Back on August 5, 2004, the first ever T20I between England and New Zealand women’s team took place. A few months later in February 17, 2005, it was the turn of the Australia and New Zealand to feature in the maiden men’s T20I. In 2007, the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa took centre-stage.
Ever since, the format has come a long way and has captured the imagination of the fans. It’s 2019 and on November 3, 2019, T20 International cricket was a witness to it’s 1000th match. India and Bangladesh played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi with the visitors winning the game.
The format has survived more than 15 years now and over the times, there have been many, who went on to rule T20Is. When it’s about the shortest version, a few players have become household names.
In the article, let’s take a look at the all-time T20I International XI after 1000 matches.
Rohit Sharma may not have had a great 2019, but he can be regarded one of the greats of the game in the shortest format. In 99 matches, the right-hander scored 2,452 runs at an average of 31.84 with a strike-rate of 136.67. Rohit is the only batsman with as many as four T20I centuries to go with 17 half-centuries.
The Mumbai batter has also hit 109 6s, the most by anyone in the format. He went past Chris Gayle’s tally of 105 T20I 6s. Moreover, he still holds the record of the fastest T20I century off 35 balls along with South Africa’s David Miller and Czech Republic’s Sudesh Wickramasekara.
Rohit accomplished the feat versus Sri Lanka back in December 2017 in Indore. At the age of 32, he has quite a bit of cricket left ahead of him and is speculated to break many records.
Brendon McCullum (wk)
Brendon McCullum can’t be deemed as the most elegant player. But when it comes to showing a daredevil attitude, there were very few, who could match the Otago-born. Before the likes of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro started weaving magic for New Zealand, it was McCullum, who set the tone.
Baz was once the leading run-scorer in T20Is with a couple of centuries and 13 half-centuries. The tons came versus Australia and Bangladesh. McCullum’s T20I career spanned 10 years. In 71 matches, he racked up 2,140 runs at an average of 35.66 and strike-rate of 136.21.
He dominated to such an extent that even five years after his retirement, McCullum still holds the fifth position in the list of all-time leading T20I run-scorer. He was also acrobatic as a keeper and as a fielder as well.
In 72 T20 Internationals, Virat has an average of 50, having scored 2,450 runs- numbers which are generally unheard of. The Delhi-born has opened the batting for Team India and has played in the middle-order as well. He plays at a strike-rate of 135.28.
The fact that he has 22 half-centuries to his name in T20Is shows the stupendous level of consistency Virat has shown over the time being. Last year in June against England, he became the second Indian after Mithali Raj to score in excess of 2,000 T20I runs.
Virat also became the fastest to 2,000 T20I runs in only his 56th innings. Of late, there has been a mini competition between him and Rohit regarding the top spot in the all-time run-getter’s list. Had Virat not taken the occasional breaks, he could’ve left Rohit behind by a big margin.
Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan is one of the reasons why Bangladesh have emerged into a force in the last decade or so. The Jessore-born was recently suspended by the ICC’s for failing to report corrupt approaches, and it’s a big blow for the Tigers.
The southpaw has mostly been amongst the top players in the all-rounder’s rankings and has plied his craft with equal efficiency in all the three formats for his side. In 76 T20Is, Shakib has 1,567 runs with nine fifties. On plenty of occasions, he has bailed his team out of jail.
With his left-arm spinners, the 32-year-old has 92 T20I wickets with his maiden five-wicket haul coming against the West Indies. The left-hander is currently third on the list of all-time leading wicket-taker and is also expected to complete 100 wickets once he returns next year.
Eoin Morgan (C)
Zeroing in on the skipper was a tough ask. The likes of Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Darren Sammy have had exceptional numbers. among all the legendary names, Eoin Morgan may not be an obvious chase as he has a win percentage of 56.25.
But when it comes to batting, the Dublin-born has a big edge over the others, scoring 1,876 runs with 10 fifties at an average of 29.31. After the 2015 World Cup-debacle, it was Morgan, who turned around the fortunes for the Three Lions in the limited-overs formats, leading from the front.
Going ahead, it’s likely that he will become the first England batsman with over 2,000 T20I runs. The southpaw is expected to play a huge part in the 2020 edition of the T20 World Cup in Australia. In 40 T20Is, he has 22 victories under his belt.
