The 2021 T20 World Cup is currently underway in the UAE and Oman. The ICC event began with Round 1 matches, from which teams will qualify for the Super 12 round. There are four teams each in the two Round 1 groups. Eight teams – India, Pakistan South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, England, West Indies and Afghanistan – have qualified directly for the Super 12 stage. They will be joined by four more teams from Round 1 to complete the 12 teams. Some big names of international cricket will be featuring in the 2021 T20 World Cup. In his feature, we take a look at the leading T20I run-getter of each team that has qualified directly for the Super 12 round.
India: Virat Kohli
Indian captain Virat Kohli is the leading run-scorer for the team in T20Is. He has played 90 matches in which he has smashed 3159 runs at a strike rate of 139.04 with 28 fifties. Kohli’s highest of 94* came off 50 balls against West Indies in Hyderabad in 2009, a knock that featured six sixes. Thanks to Kohli’s brilliance, India chased down a mammoth target of 208 set by the West Indies. Kohli has 777 runs from 16 matches in the T20 World Cup at a stupendous average of 86.33. Although India have failed to win any T20 World Cup since their triumph in the inaugural edition in 2007, Kohli has done brilliantly in the last two editions. He was the player of the match in 2014 as well as 2016 as India lost in the final and semi-final respectively.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez
For Pakistan, veteran cricketer Mohammad Hafeez is the leading T20I run-getter with 2429 runs in 113 matches at a strike rate of 120.96 with 19 fifties. Hafeez’ best of 99 not out came off 57 balls against New Zealand in Hamilton in 2020. The knock featured five sixes as Pakistan posted 163 for 6. The innings was in vain though as New Zealand won the game by nine wickets. The 41-year-old has 426 runs from 24 games in the T20 World Cup at a strike rate of 105.18. Hafeez was not part of the Pakistan squad that lifted the T20 World Cup in 2009. This year’s edition is likely to be his swansong. The Professor would like to sign off on a high.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock
Experienced wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock is the leading T20I run-scorer among the South African batters taking part in the 2021 T20 World Cup. De Kock has 1758 runs to his name from 57 matches at a strike rate of 136.38. The attacking left-hander has crossed the half-century mark 11 times in T20Is for South Africa. His best of 79 not out came against India in Bengaluru in 2019. QDK struck his runs off 52 balls, blasting as many as five sixes. De Kock’s knock saw South Africa chase down a target of 135 with utter ease. In the T20 World Cup, the former South African captain has 217 runs to his name from nine games at a strike rate of 126.16. Considering the amount of inexperience in the Proteas line-up, De Kock will have a massive role to play during the event.
Australia: Aaron Finch
Australian skipper Aaron Finch is also the leading run-getter for his side in T20I cricket. Finch has smashed 2473 runs in 76 matches at a strike rate of 150.24 with two hundreds and 15 fifties. His best of 172 came off 76 balls against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2018. Finch walloped 10 sixes as Australia posted 229 for 2 and won the clash by 100 runs. Finch has 216 runs in six T20 World Cup games at an average of 36. Finch is heading into the T20 World Cup having undergone knee surgery. It remains to be seen whether he is rusty or can lift his game.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill
Kiwi opener Martin Guptill has clobbered 2939 runs in 102 matches at a strike rate of 136.82 with two hundreds and 17 fifties in T20Is. His best of 105 was scored off 54 balls versus Australia in Auckland in February 2018. The Kiwis posted 243 for 6, but Australia chased down the target with seven balls remaining. Guptill has 409 runs from 21 T20 World Cup clashes at a strike rate of 111.14. He would like to improve on his record in the ICC event this time.
England: Eoin Morgan
England captain Eoin Morgan has hit 2360 runs in 107 T20Is matches at a strike rate of 138.25 with 14 fifties. His best of 91 came off 59 balls against New Zealand in Napier in 2019, a knock that featured seven sixes. England hammered the Kiwis by 76 runs in the contest. The left-hander has 484 runs from 23 T20 World Cup games at a strike rate of 122.53.
West Indies: Chris Gayle
Windies legend Chris Gayle has 1854 runs in 74 T20I matches at a strike rate of 139.18 with two hundreds and 14 fifties. His best of 117 was registered off 57 balls against South Africa in Johannesburg in the first match of the 2007 T20 World Cup. The left-hander blasted 10 sixes but South Africa chased down a target of 206. Gayle has 920 runs in 28 T20 World Cup clashes at a strike rate of 146.73. Both his tons have come in the ICC event.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad
For Afghanistan, Mohammad Shahzad has smashed 1936 runs from 65 T20I matches at a strike rate of 134.81 with one hundred and 12 fifties. His best of 118 not out was scored off 67 balls against Zimbabwe in Sharjah in 2016 and featured eight sixes. Afghanistan posted a mammoth 215 for 6 and won the game by 81 runs. The hard-hitting batter has 323 runs from 14 T20 World Cup games at a strike rate of 123.75.