Who is the perfect number three batsman? Fans have given their verdict

Kohli, who has made a rousing return to form, is now only three hundreds away from equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the most ODI tons, 49

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

 

FILE. India's Virat Kohli (L) and his Pakistan's captain Babar Azam. Photo: AFP
FILE. India's Virat Kohli (L) and his Pakistan's captain Babar Azam. Photo: AFP

Published: Mon 23 Jan 2023, 7:56 AM

Last updated: Mon 23 Jan 2023, 1:11 PM

“There's a vacancy at no. 3 in your one-day side and Viv Richards, Virat Kohli, Babar Azam and Ricky Ponting have all applied. All are in their prime, you can only choose one man. Who do you pick?”

That was the challenge thrown by Iceland Cricket on its official Twitter handle, which has gained remarkable popularity with their witty tweets, on Saturday.


It’s an impossible task to choose one from four magnificent batsmen – Richards, Kohli, Ponting and Babar.

Ponting was the dominant batsman in a star-studded Australian team, with his greatest performance coming in the final of the 2003 World Cup against India when he knocked the stuffing out of the rival bowlers with an unbeaten 140 off 121 balls.


Kohli, who has made a rousing return to form, is now only three hundreds away from equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the most ODI tons, 49.

Then Babar, with a simple technique and a vast array of shots, is another number three batsman that has mastered the art of ODI batting.

Naturally, it’s a tough task to choose one among these all-time great batsmen.

But the Iceland Cricket followers have given their verdict.

The vast majority of fans haven't picked anyone from Kohli, Babar and Ponting.

Rather, it’s Richards, the original master-blaster, that got the nod from the majority of fans to occupy the number three slot in their dream one-day team.

“We have a clear winner. The majority have chosen Sir Viv. Kohli second, Ponting third, Azam fourth. And when you watch videos of his hitting like this one, who can blame anyone for that decision?” Iceland Cricket tweeted on Sunday, while posting a video of Sir Viv at his destructive best.

There is a reason why many fans still hail the legendary West Indian as the GOAT of one-day batting.

The 50 overs format was still nascent when Richards made his international debut in 1974.

The growth of cricket’s first short format coincided with the rise of Richards the new batting superstar.

ALSO READ:

A brutal batsman, Richards pulled and hooked the fastest bowlers of his time into submission in Test cricket.

And his natural style found the perfect stage in one-day cricket, causing mayhem with his relentless aggression.

While most of his contemporaries were still struggling to find their top gear in one-day cricket, Richards set the attacking template for the next generation of players.

For a batsman who played his last one-day international in 1991, Richards’ strike rate of 90.20 (6,721 runs from 187 matches with 11 hundreds, highest 189 not out) was way ahead of its time.

It’s quite scary to think of what Richards might have done to bowlers’ reputation now if he had played his cricket today with the game’s rule heavily altered to help the batsmen.

With field restrictions and white balls that refuse to help swing bowlers after the first few overs, Richards would have broken all records in cricket today with the bat.

That’s why it’s easy to see why true cricket lovers still lean towards the King when they make fantasy XIs.


More news from Sports