’s interesting is that Amiss took 134 balls (more than an entire side gets in a Twenty20 game) to score his 103, while it took Tendulkar just 13 balls more to score his 200.
I’m not going to be foolish and declare that Tendulkar’s record will never be broken, but just what is the upper limit for an ODI innings? Are we going to reach an era where balls that don’t result in a boundary are the exception and the record starts edging towards 300, or are bowlers going to learn more tactics of control to keep it down around 200? Or will the ODI die out and be replaced entirely by Twenty20, in which an international double century is surely impossible?