Now that more than a decade has passed since the launch of Twenty20 cricket, we can safely say that T20 is the most popular format followed around the world: more reason to pick our T20 Team of the Decade. Very few people gave T20 cricket a chance when it was initially discussed. How wrong they were!
The previous decade (2010-19) witnessed four T20 World Cups. West Indies (2012, 2016) won two of them while England (2010) and Sri Lanka (2014) won one each. We take a look at the top T20 players from around the world and build a playing XI that would make up the T20 Team of the Decade.
T20 Team of the Decade
Chris Gayle: the Universe Boss is an automatic pick for the first T20 opener position as he is right up there with the most destructive T20 players in the last decade. Gayle has a strike rate of over 148 and has scored over 12,000 runs in this format.
Rohit Sharma: gets the second opener’s spot because of his experience and consistency in the T20 format. The Indian opener has a strike rate of 138 and has scored 4 centuries in this format. He also slots in as the vice-captain of this side.
Virat Kohli: is another automatic selection as the Indian captain has shown that he can not only play the big shots but also use his timing and shot selection to rapidly accelerate an innings. He has a strike rate of 135 and has over 8,000 T20 runs.
AB De Villiers: arguably the most destructive T20 batsmen of the last decade, Devilliers has a strike rate of 153 and has scored more than 7000 runs. He is also one of the most agile fielders in this playing XI and can slot in as a reserve wicket-keeper.
MS Dhoni: takes up his role as captain and wicket-keeper of this side. One of the best finishers in the game, Dhoni commands respect by his performance and leadership skills. He has a strike rate of 138 and was the best keeper during the last decade.
Kieron Pollard: the hard hitting West Indian all-rounder is a big match player. He has a strike rate of just under 150 and can also bowl a few crucial overs when it matters. Pollard is also a great outfielder.
Andre Russell: the most feared all-rounder in T20 cricket, Russell is known for his big hitting and bowling a heavy ball. He has a strike rate of 170 and has scored over 5000 runs. He also has taken 276 wickets and has an economy rate of 8.25.
Dwayne Bravo: is more a bowling all-rounder than a batting all-rounder. His ability to change pace and bowl at the death makes him hard to read and hit. He has an economy rate of 8.25 and has taken 440 wickets.
Rashid Khan: the only player from Afghanistan to make this list. The leggie has great control with the ball and has the ability to take wickets when it matters. He has an economy of 6.24 and 272 wickets to his name.
Lasith Malinga: was one of the best death bowlers in the last decade. He has taken 335 wickets and has a bowling average of 19.26 and an economy rate of 7.05. His unusual action made it difficult for batsmen to hit him.
Jasprit Bumrah: initially made a name for himself in T20 cricket before showing that he can play all formats for India. Bumrah is one of the most difficult bowlers to hit at the death and has an economy rate of 7.09.