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Opinion

My all-time T20I XI

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18th April, 2020
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As the World T20 Cup is scheduled for October-November, the pandemic has made it doubtful whether it will be played or not.

All types of sports are stopped and almost every country is in lockdown.

Taking this situation into account, the Australian government has suspended its flight until the end of September and it seems very threatening for World T20. Let’s hope for the best and for utilising this time to revive cricket.

I am making the best T20I XI consisting of some amazing players, which was a very difficult task.

Here is my list.

1. Brendon McCullum: 71 T20Is, 2140 runs at 35.66, two centuries and 13 50s
The most aggressive batsman and perhaps one of the best batsmen in T20I’s history is my opener. Besides his good average, he has a strike rate of 136 and two centuries to his name, proving him as a most destructive opener.

He was the first batsman to score 2000 T20I runs, which was a great milestone in the T20I cricket. His 54-ball century in Test cricket proves that he is aggressive even in the longer format of the game.

2. Rohit Sharma: 107 T20Is, 2713 runs at 31.90, four centuries and 20 50s
Another aggressive but strong controller of nerves is the partner along with McCullum. After playing more than a decade, he has 2713 runs at an average of 31.90 with a strike rate of 138.8 making a destructive opening pair.

He also has the ability to play longer and four centuries justify that he has a strong conversion rate. He is also the clean hitter of ball and for this ability, he is often being pronounced as “Ro-Hitman-Sharma”.

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3. Virat Kohli: 82 T20Is, 2794 runs at 50.80, 24 50s
The Indian skipper is not only the best Indian cricketer but the greatest cricketer of this era. He has played almost 80 matches and scored 2794 runs at an average of 50.80 – the highest average in the current period.

Virat Kohli celebrates taking a wicket.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

He is probably the most consistent player with perfect class and grit. He is one of very few players who doesn’t improvise as most players do in T20 cricket and still has a strike rate of 138.25. He is blessed with excellent footwork and the ability to keep focusing on the ball makes him the world-class batsman.

4. AB de Villiers: 78 T20Is, 1672 runs at 26.12, ten 50s
The most dangerous player of the T20Is. He can use all the dimensions of the ground to give the perfect direction to the ball. Due to this ability, he is known as “Mr 360”.

He is one of the best exponents of power hitting and is one of the few batsmen bowlers feared to bowl. His strike rate of 135.17 is the best for a player to take the game away single-handedly.

5. Glenn Maxwell: 61 T20Is, 1576 runs at 35.02, three centuries, seven 50s
One of the most explosive batsmen and of few players to score three centuries in T20Is. He has played 61 T20Is and scored 1576 runs at an average of 35.02 having a strike rate of 160 perfect for the batsman at number 5.

Glenn Maxwell.

(Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

He has a strong conversion rate having three centuries, showing his ability to play the big inning. His ability to finish the games make him the best finisher of the T20Is.

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6. MS Dhoni (c and wk): 98 T20Is, 1617 runs at 37.60, two 50s, 57 catches, 34 stumpings
“Captain Cool” is the perfect exponent of strong character, mental toughness and grit. He is the best captain and one of the best finishers in T20Is having scored 1617 runs at an average of 37.60 with the strike rate of 126.1.

I have preferred him not only because of his batting abilities but also as a captain. India won its first-ever T20 World Cup under his captaincy. Besides international cricket, he has a strong record in IPL also.

7. Shahid Afridi: 99 matches, 1416 runs at 17.92, 4 50s, 98 wickets at 24.45
The legendary cricketer from Pakistan is at number 7 in my team having scored 1416 runs at an average of 17.92. He has a much better record in bowling than in batting.

He has changed the dimensions of power hitting by scoring the fastest century in his debut ODI innings. His power hitting is always remained his strong point, having a strike rate of 150. “Boom Boom” is the most liked cricketer in Pakistan.

8. Andre Russell: 49 T20Is, 540 runs at 20, 26 wickets at 37.46
Wherever T20 cricket exists, West Indian players are always there. This is the most destructive batsman in the history of T20I cricket who can save matches from the jaws of defeat.

His stats don’t do him justice because of playing less international cricket due to some issues with their cricket board. His strong point is the strike rate of 151.26, which is enough for a player to change the game single-handedly.

9. Rashid Khan: 48 T20Is, 89 wickets at 12.62
The young leggie from Afghanistan is another spinner in my team. He is just 20 years old and has made a strong name in international cricket. He has a strong googly along with traditional leg spin.

He has played 48 T20Is and took 89 wickets at an average of 12.62. Besides his extraordinary average, he is also very economical having an economy rate of 6.14. If he continues his form, then he surely has a great career ahead.

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10. Umar Gul: 60 T20Is, 85 wickets at 16.96
The “Yorker King” from Pakistan has played 60 matches and took 85 wickets at an average of 16.96. He has played his most cricket in the early days of the T20s but was much more dominant than today’s bowlers.

He was the first bowler to pick six wickets in a T20I match and that was a record at that time. Besides being a good bowler, he was a strong lower-order batsman having the ability to strike the balls hard.

11. Lasith Malinga: 83 T20Is, 107 wickets at 20.79
Lasith Malinga, one of the best bowlers international cricket has ever produced. He is the only bowler to pick 100 wickets in T20Is which is a great milestone. His economy rate of 7.42 proves how economical he is.

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Lasith Malinga celebrates a wicket.

(Clive Mason/Getty Images)

His ability to bowl perfect Yorkers makes him perfect bowler for death overs. Not only Yorkers but his slower ones, bouncers, everything is perfect.

I still can’t forget his slower one on the last ball of IPL final 2019 and four bowls, four wickets against South Africa back in 2007 along with many more. This guy is just remarkable.