Best ODI number 3 in history?

Rana

Hall of Famer
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Runs
66,584
General discussion forum. I think without a doubt Babar is Pakistan’s best ODI number 3. Brilliant player and well done for achieving 5k ODI runs the quickest ever.

Overall, my number 1 ODI number 3 was Ricky Ponting. The guy was an absolute class act and a monster player of both pace and spin. Surreal fitness and game awareness. I rate him higher than Kohli personally, who I think is India’s GOAT ODI number 3 and no.2 from what I have seen in cricket.

From what I recall. Lara was batting mainly at number 4 for West Indies but I believe he has played a substantial amount of games for them at number 3 too. High quality player but I don’t think I would rate him higher than Ponting and Kohli.

The Ponting era was pretty much dominated by the brilliant teams of Australia and South Africa, for that matter I think Kallis deserves a special mention as he was the perfect number 3 batsman for them in this Era. He was definitely Ponting’s nemesis for this position in order to establish dominance in world cricket.

I would rate them in this order,

1. Ricky Ponting
2. Virat Kohli
3. Jacque Kallis
4. Brian Lara
5. Kumar Sangakara
6. Joe Root
7. Babar Azam
8. Kane Williamson
9. Steven Smith
10. Rahul Dravid

Thoughts?
[MENTION=131701]Mamoon[/MENTION] [MENTION=53290]Markhor[/MENTION] [MENTION=130037]Titan[/MENTION] [MENTION=147314]topspin[/MENTION] [MENTION=143714]Kroll[/MENTION] [MENTION=56933]ElRaja[/MENTION]
 
Great list. I think one could argue either way on Ponting vs Kohli.

I would add Viv Richards in the list as well. His stats at number 3 (and overall in ODIs) in a less batting friendly era were beyond exceptional. He was way ahead of everyone else during his time, which featured some high quality express bowlers.

Honourable mention: Zaheer Abbas, who was a fine ODI batsman. Averaged 45 at a strike rate of 85 in the similar era to Viv.

The four greatest ODI batsmen in the world are Viv, Kohli, Ponting and Tendulkar.
 
1- Viv Richard
2-Potings

Other were not that good or didn't play at # 3 consistently enough like Lara and Sangacara and Kallis . Babar, not even close to be in that list. What Rahul Dravid is doing in this list ???? Was a great test batter, not in ODI,s could not even make to India's playing 11.
 
1- Viv Richard
2-Potings

Other were not that good or didn't play at # 3 consistently enough like Lara and Sangacara and Kallis . Babar, not even close to be in that list. What Rahul Dravid is doing in this list ???? Was a great test batter, not in ODI,s could not even make to India's playing 11.

Dravid has 10k ODI runs at an average close to 40. He played most of his games at number 3 for them. He was a solid batsman. This is just my opinion, you could argue that he shouldn’t be there tbf
 
Kohli for sure.

What sets him apart is that he is the only number three/top order batsman in ODI history who is also a great finisher.

He is Ponting + Bevan and Tendulkar + Dhoni rolled into one. No ODI top order batsman has shaped so many wins with his batting and been there until the end to see off the game.
 
Great list. I think one could argue either way on Ponting vs Kohli.

I would add Viv Richards in the list as well. His stats at number 3 (and overall in ODIs) in a less batting friendly era were beyond exceptional. He was way ahead of everyone else during his time, which featured some high quality express bowlers.

Honourable mention: Zaheer Abbas, who was a fine ODI batsman. Averaged 45 at a strike rate of 85 in the similar era to Viv.

The four greatest ODI batsmen in the world are Viv, Kohli, Ponting and Tendulkar.

Tbh bro I’ve never seen Viv, Miandad and Zaheer…plus Border, Gooch, Crowe bat live so I can’t truly argue that they are better than what I have seen in terms of Ponting, Kallis, Lara and Kohli.

