1. Sachin Tendulkar – 18426 (Avg: 44.83. SR: 86.23)
Tendulkar is the highest run-getter in the format and has 51 hundreds to boot with. In the 90s, the Mumbaikar carried India's batting on his shoulder and he was their biggest match winner. As the time progressed, Tendulkar received tremendous support from the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni - all members of Club 10000 as well. But the appetite for runs kept him relevant till he bid adieu.
2. Ricky Ponting – 13378 (Avg: 42.03, SR: 80.39)
The former Australian is the third highest run-getter in ODIs behind Tendulkar and Kumar Sangakkara. His place as one of the best ODI batsmen is secure because he hardly failed to perform on big occasions. Remember his big hundred against India at Johannesburg in the World Cup 2003 final. Apart from his final year or so in international cricket, Ponting kept on scoring for Australia and has 30 hundreds.
3. Sanath Jayasuriya – 13430 (Avg: 32.36, SR: 91.20)
The left-handed opener from Sri Lanka changed the perception about ODI batting in the mid 90s. He was at his brutal best in the 1996 World Cup which was eventually won by Sri Lanka. Along with Romesh Kaluwitarana, Jayasuriya tore apart bowling attacks around the world and had ended the career of Manoj Prabhakar. His strike rate of over 91 testifies his efficiency and effect as an opener.
4. MS Dhoni – 10123 (Avg: 50.61, SR: 87.85)
No other batsman knew how to pace an innings better than Dhoni in ODIs. The ebb and flow of ODI cricket is in his genes and a stunningly calculative and cold mind allowed him to manage a chase successfully - more often than not. He often batted down the order and has to double up as wicketkeeper too making his achievements all the more towering.
5. Viv Richards – 6721 (Avg: 47, SR: 90.20)
The West Indian legend was the prototype of modern ODI cricketer. Richards could destroy any bowling attack in the blink of an eye and often scored at run-a-ball rate or more than that in an era when batsmen took several overs to set their eyes in. And he created magnificent theater too - maroon cap, chewing gum, swagger of a lion. He was way ahead of his time.
Special mention: Adam Gilchrist – 9619 (Avg: 35.89, SR: 96.94)
The former Australian opener just hammered the bowlers out of the sight like irritant flies. The non-convoluted approach of Gilchrist played huge role in Australia winning three back to back World Cup titles - 1999, 2003, 2007. In the 2007 World Cup final, Gilchrist pummeled the Sri Lankans with a blistering hundred. A Hall of Fame figure certainly!