The year, and for many, the decade is about to end. And, so fans, writers, statisticians, media houses, pundits and former cricketers, everyone is engaged in forming their best possible XI for both the calendar year 2019 and the decade [2010-2019] in general. Wisden recently published its T20I team of the decade, and some of the players that it chose to form the best possible team of the decade, has the ability to trigger debate around the selection.
For starters, there is no Rohit Sharma in the best T20I of the decade. Nor there is room for the third-highest run-getter in the decade, Martin Guptill. Wisden has chosen Guptill’s opening partner Colin Munro [1546 runs at an average of 30.92 and a strike-rate of 160.04] to partner Aaron Finch [1878 runs at 38.32 and a strike-rate of 156.50] at the top. Finch will also lead the side.
The No.3 spot is, of course, occupied by India’s captain Virat Kohli. Kohli was the most successful batsmen in the shortest format of the game this decade, having racked up 2633 runs at a gobsmacking average of 52.66 and a strike-rate of 138.07. Kohli is also the leading run-scorer in all T20I cricket and was also the top-scorer in the past two T20 World Cup editions in 2014 and 2016, for which he was duly awarded the Player of the Tournament prize on two successive occasions.
Shane Watson occupies the all-rounder spot in the team of the decade. The burly Australian was at his best in the first half of this decade before he called time on his illustrious career. During the period, Watson racked up 1,376 at an average of 30.57 and a strike-rate of 147.58. Besides that, he also claimed 45 wickets at a strike-rate of 19 and an economy rate: 7.57. Joining Watson as the second all-rounder is Glenn Maxwell, who racked up 1576 runs at an average of 35.02 and a strike-rate of 160.
Jos Buttler leapfrogs MS Dhoni for the finishers slot
But the biggest surprise came in the form of exclusion of MS Dhoni for the wicketkeeper slot. Wisden, despite the fact that Jos Buttler has established himself as an opener in T20 cricket, has slotted the Englishman as a finisher. But, they have backed those up with stats.
Wisden had quoted the strike-rates of both Dhoni  and Buttler  to back their choice. As far as the spin bowlers are concerned, there is no such contention on the choices as Rashid Khan [84 wickets] and Mohammad Nabi [1316 runs & 69 wickets] have been proven performers throughout the decade. Wisden has opted for David Willey [34 wickets] as a power-play specialist while Jasprit Bumrah [51 wickets] and Lasith Malinga [82 wickets] round-off the death-bowling department.
Wisden T20I team of the decade:
Aaron Finch (c), Colin Munro, Virat Kohli, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Jos Buttler (wk), Mohammad Nabi, David Willey, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
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