It is a phenomenal record - an average over 55 built, not on not outs (as in the case of Bevan), but at the top of the order. Amla is the fastest man to reach 3000 ODI runs beating Viv Richards' mark by 12 innings. Batting at the top of the order in South Africa, England and Australia (37 out of those 62 matches have been played there), it is hard to imagine more difficult circumstances in which a batsman could build a record like Amla's.
Today, he is arguably the best batsman in the world in any form of the game.
How does he compare to ODI batsmen?
A few months ago I published a method for rating ODI batsmen which is designed to take into account the ever increasing run rates in the ODI game. The fields in the tables below are self explanatory, except for "Value" and "Performance". For a career, the Performance score is the average of such scores for individual matches. The gold standard is a double digit "Value" score and a "Performance" score about 0.200.
Value = (Run Share) x (Strike Rate Ratio) x (Batting Average)
Performance = (Run Share) x (Strike Rate Ratio)
Run Share = Player's Runs / All other players' runs in that innings*
Strike Rate Ratio = Player's Strike Rate / Cumulative Strike Rate of all other players
Batting Average = Number of Runs per Dismissal
I present two sets of tables - one for all batsmen, and the other for ODI opening batsmen, given the importance of the position in the ODI game.
The openers table is telling, for it is a reminder of one of the great strategic blunders in recent ODI history - the decision by Brian Lara and West Indies management to move Brian Lara down the order in ODI cricket.