Since the format’s introduction in February 2005, 30 hundreds have been scored by various batsmen.
Here, we take a look at the top-five century-makers in the 20-over format internationally.
CHRIS GAYLE – 2
It is a certainty that the West Indies batsman will feature in any list when it comes to T20I greats. The destructive Jamaican’s game is tailor-made for the format and it is no surprise that he has put in some exceptional displays.
The left-hander scored the first-ever T20I ton when he hit a 57-ball 117 against South Africa at the Wanderers in 2007. He would have to wait another nine years before registering his second hundred and it could not have come at a better occasion.
BRENDON MCCULLUM – 2
The former Kiwi skipper is another like Gayle whose swashbuckling hitting translates well in the 20-over game. His first T20I hundred came against New Zealand’s arch-rivals Australia at Christchurch in February 2010.
McCullum smashed a 56-ball 116 laden with eight sixes and 12 boundaries. His second hundred, also like Gayle, came in a World T20 clash. During the 2012 edition in Sri Lanka, the Blackcaps batsman destroyed Bangladesh with 58-ball 123 to further his credentials as one of the most exciting limited-overs batsman of his time.
He remains the highest run-scorer in the format with 2,140 runs in 70 innings.
ROHIT SHARMA -2
The Indian batsman is the only batsman in the world to register three ODI double-hundreds, a feat deemed impossible a decade or so ago. He is equally effective in the 20-over format where he has two hundreds to his name.
His first came in a losing cause against South Africa at Dharamshala in October 2015. The right-hander scored 106 off 66 deliveries though India would go one to lose the match by seven wickets.
Sharma‘s second however, would come in a winning cause. The Mumbai-man smashed 10 sixes and 12 boundaries in a 43-ball 118 against Sri Lanka at Indore towards the end of 2017.
ELVIN LEWIS – 2
The West Indies batsman has fast developed a reputation of being a fearsome striker of the ball ever since his introduction to international cricket in 2016.
In just over a year, the Trinidad-born man has registered two T201 tons, both of them coming against India. The first came in August 2016 at the United States where Lewis powered his way to a 49-ball 100.
The second was even more destructive and came at Kingston in July 2017. The left-handed batsman hit 12 sixes and six boundaries in an unbeaten 125 off just 66 deliveries.
COLIN MUNRO – 3
Munro was already heralded for great things in the format when he made his debut for New Zealand towards the end of 2012. However, he had to wait until 2017 before registering his maiden ton. It came against Bangladesh in January last year as he helped himself to a 54-ball 101 at the Bay Oval.
His second ton came in the tour of India in a powerful 58-ball 109 at Rajkot in November 2017. He has carried over his great form of 2017 into the New Year with his latest ton against the West Indies once again coming at the Bay Oval.
He hit 10 sixes in a 53-ball 104 which helped New Zealand register 243-5 in their 20 overs.
The Men in Blue arrive in South Africa full of confidence but face the prospect of running into a firing Proteas pace-attack.
The subcontinent side has never ever won a Test series in South Africa and coupled with their reputation of being poor travellers, Virat Kohli and his men have it all to prove despite the skipper stating the contrary before their arrival.
With the three-match series set to be a gruelling affair, we take a look at how India could shape up for the battle.
VIJAY LEADS STRONG OPENING CONTINGENT
While Vijay and Rahul started 2017 as the established pair, injuries had afforded another chance to Dhawan in the five-day format and the 32-year-old Delhi man grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
So much so, that it was Dhawan and Vijay who ended the year as the favoured pair despite Rahul scoring seven consecutive fifties.
With the left-hander ruled out of the first Test, it will be Vijay and Rahul to take guard for India.
The former has an excellent temperament and can blunt the new ball with his patient approach. He will be India’s opening mainstay in South Africa with Rahul and Dhawan fighting it out for the second spot.
IN-FORM PUJARA AND KOHLI FORM SOLID SPINE
In Cheteshwar Pujara, India have a number three who has flourished in the last two years after losing his place due to poor form.
The 31-year-old ended 2017 as the second highest run-scorer in Tests, behind the unstoppable Steve Smith with 1,140 run at an average of 67.
The man once destined to replicate Rahul Dravid’s success as the ‘Wall’, Pujara’s penchant to play the big innings will be crucial to India’s chances on African shores.
Behind him, Kohli has been in the form of his life in 2017 where he averaged a staggering 75.64 on the back of three double-tons and two centuries.
Now the No2 ranked Test batsmen in the world behind Smith, the Indian skipper will be itching to sustain that success overseas.
He will be bidding to improve his record since the 2013 tour of South Africa where he ended the series as the second highest run-scorer behind Pujara.
INDIA’S LOWER MIDDLE-ORDER CONUNDRUM
While Ajinkya Rahane would be the first name on the team-sheet for any overseas tour given he has scored a 90 plus knock in all his recent travels for India, his horrid run of form against Sri Lanka in the recent series means he arrives in South Africa lacking in confidence.