Those who have seen them play live can give you a better judgement. I don’t think referencing stats will do the job here.

However, from what I’ve read and heard, Viv was indeed the ultimate batsman of his era
 
One and two are solid, I might just err on the side of Kohli who has the special distinction of greatest ODI chaser.
 
Tbh bro I’ve never seen Viv, Miandad and Zaheer…plus Border, Gooch, Crowe bat live so I can’t truly argue that they are better than what I have seen in terms of Ponting, Kallis, Lara and Kohli.

Those who have seen them play live can give you a better judgement. I don’t think referencing stats will do the job here.

However, from what I’ve read and heard, Viv was indeed the ultimate batsman of his era

I have a lot of respect for this type of judgement because what ends up happening is some misinformed ignoramus will end up saying so and so from an era of lower standard (for example 1930s) is better "because they have better average". I'm refraining from disclosing any real life examples because I know this thread will end up getting derailed from the old era hype brigade.

The Misbah vs Inzamam should also serve a lesson that you don't just look at stats at face value. Honestly I thought I heard it all :facepalm:
 
Last edited:
General discussion forum. I think without a doubt Babar is Pakistan’s best ODI number 3. Brilliant player and well done for achieving 5k ODI runs the quickest ever.

Overall, my number 1 ODI number 3 was Ricky Ponting. The guy was an absolute class act and a monster player of both pace and spin. Surreal fitness and game awareness. I rate him higher than Kohli personally, who I think is India’s GOAT ODI number 3 and no.2 from what I have seen in cricket.

From what I recall. Lara was batting mainly at number 4 for West Indies but I believe he has played a substantial amount of games for them at number 3 too. High quality player but I don’t think I would rate him higher than Ponting and Kohli.

The Ponting era was pretty much dominated by the brilliant teams of Australia and South Africa, for that matter I think Kallis deserves a special mention as he was the perfect number 3 batsman for them in this Era. He was definitely Ponting’s nemesis for this position in order to establish dominance in world cricket.

I would rate them in this order,

1. Ricky Ponting
2. Virat Kohli
3. Jacque Kallis
4. Brian Lara
5. Kumar Sangakara
6. Joe Root
7. Babar Azam
8. Kane Williamson
9. Steven Smith
10. Rahul Dravid

Thoughts?

[MENTION=131701]Mamoon[/MENTION] [MENTION=53290]Markhor[/MENTION] [MENTION=130037]Titan[/MENTION] [MENTION=147314]topspin[/MENTION] [MENTION=143714]Kroll[/MENTION] [MENTION=56933]ElRaja[/MENTION]

the majority of modern ODIs are not pressure games, and in the last few years, rarely feature the best xi outside of ICC comps.

my top 3
viv
kohli
ponting

i say this because kohli and viv had this destructive side to their game which left opposition in tatters mentally, viv pips it because he has a hundred in an odi wc final. punter has massive accolades and a very long career.

babar simply doesn't have the sample size, however, hes on the right track and he can overcome that if he plays a pivotal role in the upcoming world cup. if he can guide pak to a win with a meaningful WC, like 500 runs id say hed be be very firmly on his way to ending his career as one of the top 3 of all time.
 
One thing about Lara was,

The guy fired about the crowed whenever he was on song and on a mission to bat for his team. I don’t think I’ve seen a player fire up the crowed like he used to when he played his best shots. Absolute Stone Cold Steve Austin level pops! Goosebumps
 
