He was very much one of those cricketers who made the pulse race, a figure for the advocates of a faster variant of the game.
Pakistan has the most wins in the history of T20 internationals (92 wins), with only India coming close to them (83 wins).
Winning the T20 World Cup in 2009 and narrowly finishing runners up in the 2007 edition, Pakistan has been a highly successful T20 team.
1. Babar Azam
T20 stats – 1471 runs, 50.72 average, 128.13 strike rate, 13 fifties
I reckon it’s fair to say Babar Azam is the best T20 batsman Pakistan has ever produced. A man who oozes class, Azam scores runs all over the ground for fun. With one of the most elegant cover drives, Azam will be the big fish for opposition teams in the next T20 World Cup.
2. Mohammad Hafeez
T20 stats – 1992 runs, 25.21 average, 116.62 strike rate, eleven fifties, 54 wickets, 22.7 average, 6.58 economy
A fine utility player, Mohammad Hafeez has given the Pakistan team options throughout his T20 career. At the top of the order, Hafeez has been known to give Pakistan fast starts with his aggressive batting. As an off-spinner, Hafeez has used his subtle variations to effect in both the powerplay and middle overs.
3. Shoaib Malik
T20 stats – 2321 runs, 31.36 average, 124.18 strike rate, eight fifties, 23 wickets, 23.53 average, 7.08 economy
One of the best chasers in T20 cricket, Shoaib Malik is one criminally underrated T20 player. With a wealth of experience and calmness during run-chases, Malik is the leading T20 run-scorer for Pakistan.
An accurate off-spinner and an athletic fielder, Malik still has a lot to offer for Pakistan in the shortest format.
4. Misbah Ul-Haq
T20 stats – 788 runs, 37.52 average, 110.2 strike rate, three fifties
Currently the head coach of Pakistan, Misbah Ul-Haq often played the anchoring role for Pakistan. Holding up an end before teeing off at the death overs, Misbah was a handy T20 batsman for Pakistan.
Known for scooping one straight to the hands of Sreesanth in the 2007 T20 World Cup final, Misbah will be hoping for a redemption story as coach of Pakistan in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
5. Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain and wicketkeeper)
T20 stats – 812 runs, 28.0 average, 126.67 strike rate, three fifties, 35 fifties, ten stumpings
An effective middle-order batsman, Sarfaraz Ahmed has shown his repertoire in the shortest format. A gap finder who keeps the scoreboard ticking and rotates the strike well, Ahmed has shown he can also tee off in the death overs.
With 45 dismissals behind the stumps and winning countless T20 series as Pakistan captain, Ahmed is the captain and keeper of this XI.
6. Umar Akmal
T20 stats – 1690 runs, 26.0 average, 122.73 strike rate, eight fifties
A player who didn’t fulfil his potential in Test and ODI cricket, Umar Akmal is my finisher in the XI. In every T20 World Cup Umar Akmal has played in, he has turned up and performed well for Pakistan.
With a strong game square of the wicket, Akmal has shown his skills as a T20 batsman for Pakistan – often being used as a floater.
7. Shahid Afridi
T20 stats – 1416 runs, 17.92 average, 150.0 strike rate, four fifties, 98 wickets, 24.44 average, 6.63 economy
Don’t think I have to explain Afridi’s inclusion. His record speaks for itself.
8. Sohail Tanvir
T20 stats – 54 wickets, 26.92 average, 7.18 economy
Using all of his height (1.91 metres), Sohail Tanvir had a bag full of tricks up his sleeve with the ball. With many types of cutters and a wrong-footed action that would dupe batsmen, Tanvir showed why he was a successful T20 bowler for Pakistan.
Whether it was with the new ball or in the death overs, Tanvir was a wicket-taker for the Pakistanis.
9. Umar Gul
T20 stats – 85 wickets, 16.97 average, 7.19 economy
The best T20 bowler to hail from Pakistan, there was no doubt that Umar Gul would walk into many T20 teams with his unplayable yorkers.
10. Saeed Ajmal
T20 stats – 85 wickets, 17.83 average, 6.36 economy
An off-spinner who had the perfect doosra, Saeed Ajmal had world-class batsmen dancing to his tunes. Playing an integral part in Pakistan’s 2009 T20 World Cup title, Ajmal had a wonderful T20 career.
11. Mohammad Amir
T20 stats – 59 wickets, 20.74 average, 6.96 economy
While Amir was stupid to do what he did in 2010, he is still a quality T20 bowler. Swinging the ball both ways and having an unplayable yorker, Amir was a wicket-taker and helped Pakistan win the 2009 T20 World Cup.