Sachin Tendulkar is the man with the most centuries in international cricket. Tendulkar has scored a hundred centuries, 49 in the ODI format. Those 49 are the most ODI centuries of any batsman. Let’s look at the top 10 batsmen who have the most centuries in the 50-over format.
Former India captain Sachin was the centurion of international centuries. He scored 49 ODI ton in his 23-year career. 35 of Sachin’s 49 ODI ton total came in a win. Tendulkar played his ODI debut in 1989 against Pakistan and his final game against that team was in 2012. His ODI career ended with an average of 44.83.
Best centuries: 200* against South Africa, Gwalior 2010, 175 against Australia, Hyderabad 2009, 140* against Kenya, Bristol 1999 and 143 against Australia at Sharjah 1998. Sachin’s favourite ODI century is the knock in Sharjah (also known as the ‘desertstorm’).
Virat Kohli, a still active player in ODI cricket, is now only second to Tendulkar. Former India captain Virat Kohli made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 2008. He has played 254 matches in the format and scored 12169 runs, an average of just over 60. This includes 43 centuries and 62 fifties. Kohli is also the top-ranked player for most ODI 100 in a winning cause – out of 43 centuries, 35 were won by India.
Best centuries: 183 against Pakistan at the Asia Cup 2012 in Dhaka, 118 against Australia in Visakhapatnam 2010 and 123 against New Zealand Napier 2014 in 2014.
Third place is Ricky Ponting, former Australia captain. Punter was last in Australia in 2012. He scored 30 centuries in the 50-over format. 25 of these were in a winning cause. He scored his first ODI century against Sri Lanka at the Benson & Hedges World Series in Melbourne in 1996. Ponting’s highest ODI run is 164 against South Africa at Wanderers Stadium in 2006.
Best centuries – 145 against Zimbabwe, New Delhi 1998; 129 against South Africa, Bloemfontein 2002; 140 against India at the 2003 ODI World Cup final in Johannesburg.
The current India limited-overs skipper Rohit Singh, who has 29 centuries, is fourth on the list. Sharma, popularly known as ‘Hitman’ holds many records in ODIs. At 264 runs, he holds the record for the highest ODI score. Rohit has also scored 33 fours in a single innings, something that no other batsman has done. Rohit is also the only player to have three double centuries in this format. He is also the only batsman to score five centuries in a single edition.
Best centuries: 208* Vs Sri Lanka, Mohali 2017, 209 Vs Australia, Bangalore (2013), 264 Vs Sri Lankan in Kolkata (2014) and 171 against Australia at Perth (2016)
Sanath Jayasuriya, a former Sri Lankan all-rounder who was also one of the best to ever play the game, scored 28 ODI centuries over 445 matches. Jayasuriya’s ODI career, which spans 21 years and 184 day, is the longest in game history. He is also the second-oldest player to reach 100 in the 50-over format. When he scored the century against India in 2009, he was 39 years old and 212 days. He ended his ODI career as an elegant left-hander with a batting average 32.36 and 323 wickets.
Best centuries: 152 against England at Leeds in 2005, and 189 against India at Sharjah 2000 (Champions Trophy final).
Jayasuriya follows Hashim Amla on the list, a former South African cricketer who has scored 28 centuries during an ODI career which began in 2008 and ended at the end of 2019. Amla is the fastest ever cricketer to have scored 2,000, 3,400, 4,000 and 5,000 runs, as well as 6,000 and 7,000 ODI runs. In ODIs, he has won the sixth-most Player Of The Series awards. He finished his 181-match ODI career as the top-order batter with an average of nearly 50.
Best centuries: 150 against England in Southampton, 2012; 153* against West Indies, Johannesburg, 2015; 154 against Sri Lanka, Centurion 2017.
Ab de Villiers
Ab de Villiers is a great ODI batsman. He has 25 ODI centuries to his credit. De Villiers was a prolific batsman and an athlete fielder. He played 228 ODIs in South Africa between 2006 and 2017, scoring 9577 runs at an annual average of 53.50. De Villiers is the unfortunate holder of the record for most ducks in an international series ((4)), but he holds a host of other memorable records. Apart from his seventh-most sixes, he is also the second-fastest player to 9000 runs.
Best centuries: 149 against the West Indies, Johannesburg, 2015; 106 against Australia, Perth, 2008; 119 against India, Mumbai, 2015.
Chris Gayle, one of the most dangerous batsmen in the game, scored 25 centuries. This is the same as de Villiers’, but he took more innings. De Villiers played 218 innings while Gayle played 294. The left-handed, thrusting Jamaican left-hander finished his 301-match ODI season with an average of 37.83 and has hit the second most sixes in the format (331). He also has the record for most sixes in an innings (16). He has also won the fifth-most Player of the Series awards for ODIs (8). Gayle is the Windies’ most successful ODI cricketer with 150+ scores and the fastest to reach an ODI fifty.
Best centuries: 103 against India at Nagpur in 2002; 132* against England at Lord’s 2004; 133* against South Africa at Jaipur 2006; 162 against England and Grenada in 2019
He was also the former captain of Sri Lanka, and scored 25 centuries in ODIs. However, it took him 380 innings to reach that point. Sangakkara is second in ODI cricket’s run-scorer list (14234), just behind Tendulkar (18426). He holds the records for the second-most ODI centuries in a series (four), most consecutive ODI innings (four), second-most fifties (118), and third-most fours (1385) as well as the fastest to 14,000 runs.
Best centuries: 219 against India, 192 against Australia 2007 and 2002 respectively, 230 vs Pakistan and 232 vs South Africa 2004 and 2006.
Sourav Ganguly, one of the greatest captains ever, scored 22 ODI centuries in a single season before retiring in 2007. He is the third-fastest player to reach 10,000 runs and has the most centuries in an ODI series (3), (3). Ganguly finished his 311-match ODI season with an average score of 41.02.
Best centuries – 141 against Pakistan, Adelaide 2000 (ODI World Cup), 183 against Sri Lanka Taunton 2009 (ODI World Cup), 141 against Nairobi 2000.