The decade is coming to an end. And it has been easily the decade of the T20Is as IPL and other T20 tournaments such as Big Bash League, BPL, CPL have dominated the cricket world. Ahead of the New Year, Cricwizz makes the best T20I XI of the decade (2010-2019).
Rohit Sharma fortuned changed when he was asked to open the batting in limited-overs cricket in 2013. He became the most destructive batsmen in limited-overs cricket of the decade. He cracked three double tons as the opener in ODIs.
And he was even more successful as the opener in T20Is, cracking 4 tons – the only player in the history to do so. He is easily the best T20I batsman of the decade but faces competition from Virat Kohli.
He and Virat are currently tied as the top run-getter in T20Is, with 2633 runs.
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill gets to open the batting for this XI with Rohit. Guptill is a hard-hitter of the ball and can bring opposition down to its knees with his range of attacking shots.
He is currently third in the list of run-getter in T20Is, scoring 2436 runs @ 33.36 in 83 matches for New Zealand. Although inconsistent, Guptill is easily one of the best openers in T20 cricket currently.
Thanks to him, New Zealand have been able to stay competitive in T20Is with his brisk start. Guptill-Rohit will form a destructive pair at the top.
Virat Kohli (India)
The Indian skipper is the best No 3 batsman in limited-overs cricket. At No 3, he gets to dominate a bowling unit with his attacking strokeplay. And in situations where he needs to resurrect an innings, Kohli is adept at it.
Besides, Kohli leads from the front and is a master of chases. No totals are away from his reach when he is guiding a chase. He recently demonstrated in the T20I series against West Indies that he can play a slogger too for the team’s cause.
He tops the batting charts in T20Is currently, scoring 2633 runs @ 52.66 with 24 fifties.
Marlon Samuels (WI)
Samuels has two match-winning fifties in two World T20 finals. His two knocks in the two finals helped West Indies post two World T20 titles.
He has the capability to raise his game when the situation demands. Although he is inconsistent with the bat, his twin fifties in two World T20 finals give him a spot in the middle-order in this XI.
He has scored 1611 runs @ 29.29 with 10 fifties in 67 T20Is.
MS Dhoni (India – keeper and captain)
Dhoni is easily the best skipper of the decade in limited-overs cricket. Although he didn’t win any World T20 in this decade, he led India to 2014 World T20 final and to the semis in 2016 World T20.
He played the finishing job to the perfection in this decade. His smart wicketkeeping skill makes him the best keeper of the decade.
Also, he gets to captain this XI as he been street-smart in this format, leading India to many memorable triumphs in this format. He has scored 1617 runs @37.60 in 98 T20Is.
Shakib Al Hasan
The Bangladesh all-rounder is a great competitor in limited-overs cricket. He can anchor the innings to perfection and even play the big shots with ease. His left-arm spin bowling is a great asset to the team.
He is a proven match-winner in the shortest format. He was a success in other domestic T20 tournaments across the world, especially IPL.
He has scored 1567 @ 23.74 with 9 fifties in 76 T20Is.
Watson may have retired from international cricket, but he continued to be a force to reckon with in T20 cricket. He can destroy any bowling attack on his day with his big hits.
He was an asset to Australia in the shortest format during his stay in international cricket. His exploits for Australia gave him spots in T20 tournaments across the world.
Watson has scored 1462 runs @ 29.24 with 1 ton and 10 fifties in 58 T20Is for Australia.
Although at the wrong side of the 30s, he continues to be the most-sought after all-rounder in T20 cricket. He guided CSK to their third IPL title with a ton in 2018 IPL final.
The Afghanistan leg-spinner has made rapid strides in world cricket. He has been the most lethal in T20 cricket where he is difficult to pick off, both from the hands and off the pitch.
His googly is his most lethal weapon and has foxed star players such as MS Dhoni, Aaron Finch, Brendon McCullum in IPL.
In T20 cricket, he has outclassed top players among players with similar skills. In just 4 years, he has risen to occupy the 7th spot in T20I rankings, taking 84 wickets in 45 T20Is, at an average of 12.52, for Afghanistan.
Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan)
He is the most under-rated spinner in world cricket. But he silently lets his ball do the talking in T20Is for Pakistan. His variations make him the ideal spinner in world cricket.
Ajmal is 5th in the list of most wicket-taker in T20Is, taking 85 wicket in 60 T20Is, at an average of 17.83.
It was Malinga who tied up Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni in the final of World T20 in 2014 to help Sri Lanka win their first major ICC title since the 1996 World Cup triumph.
Even close to 40, Malinga continues to strike terror in the opposition camp with his lethal yorkers. Now, he plays T20Is only for Sri Lanka and recently achieved a record of taking 4 wickets in 4 balls in T20Is, the first bowler to achieve it twice in international cricket.
He is the leading wicket-taker in T20Is with 106 wickets in 79 T20Is at an average of 19.44 for Sri Lanka.
Bumrah too has a sharp rise in world cricket in all formats of the game. He has been difficult to score off in T20 cricket. His sharp line and length and the ability to deliver yorkers consistently with a sling-arm action make it difficult for batsmen to score off him.
He is currently the best bowler in world cricket, across all formats. He is especially excellent in death overs when he needs to tie up the opposition from scoring the big hits. He has taken 51 wickets at an average of 20.17 in 42 matches.