As Australia prepare to do battle with Sri Lanka in a three-match Twenty20 series starting tomorrow, and New Zealand shape up for a one-off clash with South Africa across the Tasman, we’re looking at the most prolific international run-scorer’s in cricket’s shortest format.
10. Eion Morgan (England) – 1,568 runs
The former Ireland star broke into the England T20 side in 2009 and made an immediate impact, scoring 85* in his second innings and a further two half-centuries in his next five matches. Morgan has eight T20 50s to his credit, scoring his runs at an average of just under 30 and a strike-rate of over 130.
9. Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan) – 1,614 runs
Hafeez has been in the Pakistan international set-up since 2003, and made his T20I debut in 2006. He plundered his top score of 86 off 51 balls against South Africa at Centurion in 2013, and has scored nine 50s in the format – along with an impressive 46 wickets in 77 matches.
8. JP Duminy (South Africa) – 1,654 runs
Custom-made for Twenty20, the wily all-rounder boasts an outstanding average of 38.46 in 70 matches. The Proteas stalwart notched back-to-back scores of 78 and 69* in Australia back in 2008-09, while he blasted a career-best 96* off 54 balls against Zimbabwe in 2010.
7. Mohammad Shahzad (Afghanistan) – 1,656 runs
The bolter in the list, the Afghanistan opener has scored 11 T20I 50s, along with a top score of 118* from 67 balls against Zimbabwe in Sharjah in 2016. The fact he has played almost exclusively against second-tier nations shouldn’t detract from the fact he averages 31.84 and has a strike-rate of 136.63 in 55 games.
— DHONIsm ♥ (@DHONIism) January 26, 2017
6. David Warner (Australia) – 1,686 runs
Warner burst onto the international scene as a T20 specialist in 2009, scoring 89 on debut against South Africa off just 43 balls. His high-score of 90* came against Sri Lanka at the SCG in 2013, while he has hit 74 sixes in just 63 innings, and boasts a strike-rate of 139.56 – behind only Chris Gayle, Shane Watson and Shahid Afridi amongst the top 25 T20I run-scorers of all time.
5. Umar Akmal (Pakistan) – 1,690 runs
The Pakistan keeper-batsman has been a T20I regular since 2009, and reached his high-score of 94 off just 54 balls to spearhead a victory over Australia in Dhaka in 2014. Unfortunately, he has also accumulated the most T20 ducks.
Umar Akmal gets the dubious record of scoring the most number of ducks in T20 cricket
— DC Sports (@_DCSports) February 13, 2017
4. Virat Kohli (India) – 1,709 runs
Widely regarded as the greatest batsman in world cricket right now, Kohli’s T20I figures are astonishing. He has scored over 1,700 runs in just 48 matches, at the ridiculous average of 53.40 while still boasting a strike-rate of 134.77. Kohli has a record 16 half-centuries to his credit, and smashed his high-score of 90* off 55 balls in a win over Australia at Adelaide Oval last summer, and backed that up with scores of 59* and 50 as India swept the series 3-0. He rubbed salt into the Aussies’ wounds with 82* at the T20 World Cup two months later.
3. Martin Guptill (New Zealand) – 1,806 runs
An amazing striker of the ball, Black Caps opener Guptill didn’t post a half-century until his 19th T20 international innings, but he has posted another nine – along with a brilliant 101* against South Africa in East London in 2012 – in just 42 subsequent knocks.
Congrats to Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill & Ross Taylor on being the top three run scorers in T20 Internationals for New Zealand pic.twitter.com/8iPGJWAPqz
— CPL T20 (@CPL) January 4, 2017
2. Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka) – 1,889 runs
The 39-year-old will be the danger-man for Australia in the upcoming series, with Dilshan one of the format’s greatest players. He has scored 13 half-centuries and one hundred, a majestic 104* off just 57 balls against Australia in Pallekele in 2011. The stylish batsman has only hit 33 sixes – the least of any batsman in the top-20 all-time T20 run-scorers – but he has blasted a record 223 fours.
1. Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) – 2,140 runs
One of the format’s most iconic exponents, McCullum played all of his cricket like it was a T20. The swashbuckling Kiwi is one of only two players – with Chris Gayle – to score two T20I centuries, smashing 116* off 56 balls in Christchurch in 2010, and bettering his high-score with a then-record 123 off 58 balls against Bangladesh in 2012. The only player to amass over 2,000 T20I runs, McCullum averaged 35.66 with a strike-rate of 136.21, while his 91 sixes in 71 matches is second on the all-time list behind only Gayle (98).