T20 cricket was once considered a slam-bang format, but nowadays, it’s regarded as a serious part of the sport.
In 2016, a lot of T20 internationals were played – most of them serving as preparation ahead of the ICC World T20 in March, won by the West Indies.
When one looks at the top run-scorers in T20Is this year, it will come as no surprise that India’s Virat Kohli is at the top.
The 28-year-old dominated every format of the game over the last twelve months, but his aura in T20’s was highly impressive.
In 15 matches, Kohli notched up 641 runs at a Don Bradman-esque average of 106.83 and a strike-rate of 140.26. He was named Player of the Tournament at the World T20 – the second successive time he has won the accolade.
Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad was recently named as the ICC Associate/Affiliate Player of the Year and he comes in second place on the list, scoring 520 runs with a strike-rate of 152.94.
India’s Rohit Sharma, Bangladesh’s Sabbir Rahman and Australia’s Glenn Maxwell make up the rest of the top five.
Here, we look at the stats of the top five run-scorers.
Former English cricketer Graeme Swann included Indian legends Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in the best XI he played against during his international career.
Dravid, who batted at number three for most of his illustrious career, has been made to open alongside former South African captain Graeme Smith. The left-right opening pair are followed by former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and former South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis at numbers three and four.
Tendulkar and former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene make up the rest of the middle-order, while South Africa’s Mark Boucher has been chosen as the wicket-keeper.
When asked about Boucher being picked over Adam Gilchrist and Kumar Sangakkara, Swann noted that he never played against the former, while Sangakkara never kept wickets when the two faced off in Tests.
As expected, Swann’s batting line-up is dominated by batsmen who were brilliant players of spin.
In the bowling department, the 37-year-old has gone for three pacers in South Africa’s Dale Steyn, Australia’s Mitchell Johnson and New Zealand’s Tim Southee, and a solitary spinner in Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal.
Dravid, G Smith, Ponting, Kallis, Tendulkar, Jayawardena, Boucher, Ajmal, Steyn, Johnson, Southee https://t.co/goH09uAm5w— Graeme Swann (@Swannyg66) December 27, 2016
Azhar Ali has been one of the best batsmen in Test cricket in recent times and he was en route to another century at the MCG on Tuesday.
At the non-striker’s end, batting on 93, Ali had to dive back into his crease as a straight drive from team-mate Asad Shafiq flicked bowler Jackson Bird’s hand before hitting the stumps.
The replays showed that Ali was comfortably home and while it was an easy decision to make, there were some nervous moments for the Pakistan opener as third umpire Richard Illingworth pressed the wrong button and ‘OUT’ was displayed on the big screen.
On field umpire S.Ravi, though, was quick to point out to the players that it was a mistake. The error was quickly rectified and the words ‘NOT OUT’ appeared much to the delight of Ali and Pakistan’s supporters.
The 31-year-old would go on to notch up his 12th Test century and ended day two unbeaten on 139 as rain forced an early close again with Pakistan on 310/6 in their first innings.