Rahane, along with Pujara and Kohli, were excellent with the bat against South Africa four years ago where the trio ended the series as the three highest run-scorers.
However, with Rohit Sharma showing decent form in recent months, the Indian management could be tempted to give him a bat instead of Rahane if they decide to play five bowlers.
The smart money would be on Rahane to retain his place given that Sharma has never been able to hold down a spot in the Test side due to his overseas struggles, but do not be surprised if Kohli and Ravi Shastri opt to go with the in-form batsman in the first Test.
Elsewhere, Wriddhiman Saha has been solid behind the stumps and with the bat, while Parthiv Patel will provide the backup option in case of an injury.
THE PANDYA QUESTION AND ASHWIN/JADEJA CHOICE
It is not a secret that Hardik Pandya is being groomed by India to be its pace-all-rounder for overseas conditions with the 24-year-old enjoying a meteoric rise since his introduction last year.
Pandya would be competing with Sharma for a spot in the playing XI depending on the composition of the team.
If Kohli opts for four bowlers, Pandya could lose out to Sharma, but should play if the skipper goes for five bowling options.
While three pacers would be a given for South African conditions, it would mean a direct shootout between Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the spinner’s slot. Both enjoyed a strong 2017 by finishing in the top-five wicket-takers for the calendar year.
In 2013, Jadeja outshone Ashwin in the series with six wickets while the latter went wicketless.
Jadeja’s excellent control and accuracy provides India with the option of tying down one end while bowling, but Ashwin’s impressive array of variations offers more wicket-taking opportunities.
INDIA’S PACE DELIGHT
While all the talk has been about South Africa’s lethal pace quartet of Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel, India have a fast-bowling attack to shout about too.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has emerged as the new leader of the pace attack with his mastery of seam-bowling. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami have also excelled despite playing mostly in subcontinent conditions. The former can be a threat on any wicket with his pace, while the latter can be lethal with the movement and reverse-swing he generates.
Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma has proved to be an able back-up option as shown by his displays against Sri Lanka.
With Jasprit Bumrah being handed his maiden Test call-up, India have an abundance of fast-bowling options, a situation they have rarely found themselves in over the past ten years.
Hampshire’s 20-year-old leg-spinner Mason Crane is expected to make his Test debut in the fifth Ashes Test at Sydney, as England look to salvage something from a failed tour Down Under.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at five things you might not know about the player.
GOT A LUCKY BREAK
Crane fell for the art of wrist spin when watching Australia great Shane Warne during the 2005 Ashes series.
However, he was released by home county Sussex at under-14 level before his college teacher Raj Maru, a former Hampshire left-arm spinner who was still involved with the county, saw his potential and paved the way for him to join the side’s academy.
PROVED HIS WORTH IN AUSTRALIA
Crane became the first overseas cricketer in 32 years to make their debut for New South Wales when he played in the Sheffield Shield against South Australia in March this year.
He was Down Under during the winter as part of the England and Wales cricket Board’s overseas placement scheme with Hampshire team-mate Will Smith but worked his way into former Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill’s NSW after performing well for grade cricket side Gordon.
The last player to achieve that feat was former Pakistan captain Imran Khan in 1984-1985.
It may seem unusual for a player about to be pitched into the heat of an Ashes battle – but Crane was not an automatic starter for his county last year.
His omission for the first three games of the domestic season appeared to frustrate England’s hopes for the young prospect with national selector James Whitaker even betraying a rare hint of dischord.
He said: ”It would have been good to see him play some cricket this year but we have no control over the selection of the Hampshire team”.
There was one obvious line of defence in the identity of the man chosen in his place, Liam Dawson, who also started the summer as England’s first-choice Test spinner before being dumped.
ELGAR…AT THE DOUBLE
The Hampshire bowler had South Africa international Dean Elgar in a spin during a County Championship match with Somerset in May.
Crane accidentally delivered a short, wide delivery that managed to skip back towards the batsman and double-bounce at the feet of the 30-year-old before clattering into the stumps.
The reaction of bowler and batsman was priceless as disbelief from the pair was clearly visible.
Dean Elgar – 60 (100): b. Crane c. Banter pic.twitter.com/LHx2N7Pspe
— Chris Deeley (@ThatChris1209) May 28, 2017
Crane’s professional career may still be at the fledgling stage, but he has claimed some notable scalps already.
His first senior wicket was that of Sri Lanka ace Kumar Sangakkara, which he took on his Hampshire debut against Surrey in July 2015, while his maiden England wicket – and only one to date – was that of South Africa superstar AB de Villiers during this summer’s T20 series.
The youngster has several other notable names on his list of victims as well, including Mahela Jayawardene, Chris Rogers, Jonathan Trott, Jacques Rudolph, Adam Voges, Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara.
Provided by Press Association Sport