Australia have been one of the most dominating teams in ODI cricket over the years. There ruthless brand of cricket and never-say-die attitude always helped them get the better of the opposition. But one of the main reason for their success was that they had strong leaders, who led by example and let their bat do the talking. There have been many world-class cricketers who have had the privilege to captain Australia and take their team to the next level. Some of them improved in their batting as the responsibility of captaining Australia just took their game to the next level. Here are 4 players with most ODI hundreds for an Australian captain.
1. Ricky Ponting – 21
Ricky Ponting is arguably Australia’s greatest captain ever. He helped Australia defend their world cup crown in 2003 as well as in 2007 and formed a team that was capable of world domination. He also took his batting to the next level and led by example as a captain and as a batsman. In 230 ODIs that he has played as a captain, Ponting has scored 8497 runs at a staggering average of 42.91, with 21 hundreds for Australia and 1 for ICC World XI.
His 21 centuries are by far the highest by any Australian captain in the history of ODI cricket. He will surely go down as one of the greats of the modern game and Australia have never managed to reach similar heights of dominance since his retirement.
2. Aaron Finch – 6
Aaron Finch took the mantle of Australia’s ODI captaincy regularly at a very dark time in Australian cricket when the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for the ball-tampering scandal. But he has successfully been able to help the Australian team stand tall again and has led his way with the bat. Although he has always been a great ODI batsman, his numbers just go to the next level when he begins to captain the Australian side.
In 41 ODIs that he has captained Australia so far, Aaron Finch has an outstanding average of 49.51 and has scored 1931 runs with 6 centuries, the second-highest by any Australian captain in ODIs. He continues to pile up the runs and it looks like the near future of Australian cricket is in safe hands.
3. Michael Clarke – 5
Michael Clarke took over Australia’s ODI captaincy from Ricky Ponting and it was never going to be easy to achieve what Ponting has been able to achieve with Australia as a captain. However, he made sure that Australia were dominant in ODI cricket, and they won the 2015 World Cup under his captaincy.
His numbers as a batsman also improved while he was captaining Australia, as he scored 2745 runs in 74 ODIs as captain and has five centuries to his name, which is the joint-third highest by an Australian captain in ODIs.
4. Steve Smith – 5
Steve Smith is arguably one of Australia’s greatest modern-day batsmen across all three formats. Although his ODI numbers aren’t that great when compared to Test cricket, his numbers as a captain are just staggering. In the 51 ODIs that he has captained Australia, Smith has scored 1984 runs at an impressive average of 45.09.
After serving his punishment for the sandpaper gate incident, Smith will be hopeful that someday he will again get a chance to lead Australia, and he will be able to add to the tally of 5 ODI centuries as Australia’s captain.