Home > Features >

Michael Bevan — The man who laid the blueprint for successful ODI run-chases

Michael Bevan Final
Bevan was a crucial factor in the rise of Australia in the late 1990s as a supreme one-day cricket force © Getty Images

Michael Bevan, born on May 8, 1970 is one of the finest batsmen in the history of One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Nishad Pai Vaidya writes about his legacy in ODI cricket.

Growing up in a cricket crazy India in the 1990s, Sachin Tendulkar was every kid’s idol. It was his sheer brilliance on the field of play that inspired children and pushed them to play cricket in their small by-lanes. However, there was another figure, not as large as Tendulkar, who was extremely popular in a different pastime. While kids yearned to be termed the “Tendulkar” of the galli, as a fellow writer at CricketCountry wrote, Michael Bevan was their most popular cricket trading card. As children returned from their small fields as the sun set, they often started a round of cricket trading cards. With an enviable average, the holder of Bevan’s card was invincible.

Over the years, many cricket writers have spoken about certain numbers being associated with players. For example, Brian Lara would has written his name in history with a 400 not out and the 501 in First-Class cricket. Tendulkar stands out with the 100 international tons, if one has to pick one statistic. Bevan, though not in the league of some of the greats mentioned, would always be amongst the finest One-Day International (ODI) batsmen. An average of 53.58 in ODIs is true testament to his skill as a finisher as he batted in the middle order to provide that touch to the Australian team.

Bevan was a crucial factor in the rise of Australia in the late 1990s as a supreme one-day cricket force. The top order comprised of dominating stars in Mark Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and the grit of Steve Waugh. To that line-up, Bevan provided a cushion in the middle. Should they fail, he would invariably stand up and make his contributions felt. Through that calm exterior, one could see that his mind was buzzing with calculations, working out various permutations and combinations in a run-chase or to finish the innings on a good note.

A pertinent point to note is that his average never dropped below 47.25 in ODIs. He had touched that “trough” in only his seventh ODI and through the 225 more games he featured in, he always averaged above 50. He hit six tons and 46 fifties. There were innumerable 30s and 40s, worth their weight in gold! The strike-rate of 74.16 may not be up to the modern standard, but was fantastic in the time Bevan played.  And, if you pitch it alongside his overall numbers, it makes a brilliant reading. To date, he has the highest batting average in ODIs (If one keeps Ryan ten Doeschate aside, who averages 67.00 in his 33 games, most of which have been against minnows) and List A cricket.

In many ways, Bevan truly created the blueprint of chasing successfully in ODIs. In the post 2000 era, there are many batsmen who have emerged who have mastered the art. In their gameplay, it is Bevan’s blueprint that is ever so prevalent. The batsmen believe and back themselves in taking it through to the end and then charge for the assault. Temperamentally, they have taken on his demeanour in not letting the pressure get to them. In his own way, he did revolutionise one-day cricket and that remains his true legacy.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

  Bevan — who laid blueprint for successful run-chases

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

ICC World Cup 2015: England announce 15-man squad

Live Cricket Score India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: Australia win by 4 wickets, take 2-0 lead in the series

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: Samuels and Chanderpaul rebuild for West Indies

Anil Kumble Australia India Moments in history Ricky Ponting South Africa

Johnathan Trott to lead England Lions

India tour of Australia 2014: Steven Smith warns visitors against resorting to sledging in the future

ICC World Cup 2015: England announce 15-man squad

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Pitch curator shocked by India’s criticism

India vs Australia 2014-15: MS Dhoni admits batting collapse ‘cost us dear’

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Highlights

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Marks out of 10 for the hosts

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Marks out of ten for the hosts

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here