In the modern era of T20 cricket, one day Internationals have become less engrossing but still hold an important place in the cricketing world. In 2021, the focus for most of the teams revolved around the T20 World Cup in the UAE and the World Test Championship Final in England. For some of the major Test playing nations, their itinerary in 2021 was designed keeping the focus primarily on T20s while ODIs got second precedence. However, many teams like Ireland and Bangladesh played a bulk of ODIs during this period. In this article, we will discuss five players who scored the most runs in ODI in 2021.
Most Runs in ODI Cricket in 2021
5. Andrew Balbirnie (Ireland)
Irelands Andrew Balbirnie secures fifth spot on this list of batters with most runs in ODI cricket in 2021. The Irish skipper is one of the most consistent performers for his team in the 50-over format. In 20201, Balbirnie represented Ireland on 14 occasions in the ODI format. The right-handed batsman scored 421 runs at an average of 32.38 including his highest score of 102 against South Africa in Malahide. His runs tally also included four 50+ scores in 2021.
4. Harry Tector (Ireland)
The Ireland middle-order batter, Harry Tector too had a brilliant outing in the national colors in 2021. Harry, who made his ODI debut in 2020, didn't have the best of starts after being dismissed for a duck in his maiden ODI appearance. The 22-year old has played 20 ODIs in his career so far where he averages 42 with the bat. Though in 2021, he began to show signs of his ability to score consistent runs for his team. In 14 ODI matches played in 2021, Hector scored a total of 454 runs for Ireland. It included four fifties with a highest score of 79 against South Africa.
3. Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh)
Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal ranks third in the list of most runs scored in ODI cricket in 2021. While he skipped the T20 series to give chance for the young generation, the veteran didn't fail to make an impact in the fifty overs format. Tamim played 12 ODIs in the last calendar year, scoring 464 runs for the ‘Men in Green'. He also scored a century during this period and averaged 38.66 with the bat. He will be one of the main weapons for Bangladesh in the upcoming ODI World Cup in 2023.
2. Janneman Malan (South Africa)
South Africa struggled post the World Cup 2019 as they failed to find replacements for many top-quality players including AB De Villiers. However, Janeman Malan was the find of the season in 2021 for South Africa. The opener was impressive as far as his skills in the white-ball cricket are concerned. In 2021, Malan played eight ODIs and yet managed to score 509 runs including two centuries. The 25- year old batsman batted with an astounding average of 84.83. He even registered four fifties in this period including his highest score of 177* against Ireland. He was even awarded as the ICC Emerging Player of the Year Award in 2021.
1. Paul Stirling (Ireland)
Paul Sterling holds the pole position in regards to the most runs scored by a batter in ODI cricket in 2021. Stirling played 14 ODIs for Ireland in 2021 where he scored 705 runs. The Irish veteran was in red-hot form in the white-ball cricket in 2021 and continued to stamp his authority as an opener even in the T20s. In ODI cricket, the 31-year old showed immense consistency to notch up an average nearing 55. During the same period, Paul scored three big hundreds and two fifties to go along with his highest score of 131* against UAE.
Most ODI Runs for India in 2021
Just like most International teams, India also had limited exposure to ODI cricket in the previous calendar year. The ‘Men in Blue' played a total of six ODI matches during this period where Shikhar Dhawan scored the most runs for India. Dhawan scored 297 runs with an average of 59.40 in these six innings. On the tour of Sri Lanka in 2021, the Southpaw even captained India to an ODI series win against the Islanders. KL Rahul finds second spot on this list with 177 runs scored in just three innings. Apart from these two batsmen, Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant also scored 155 runs in two ODI matches for India.