Min 2000 runs at no.3 batting position
Player Span Mat Runs Avg SR 100
Babar Azam 2016-2023 81 4547 64.95 89.59 18
V Kohli 2009-2023 212 10777 60.2 94.7 39
IVA Richards 1976-1986 52 2418 57.57 86.88 5
F du Plessis 2012-2019 82 3941 55.5 88.34 11
SPD Smith 2014-2023 80 3765 54.56 86.71 11
JE Root 2013-2022 93 3971 54.39 89.57 11
Mohammad Yousuf 2000-2010 45 2042 53.73 79.05 5
KS Williamson 2010-2023 129 5802 50.89 81.38 11
IJL Trott 2009-2013 63 2585 49.71 77.97 4
BC Lara 1992-2007 109 4447 45.84 85.98 12
JH Kallis 1997-2014 204 7774 45.72 73.74 13
Zaheer Abbas 1974-1985 48 2009 45.65 85.74 6
KC Sangakkara 2001-2015 243 9747 44.71 80.5 18
GA Hick 1991-2001 58 2182 44.53 75.26 5
DM Jones 1985-1994 132 5100 43.58 72.07 7
RT Ponting 1995-2012 335 12662 42.48 80.73 29
Mohammad Hafeez 2005-2017 56 2051 41.02 82.1 7
Inzamam-ul-Haq 1991-2003 61 2033 39.09 68.54 2
R Dravid 1996-2011 112 4000 38.83 69.6 7
MS Atapattu 1996-2007 122 4142 38.35 66.33 4
Rahmat Shah 2014-2022 74 2635 37.11 70.19 4
M Azharuddin 1985-2000 68 2036 36.35 68.18 2
RB Richardson 1983-1995 131 3984 35.25 64.89 4
RR Sarwan 2001-2013 86 2531 35.15 70.58 0
SP Fleming 1995-2007 69 2118 34.16 68.87 0
Ijaz Ahmed 1987-2000 74 2144 31.52 78.44 6
AP Gurusinha 1986-1996 111 3282 30.96 60.26 1
Younis Khan 2000-2015 125 3526 30.13 72.47 6

Min 500 runs at no.3 batting position in World Cup
Player Span Mat Runs Avg SR 100
Shakib Al Hasan (BAN) 2019-2019 8 606 86.57 96.03 2
IVA Richards (WI) 1979-1983 11 584 83.42 78.38 2
SPD Smith (AUS) 2015-2019 8 557 79.57 89.69 1
KC Sangakkara (SL) 2003-2015 23 1174 73.37 89.14 5
F du Plessis (SA) 2015-2019 13 762 69.27 87.88 2
KS Williamson (NZ) 2015-2019 19 812 58 75.81 2
V Kohli (IND) 2011-2019 18 807 53.8 87.62 1
JH Kallis (SA) 1999-2011 17 691 53.15 80.25 1
RT Ponting (AUS) 1996-2011 42 1723 46.56 79.73 5
BC Lara (WI) 1996-2007 13 535 44.58 92.4 2
 
Solid list.

It has to be Virat Kohli. Extraordinary consistency along with the ability to perform under pressure even in big chases sets him apart. His mental strength, ability to shift gears as per the requirements and intentionally increasing his shot range as the game demands while piercing the gaps has been just exceptional to say the least.
In 9 knockout matches as of 2021 where Kohli scored 20+ India won 6 out of them and in 6 where he scored less than 20 India was able to win just 2. His presence and demeaner at a crease keeps the opposition on the backfoot as they know he can change the game and momentum any time. There have been many quality players but, he is one of a kind.

As a Pak fan have to talk about Babar. Babar Azman in my opinion is really good as well as it stands but, as his career progresses further he needs to produce more knocks in big tournaments, matches and deciders where he changes the games. Its not like he hasn't but, considering his capability needs to produce more of what we can call Babar effect in big games. He is 28 so many more years to do so.
 
Excellent list of players. But it is really between Richards, Kohli and Ponting.

For me it's Kohli. For his mental strength, ability to handle pressure, number of gears, and what sets him ahead of other two, finishing.
 
In olden battles there would be an initial small scale skirmish on the battlefire before the real thing began.

In ODI cricket I feel thats what the job of a number 3 is. When he arrives at the crease you need to get the feeling that now the actual battle is beginning.

