ODI cricket has witnessed players who have showcased their match-winning abilities with some power-packed performances that will be remembered by fans globally. These players won the games single-handedly for their sides with some enlightening performances.
In this piece, we will discuss players about the players who were able to end up as the best Player of the Match most times in limited overs history.
Any player who steps on the field tries to give their 100 per cent for their team. The players mentioned in our list are legends of the game who are part of some elite cricketing lists. These players had different skill sets but showed tremendous consistency for their respective sides.
The players mentioned in the list were all big game players who showcased rock-solid determination during dicey situations, thus helping their sides to memorable wins that separated them from the rest of their teammates in terms of temperament.
Here are the 10 players who won the most “Man of the Match” awards in ODI history.
#10 Brian Lara (West Indies) – 30 MoM Awards in 299 ODIs
With all his flamboyant attitude and stylish play, the left-hander attracted billions worldwide. Lara won the “Player of the Match” awards 30 times in 299 ODIs. Lara smashed the best bowlers when he got going with his powerful square cuts, astonishing backlift shots, and classic cover drives. The Trinidadian easily pulled the ball, even on fast, bouncy wickets. The former skipper played spin well and was successful even on subcontinent wickets.
#9 Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) – 31 MoM Awards in 404 ODIs
Kumar Sangakkara was always a crisis man for his side. The left-hander has bailed Sri Lanka out of danger many times. Sangakkara possessed a tough temperament to survive under pressure. The former wicket-keeper batsman won the MoM award 31 times in 404 ODIs. The former skipper played some delightful drives and backfoot punches even when the opposition bowlers applied pressure with extra fielders in the inner ring.
#8 Vivian Richards (West Indies) – 31 MoM Awards in 187 ODIs
The charismatic West Indian was loved by billions globally for his aggressive batting. Not just in the homeland, the right-hander’s effortless timing and his ability to punch the ball on the up were winning Windies games around the world. Richards punched the ball on the up even to a good length ball with his fast hands and placement. The Antiguan ended as the best player of the game 31 times in 187 ODIs.
#7 Saurav Ganguly (India) – 31 MoM Awards in 311 ODIs
“The Prince of Kolkata”, as he was fondly called, is responsible for team India’s success in overseas conditions. He laid the foundation of a mindset that India could win in foreign conditions. Regarding his batting, the left-hander always stood up when the other batters struggled.
The former skipper played some delicious cover drives, a treat to watch, and punched the ball wonderfully, standing on his toes. 31 times out of his 311 ODI matches, Ganguly was recognised as the Player of the match.
#6 Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) – 32 MoM Awards in 398 ODIs
Many would be surprised to find the charismatic all-rounders name in the list, but “Boom Boom” Afridi, as he was fondly called, always did the job for his team with the bat or the ball during critical situations. The all-rounder outgunned the opposition bowlers even at his young age with his destructive hitting abilities while batting in the middle order.
As a spinner, the former skipper made clever variations foxing the batters with his googly, faster and straighter ones. Afridi wasn’t a big turner of the ball, but his length could outsmart even a well-set batter. In 398 ODIs, the all-rounder won the MoM award 32 times.
#5 Jacques Kallis (South Africa) – 32 MoM Awards in 328 ODIs
The burly all-rounder showcased rock-solid defence in all conditions including in subcontinent conditions. Kallis possessed solid technique and also played spinners well. Using the bowlers’ pace, the right-hander stroked the ball with lazy elegance. The right-hander pulled the ball well and played some classic cover drives.
Kallis would bail the team out of trouble when the entire South African batting order struggled. As a pacer, Kallis was always a got man when breaking critical partnerships. He could hit the deck hard and even foxed the batters with clever seam movements. The all-rounder was honoured by the MoM award 32 times in his ODI career.
#4 Ricky Ponting (Australia) – 32 MoM Awards in 375 ODIs
“Punter”, as he was fondly called, never gave up without a fight regarding his batting or captaincy. The right-hander stood tall whenever his team required. The former skipper never gave his wicket away always offering resistance from one end. Ponting has produced match-winning innings even on sub-continent wickets, making him among his generation’s finest match-winners. He could play some cracking square cuts and pull shots on fast wickets and played the spinners with ease showcasing fine footwork. He won the same number of MoM awards as Kallis, but in 375 games.
Ricky Ponting winning the Man of the Match in the 2003 World Cup final against India was one of the highlights of his career.
#3 Virat Kohli (India) – 36 MoM Awards in 262 ODIs
Kohli is arguably one of the finest match-winners in modern-day cricket. The right-hander continues to deliver when the team is under pressure. Whenever India chases a big target, Kohli leads from the front attacking the opposition bowlers with his caressing drives and front-foot punches.
Kohli is sometimes seen charging the spinners down the track while clearing the in-field. He will be remembered as one of the greatest chasers of modern-day cricket. Kohli has won the MoM award 36 times and he is clearly not done yet.
#2 Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) – 48 MoM Awards in 445 ODIs
The left-hander was one of the most destructive openers during the 1990s and early 2000s. Jayasuriya changed the concept of ODI batting with his dominating style of play. The former skipper has bailed his team out of danger many times, even with his left-arm spin.
The former opener counter-attacked the opposition bowlers even when the bowlers created pressure by bringing in close-in fielders. Jayasuriya despatched the ball over extra cover with his strong bottom hand and powerful square cuts. He could pull the ball with ease with his fine hand-eye coordination, even on fast, bouncy wickets. In 445 ODIs, Jayasuriya has been the top player of the game 48 times.
#1 Sachin Tendulkar (India) – 62 MoM Awards in 463 ODIs
The “God of Indian Cricket” exceeded the nation’s expectations for almost two decades, and rightly so. The ‘Master Blaster’ batted under pressure most of his career. Even when India couldn’t win any game, Tendulkar never gave up without a fight. The right-hander built his innings cleverly, placing the ball in the gaps and fitting the odd boundaries with his graceful drives.
The former skipper pulled the ball wonderfully and punched the ball well, standing on his toes with his gentle placements. Tendulkar also did the job with his bowling taking crucial wickets as a part-timer. Whether it was playing in the subcontinent, English conditions, or Australian, Tendulkar was a master of adjusting his technique as per the conditions. In 463 ODIs, Tendulkar has won MoM award 62 times.