Shubman Gill claimed the top spot in the ICC ODI Rankings on November 8, ending Babar Azam’s over two-year reign as the number one batter. Babar Azam had initially risen to the number one position in April 2021 by surpassing Virat Kohli.
However, Babar Azam’s recent performances have waned, while Shubman Gill has been in exceptional form in ODI cricket, leading to Gill taking over the top spot in the rankings.
The Pakistan captain held the top spot for 952 days, yet he doesn’t appear among the top five batters with the longest duration as the world number one in ODI cricket.
Let’s take a look at the exclusive list:
#1 Michael Bevan – 1392 days
Former Australian cricketer Michael Bevan held the number one position in the rankings for an impressive 1392 days in a row. He first claimed the top spot on January 22, 1999.
He maintained his position until July 3, 2002, thanks to his remarkable consistency in One Day Internationals. Bevan was renowned for being a major match-winner for the Australian cricket team.
#2 AB de Villiers – 1480 days
AB de Villiers, the former South African captain renowned for his exceptional ability to dismantle opposing bowling attacks with his 360-degree hitting skills, held the number one position in the rankings for an impressive 1480 days.
Nicknamed “Mr. 360” for his extraordinary strokeplay, de Villiers maintained an outstanding strike rate while representing South Africa. He retired from international cricket in 2018, still at the pinnacle of his career.
#3 Virat Kohli – 1493 days
Virat Kohli, a former teammate of AB de Villiers at Royal Challengers Bangalore, stands in the third position on this list. Kohli has enjoyed several periods as the world’s top-ranked ODI batter, totaling 1493 days, which is only 13 days more than the fourth-placed de Villiers.
Notably, Kohli’s reign included 1258 consecutive days, from October 22, 2017, to April 1, 2021.
#4 #2 Viv Richards – 1748 days
Viv Richards, a former West Indies batter, holds the world record for the most consecutive days at the top of the ICC ODI Rankings. He was the top-ranked batter for an incredible 1748 consecutive days, from January 8, 1984, to October 20, 1988, during the height of his career.
Richards was a formidable force against virtually every bowling attack he faced, as this record demonstrates.
#5 Brian Lara – 2104 days
The all-time record for the most days spent at the top of the ICC ODI Rankings for batters belongs to former West Indies captain Brian Lara. He’s the only one to have held the top spot for over 2000 days.
Of those 2104 days, 1049 were consecutive, from March 9, 1996, to January 21, 1999. Lara played his last ODI in 2007, and even after sixteen years, no batter has come close to challenging his record.