When India beat England by 5 wickets to take a 3-0 lead in the 5 match ODI series, not only did it wrap up the so called ‘revenge’ series but it also broke an Australian record for the highest number of 300-plus scores. Chasing 298 for victory, India clinched the thriller after youngster Ajinkya Rahane scored 91 as India won by 5 wickets with 4 balls to spare. When Mahendra Singh Dhoni spanked two consecutive boundaries off Tim Bresnan to finish the match at 300-5, Team India added another feather to its cap as it surpassed Australia with its 65th 300-plus total.
It took a long time coming for the Indians to get a 300-plus total initially when they started to play one day cricket but after 22 long years they achieved this feat for the first time in 1996 against Pakistan in Sharjah as India won the toss and elected to bat to put up 305 for the loss of 5 wickets backed by brilliant hundreds from maestro Sachin Tendulkar and Navjot Singh Sidhu as the duo added 231 runs for the second wicket. Aamer Sohail led the chase for Pakistan ably assisted by Rashid Latif and Ijaz Ahmed only to fall short by 28 runs. That was the very first instance of India scoring such a big total but it was only the start of many to come.
One Day Internationals are more suited for a batsman to get big scores with the field restrictions, power plays, referrals and ball changes. The bowlers do have a very important role to play as well but the teams with quality batsmen and power hitters most often than not make a big difference. A 300-plus score not always guarantees a victory though teams like New Zealand and Bangladesh have a commendable win percentages after scoring more than 300 runs.
Even Zimbabwe had got 300s earlier than India but the former only repeated it 18 times whereas India now tops the table at 65. Closely followed by Australia at 64. Only 16 out of the 65 came when India batted second and 11 were successful with the latest being the one against England. Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka complete the top 5 rankings. With one-dayers being subject to a number of regulations at present and cricket becoming a more and more batsmen-friendly game, we can only expect more such totals in the days to come!