As of now, Shoaib Malik is the only cricketer to have played in excess of 100 T20Is. In 111 matches, the veteran has 2,263 runs at an average of 30.58. But it’s his calm and composed demeanour that has rescued Pakistan from precarious positions.
The all-rounder isn’t someone intimidating to the naked eye by any means, but has the technique and mindset to counter the best of bowling attacks. The Sialkot-born knows the art of changing gears as per the demand of the situation. He is no mug with the ball either.
Malik has rolled his arms over for 90 overs and has picked up 28 wickets with a decent economy of 7.15. Not to undermine his potential as a fielder. He is 37 years old and has already retired from Tests and ODIs, and is speculated to play a major role in next year’s World Cup.
Shahid Afridi’s batting career in T20Is was marred by inconsistencies. Out of the 91 innings he batted in, 40 of them produced single-digit scores, eight of them being ducks. Overall, Boom Boom, as Afridi is popularly known, managed only 1,416 runs in 99 matches at an average of 17.92.
In 2009, he got three fifties on the trot with his one fifty coming versus Sri Lanka back in June 2012. But with his leg-spinners, he perched at the helm in the wicket-takers’ list until recently when Lasith Malinga overtook him. Afridi ended with 98 wickets at an economy of 6.63 with three four-wicket hauls.
The last few years of his career saw him succeeding way more with the ball than with the bat. Afridi hasn’t retired from all forms of cricket and at the age of 39, he is doing good around the globe.
Rashid Khan made his T20I debut in 2015 and it wasn’t until 2017 that he started taking giant strides in the format at the highest level. The Nangarhar-born is only 21 years and in his short playing career, has wreaked havoc with the ball in hand.
The leg-spinner has stamped his authority to such an extent that at a tender age, he is already on the list of leading wicket-takers in T20I cricket. In 42 matches, Rashid has 81 wickets at a strike-rate of 11.7 with an economy of 6.13. The tweaker is only 25 wickets adrift Malinga’s record tally of 106 wickets.
With the latter at the fag end of his career, Rashid can reach atop the ladder in the future and can create records, which might take decades to get broken. He can also smash the ball around and rip bowling attack apart on his day.
Back in 2018, one couldn’t have been blamed for thinking that Lasith Malinga had run out of steam. However, he rose like a phoenix from the ashes and has re-established himself at the highest level. So much so, that he is currently the captain of the Sri Lanka T20I team.
Though he is yet to taste success in the limited chances as a skipper, he hasn’t flattered to deceive with the ball in hand. A couple of months ago against New Zealand, Malinga picked up a hat-trick, ending with four wickets in as many balls. In 79 matches, the experienced pacer has 106 wickets at an economy of 7.23.
He also became the first bowler to breach the 100-wicket mark in T20Is. At the age of 36, Lasith is in the twilight of his career and he will wish for a few more fiery spells before bidding adieu to T20Is.
Umar Gul hasn’t played T20I cricket for the last three years, yet he is fourth on the list of all-time highest T20I wicket-takers. In 60 T20Is, the Peshawar-born has 85 wickets at an average of 16.97. The veteran was effective, both with the new ball and at the death.
At the age of 35, it’s unlikely that he will play for Pakistan again, but he will go down as one of their most effective bowlers. His best figures of 3-0-6-5 came in the 2009 World T20 in England. He produced the spell against New Zealand at the Oval, bowling the opposition out for 99.
In that tournament, he was the top wicket-taker with 13 scalps. He also played a key role in the 2011 World Cup, getting 14 wickets. Gul lately was a part of the Balochistan team in the National T20 Cup where he picked up four wickets.
Imran Tahir got chances in only 38 T20Is after he made his debut in 2013 at the age of 34. In those encounters, he picked up 63 wickets at a frugal economy of 6.73 with an average of 15.04. In those games, he was a consistent lot, having picked up two four-fers and as many five-wicket hauls.
At the age of 40, the Lahore-born tweaker hasn’t run out of steam by any stretch of the imagination. His best bowling figures of 4-0-23-5 came versus Zimbabwe in East London back on October 2018. Recently, after the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales, Tahir bid goodbye to ODI cricket.
The veteran may still go on and play the T20 World Cup next year. He was lately a part of the Guyana Amazon Warriors’ team in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) where he picked up 16 wickets.
*All the date provided are until the 1000th T20I between India and Bangladesh
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