There are only two players who I feel really capture that - Ponting and Kohli. Kohli in particular, when he at the crease you feel that now the game is on. The opposition, the fans and the commentary team know that the match hinges on this wicket.

Thats why I think he is the best number 3. When he marches to the crease then its on!
 
General discussion forum. I think without a doubt Babar is Pakistan’s best ODI number 3. Brilliant player and well done for achieving 5k ODI runs the quickest ever.

Overall, my number 1 ODI number 3 was Ricky Ponting. The guy was an absolute class act and a monster player of both pace and spin. Surreal fitness and game awareness. I rate him higher than Kohli personally, who I think is India’s GOAT ODI number 3 and no.2 from what I have seen in cricket.

From what I recall. Lara was batting mainly at number 4 for West Indies but I believe he has played a substantial amount of games for them at number 3 too. High quality player but I don’t think I would rate him higher than Ponting and Kohli.

The Ponting era was pretty much dominated by the brilliant teams of Australia and South Africa, for that matter I think Kallis deserves a special mention as he was the perfect number 3 batsman for them in this Era. He was definitely Ponting’s nemesis for this position in order to establish dominance in world cricket.

I would rate them in this order,

1. Ricky Ponting
2. Virat Kohli
3. Jacque Kallis
4. Brian Lara
5. Kumar Sangakara
6. Joe Root
7. Babar Azam
8. Kane Williamson
9. Steven Smith
10. Rahul Dravid

Thoughts?

[MENTION=131701]Mamoon[/MENTION] [MENTION=53290]Markhor[/MENTION] [MENTION=130037]Titan[/MENTION] [MENTION=147314]topspin[/MENTION] [MENTION=143714]Kroll[/MENTION] [MENTION=56933]ElRaja[/MENTION]

How could you miss viv richards!
 
How could you miss viv richards!

Boss man. I mentioned this earlier

I haven’t honestly seen Viv bat so I personally cannot claim he is better than Ponting or Kohli. I just can’t
 
Boss man. I mentioned this earlier

I haven’t honestly seen Viv bat so I personally cannot claim he is better than Ponting or Kohli. I just can’t
Hmmm makes sense.
Even i didn't watched him live, only saw the highlights and clippings. But as per the stats and the impact he had in that era, he should be in top 3 in ODIs.
 
Min 2000 runs at no.3 batting position
Player Span Mat Runs Avg SR 100
Babar Azam 2016-2023 81 4547 64.95 89.59 18
V Kohli 2009-2023 212 10777 60.2 94.7 39
IVA Richards 1976-1986 52 2418 57.57 86.88 5
F du Plessis 2012-2019 82 3941 55.5 88.34 11
SPD Smith 2014-2023 80 3765 54.56 86.71 11
JE Root 2013-2022 93 3971 54.39 89.57 11
Mohammad Yousuf 2000-2010 45 2042 53.73 79.05 5
KS Williamson 2010-2023 129 5802 50.89 81.38 11
IJL Trott 2009-2013 63 2585 49.71 77.97 4
BC Lara 1992-2007 109 4447 45.84 85.98 12
JH Kallis 1997-2014 204 7774 45.72 73.74 13
Zaheer Abbas 1974-1985 48 2009 45.65 85.74 6
KC Sangakkara 2001-2015 243 9747 44.71 80.5 18
GA Hick 1991-2001 58 2182 44.53 75.26 5
DM Jones 1985-1994 132 5100 43.58 72.07 7
RT Ponting 1995-2012 335 12662 42.48 80.73 29
Mohammad Hafeez 2005-2017 56 2051 41.02 82.1 7
Inzamam-ul-Haq 1991-2003 61 2033 39.09 68.54 2
R Dravid 1996-2011 112 4000 38.83 69.6 7
MS Atapattu 1996-2007 122 4142 38.35 66.33 4
Rahmat Shah 2014-2022 74 2635 37.11 70.19 4
M Azharuddin 1985-2000 68 2036 36.35 68.18 2
RB Richardson 1983-1995 131 3984 35.25 64.89 4
RR Sarwan 2001-2013 86 2531 35.15 70.58 0
SP Fleming 1995-2007 69 2118 34.16 68.87 0
Ijaz Ahmed 1987-2000 74 2144 31.52 78.44 6
AP Gurusinha 1986-1996 111 3282 30.96 60.26 1
Younis Khan 2000-2015 125 3526 30.13 72.47 6

