This simple question can now be answered from the most exhaustive statistics available.
A total of 3,636 cricket batsmen have made a century or more off a 50-plus score in limited overs cricket.
There are three players – Andrew Flintoff, Graeme Smith and Alastair Cook – to have made their 500th ODI ton – a tally still not matched since Steve Waugh and Ian Botham bowled 1,056-6, with Flintoff at number 9.
This is the first time on record that there has been a five-term record of 5,000 runs in ODI cricket, with the tally already surpassing what England had at one stage: 6,300, achieved by the late Glenn McGrath, in 1987-88.
The latest ODI runs total to be passed was of 7,000 from Zimbabweian fast bowler Jacques Kallis, who made his 600th ODI half-century at Melbourne after five innings and five balls.
This means there have already been 15 players to exceed 700 runs for their nation in international cricket, which would be good enough to give each of the first five centuries an individual record.
How much does a century count?
A hundred is worth 2.1 per cent of a run-rate, and a hundred is worth just 0.7 per cent of a wicket. In comparison, a century is worth a full 50 per cent of a team’s wicket total.
However, these figures do not take in the fact that players can reach 500-plus centuries with fewer than 20 minutes – or that many scorers can find 200-plus scores in which their innings does not count.
A century, with just 60 minutes played, could, for example, be made by Glenn McGrath, who played 300 ODIs at the age of 36, while his century was made with just 26.7.5 minutes, so his contribution to this landmark figure would be a little less than 0.1 per cent.
On the whole, a century has a much higher probability of happening than any other ODI score to hit five runs – by about 6 to 1 – and is therefore more important for one-day cricket © Getty Images
Glenn McGrath scored an ODI career-high 500 runs at 36 years, 9 months and 8 days in 1987, after he took 8.6 on his 300th ODI international debut after six months and 4.3 after
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