It’s been a decade where T20 cricket has gone from strength to strength. Compared to the first decade of the 21st century, the 2010s-decade witnessed a lot more T20Is and it has constantly evolved as well. Almost 1000 T20Is were played in this decade.
There have been four T20 World Cups as well – 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. England won the first of this decade before West Indies completely dominated the World T20s in 2012 and 2016. Sri Lanka was the other nation who won in 2014. Most teams were inconsistent in the shortest format as the sides preferred resting their top players.
Thus, with the 2010s-decade coming to an end, we look back at how teams fared in T20Is in this decade and rank them with respect to their performances.
(Note: We have considered 10 Test-playing nations in this post)
Ranking T20I teams of the decade (2010-2019):
It has been some ride for Bangladesh in the last 10 years. They’ve come a long way in ODI cricket and have shown massive improvement. However, the same hasn’t been the case in the shortest format. The Bangla Tigers have been way below par in T20I cricket.
Among all the Test-playing nations, Bangladesh have the second-worst win-loss ratio, only behind Zimbabwe. In 79 T20Is they’ve played in this decade, they have won just 27 games. Moreover, out of 24 bilateral rubbers, Bangladesh have won just three and drawn six of them. Those three wins came against Ireland (1-0) in 2011, Pakistan (1-0) in 2015 and West Indies (2-1) in 2018.
In the four World T20s, Bangladesh haven’t fared any better either when compared to their bilateral record. In 2010 and 2012, they went winless while in 2014 and 2016, they managed to win two games each but those came in the group stages.
It was only in February 2010 that Afghanistan made their T20I debut and their rise has been remarkable. They may not have played the big teams and that has been just limited to multi-nation tournaments. But the Afghans have shown that they are a league above the others who they frequently play.
They’ve barely played any of the top teams but Afghanistan have 53 wins from 78 matches. They’ve won 11 out of the 14 bilateral series’ that they have played. In fact, they have more wins than Bangladesh despite playing less games in the World T20s.
In 2016, they beat the World Champions West Indies in their final Super 10 game. Moreover, Afghanistan have had a couple of big winning streaks as well. Between March 2016 and March 2017, they won 11 T20Is in a row before bettering their own streak. They won 12 games in a row in the period – February 2018 and September 2019. Currently, they are ranked eighth on the ICC T20I team rankings.
8. New Zealand
New Zealand are a team that punches above their weight. However, in T20Is, they haven’t quite been able to do as well as they’ve done in the other two formats. They’ve blown hot and cold over the decade in the shortest format.
The Kiwis have played 96 T20I games in the 2010s-decade. However, they have tasted victory in only 49 of those. Throughout the decade, they have won and lost and haven’t really built any sort of winning streaks. They have won only three series in a row at the maximum.
However, the Kiwis’ World T20 record leaves them low in this list. In the four ICC tournaments, they made it to only one semi-final which came in the 2016 World T20. In all, they’ve won 10 out of the 19 games in ICC T20 tournaments in this decade.
7. South Africa
The stats may show that South Africa have won 51 out of their 89 T20Is. They’ve had decent winning runs as well. In the recent past, they’ve remained unbeaten for five series in a row since October 2018. But the story has been the same in big tournaments.
They’ve been pretty poor in ICC tournaments. In fact, in three out of the four World T20s, they’ve failed to make it to the semi-finals. The Proteas have won just nine out of the 19 games in World T20s. The only tournament they made it to the semi-final was in the World T20 2014 where they lost to India.
The ‘chokers’ tag has continued to be with them. Also, their inability to do well in the big tournaments is the reason for their lower ranking.
If you see the stats in 2019, it might just mislead you. Australia haven’t lost a single T20I this year and have won seven out of their eight games, with the other game being a washout. They have even won three series in a row – whitewashing India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
However, that was only the second time they had such a streak in this 2010s-decade. The only other time they had a better winning streak in T20Is was in 2014 when they won four series’ in a row. Overall, they have won 54 out of the 98 T20Is they’ve played in this decade.