Min 500 runs at no.3 batting position in World Cup
Player Span Mat Runs Avg SR 100
Shakib Al Hasan (BAN) 2019-2019 8 606 86.57 96.03 2
IVA Richards (WI) 1979-1983 11 584 83.42 78.38 2
SPD Smith (AUS) 2015-2019 8 557 79.57 89.69 1
KC Sangakkara (SL) 2003-2015 23 1174 73.37 89.14 5
F du Plessis (SA) 2015-2019 13 762 69.27 87.88 2
KS Williamson (NZ) 2015-2019 19 812 58 75.81 2
V Kohli (IND) 2011-2019 18 807 53.8 87.62 1
JH Kallis (SA) 1999-2011 17 691 53.15 80.25 1
RT Ponting (AUS) 1996-2011 42 1723 46.56 79.73 5
BC Lara (WI) 1996-2007 13 535 44.58 92.4 2

Punter wins it in the World Cup list. His runs contributed in 3 World Cup wins
 
Viv
Ponting
Kohli
Lara
Rest of them were either too inconsistent, stat padders or soft accumulators for the most part including Babar. Dravid wasn't an exceptional ODI talent,but he made the most of his limitations & had a really respectable career. I genuinely feel had he been non-indian he would have been respected much more. Kallis imo is one of the most overrated & overhyped batsmen of all time. A terrific test batsman but an absolute selfish & impactless ODI batsman who only piled useless runs after runs over the years. Root & Smith have similar issues. Both had an exceptional world cup(SS 15, JR 19) where they led their team to glory but just couldn't take their career to the next level. Babar needs to make such statement in an icc tournament which he still hasn't been able to do.
 
In terms of stats and match winning innings, nobody comes close to Kohli.

But in terms of box-office, Lara stands undisputed. He's the GOAT of box-office batsmen. Never seen anyone like him.
 
I'd go Kohli over Viv and Ponting, but that Viv swagger is iconic and unmatched.
 
i will go with Sangakara and Hashim Amla both batsman were renowned for his elegance and consistency at No. 3. Complete players in all formats and had a remarkable ability to adapt to different conditions.
 
i will go with Sangakara and Hashim Amla both batsman were renowned for his elegance and consistency at No. 3. Complete players in all formats and had a remarkable ability to adapt to different conditions.
They were very good but they couldn’t lead their sides to silverware like Ponting did 3 world cups in a row.
 
Min 2000 runs at no.3 batting position
Player Span Mat Runs Avg SR 100
Babar Azam 2016-2023 81 4547 64.95 89.59 18
V Kohli 2009-2023 212 10777 60.2 94.7 39
IVA Richards 1976-1986 52 2418 57.57 86.88 5
F du Plessis 2012-2019 82 3941 55.5 88.34 11
SPD Smith 2014-2023 80 3765 54.56 86.71 11
JE Root 2013-2022 93 3971 54.39 89.57 11
Mohammad Yousuf 2000-2010 45 2042 53.73 79.05 5
KS Williamson 2010-2023 129 5802 50.89 81.38 11
IJL Trott 2009-2013 63 2585 49.71 77.97 4
BC Lara 1992-2007 109 4447 45.84 85.98 12
JH Kallis 1997-2014 204 7774 45.72 73.74 13
Zaheer Abbas 1974-1985 48 2009 45.65 85.74 6
KC Sangakkara 2001-2015 243 9747 44.71 80.5 18
GA Hick 1991-2001 58 2182 44.53 75.26 5
DM Jones 1985-1994 132 5100 43.58 72.07 7
RT Ponting 1995-2012 335 12662 42.48 80.73 29
Mohammad Hafeez 2005-2017 56 2051 41.02 82.1 7
Inzamam-ul-Haq 1991-2003 61 2033 39.09 68.54 2
R Dravid 1996-2011 112 4000 38.83 69.6 7
MS Atapattu 1996-2007 122 4142 38.35 66.33 4
Rahmat Shah 2014-2022 74 2635 37.11 70.19 4
M Azharuddin 1985-2000 68 2036 36.35 68.18 2
RB Richardson 1983-1995 131 3984 35.25 64.89 4
RR Sarwan 2001-2013 86 2531 35.15 70.58 0
SP Fleming 1995-2007 69 2118 34.16 68.87 0
Ijaz Ahmed 1987-2000 74 2144 31.52 78.44 6
AP Gurusinha 1986-1996 111 3282 30.96 60.26 1
Younis Khan 2000-2015 125 3526 30.13 72.47 6

Min 500 runs at no.3 batting position in World Cup
Player Span Mat Runs Avg SR 100
Shakib Al Hasan (BAN) 2019-2019 8 606 86.57 96.03 2
IVA Richards (WI) 1979-1983 11 584 83.42 78.38 2
SPD Smith (AUS) 2015-2019 8 557 79.57 89.69 1
KC Sangakkara (SL) 2003-2015 23 1174 73.37 89.14 5
F du Plessis (SA) 2015-2019 13 762 69.27 87.88 2
KS Williamson (NZ) 2015-2019 19 812 58 75.81 2
V Kohli (IND) 2011-2019 18 807 53.8 87.62 1
JH Kallis (SA) 1999-2011 17 691 53.15 80.25 1
RT Ponting (AUS) 1996-2011 42 1723 46.56 79.73 5
BC Lara (WI) 1996-2007 13 535 44.58 92.4 2
Ponting arguably the GOAT no. 3 in World cups. 42 matches averaging 45.6 in an era where he faced:

Akram
Waqar
Saqlain
Shoaib Akhtar
Pollock
Donald
Klusenar
Steyn
Morkel
Ntini
Vaas
Muralitharan
Herath
Vettori
Bond
Flintoff
Gough
Swann
Zaheer Khan
Irfan Pathan
Harbajhan
Kumble

Some of the world class ODI bowlers from this time period
 
i will go with Sangakara and Hashim Amla both batsman were renowned for his elegance and consistency at No. 3. Complete players in all formats and had a remarkable ability to adapt to different conditions.
They were very good but they couldn’t lead their sides to silverware like Ponting did 3 world cups in a row.
Amla was opener, not 3 in ODIs.
 
My top 5 for #3 position in bilateral ODIs are :-

Kohli
Viv( he was more ideal no 4 than #3)
Ponting( benefited with an extremely strong team)
Lara
Babar
 
Although it's close between Viv Richards and Virat Kohli in my opinion. I would just slightly put Kohli ahead here because he has more experience playing in that particular position, while Sir Viv played at no. 3 and 4. More at no. 4.
 
Viv Richards.. The best. Far ahead of his era and the only batter who put genuine fear in bowlers mind and heart.
Kohli/Ponting are great too.. But Viv was just so destructive.
 
Viv Richards.. The best. Far ahead of his era and the only batter who put genuine fear in bowlers mind and heart.
Kohli/Ponting are great too.. But Viv was just so destructive.
I have never seen Viv play live as he retired before even I was born. But those Youtube videos and cricket classic shows on TV.. man Viv hit a mean ball. Crazy Destructive.. Couple of his innings in Australia where he took down Rodney Hogg and Lilee etc were exhilarating. Wish I had seen him play live.
 
Back
Top