Australia have continued to struggle in the ICC World T20s. They did make it to the final in 2010 and also to the semi-final in 2012. Apart from that, there’s not a lot to look into. The T20 World Cup is the only title that continues to elude the Aussies.
No other team has played more T20Is than Pakistan in this decade. They’ve played a staggering 122 games and have won 67 of them. They have a win-loss ratio of 1.38 which is the fourth-best among Test-playing nations.
Moreover, they’ve had record winning streaks as well. From the end of the 2016 World T20 to the end of the calendar year 2018, Pakistan won 10 successive bilateral T20I series. The team was also on a eight and nine-game winning streaks. In fact, in a 30-month period (June 2016 to December 2018), they lost a mere four T20Is.
However, their record in the World T20s only slipped. After finishing runners-up in 2007 and winning the title in 2009, Pakistan have struggled. They reached the semis in 2010 but failed to make it past the Super Eight and the Super Ten in the other editions. Thus, it puts them at No. 5.
Only Pakistan have played more and won more than India in T20Is. India had nine-series (bilateral) unbeaten streak between August 2017 and November 2018. They lost just five T20I games in this period. They even won a tri-nation tournament involving Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2018.
Overall, India have 67 wins out of the 105 T20I games they have played since January 2010. However, they are still fourth on this list. The Men in Blue have never had a big losing streak of sorts in T20I cricket but in the recent past, they’ve been inconsistent. The year 2019 hasn’t been the best for them as their inconsistency has peaked.
Moreover, it’s their inability to win big tournaments that has put them fourth. After winning the T20 World Cup in 2007, they failed to qualify for the semi-finals for three successive seasons. They reached the final in 2014 only to lose to Sri Lanka. In 2016, they suffered another heart-break as they lost to West Indies in the semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium.
It’s been a topsy-turvy decade for England as far as T20Is are concerned. They started the 2010s with a bang as they lifted the ICC World T20 in 2010. Their search for an ICC title ended right at the start of the decade when they beat Australia in the final of the 2010 World T20.
Since January 2010, England have played 91 T20I games and have won 47 of them. There were multiple phases where they went unbeaten in bilateral T20I series. They did struggle for a year or 18 months but a revamp in 2015 changed their white-ball structure altogether.
Since January 2018, the Eoin Morgan-led side has lost just one bilateral T20I series. That came against India at home in July last year. Apart from that, England have been very good. They even made it to the 2016 World T20 final, only to suffer a heart-breaking loss.
2. Sri Lanka
Looking at Sri Lanka’s name at the second position might take almost everyone by surprise. Even the stats show them as a middling team and the one that hasn’t really done well. They have 44 wins from 98 T20Is in this 2010s-decade.
But if you consider the big moments, Sri Lanka have quietly put themselves at the top. They made it to two World T20 finals and won one of them as well. Apart from that, they also made it to the 2010 World T20 final. They’ve always punched above their weight and made a big impact.
In 2012, Sri Lanka made it through to the final but failed to cross the last hurdle. However, they did not repeat the mistake in 2014. The Lankans went on to beat India in the final to lift the title. 2016 was the only blip as far as World T20s are concerned.
1. West Indies
One could argue that how could a team with a win percentage of 43 be at the top of the T20I ratings for the decade. However, the impact the West Indies created was remarkable. They set the standard in T20 cricket all across the world and dominated it as well.
Apart from the 2010 edition, West Indies have been the best team in the World T20s. They are the only team in the history of T20I cricket to have won two World T20s – 2012 and 2016. They even threatened to do it in 2014. But rain denied them and they lost in the semi-final against Sri Lanka.
In the T20I ICC tournament, West Indies have a win-loss ratio of 2.00 which is the joint-best with India. The T20 format has been their best format in this decade as well. Thus, they top the list.
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