Virat Kohli and KL Rahul make the final 11 as we calculate the T20I dream team of the year 2019.
It is that time of the year where we buckle-up our shoes to come up with some interesting analysis and articles that showcase the entire year in review. One of the interesting articles from that list is the ‘Team of the year’.
With 2019’s last T20 International already being played, Virat Kohli has ended the year as the leading run-scorer among the top 10 teams with 466 runs from 10 innings. He is followed by his team-mate, Rohit Sharma at 396 runs. Among the bowlers of the top 10 teams, Rashid Khan and Mitchell Santner have ended as the leading wicket-taker with 20 wickets each.
With the focus on the 50-over World Cup, the year hasn’t seen many T20Is being played among the top 10 teams. However, for the associates and the emerging nations, the T20Is have actually been their bread and butter. So, to be fair to the calculations, where ever possible, we have considered players from the top 10 teams, and the players who have played against the top 10 teams.
Also, we don’t believe to build a team based on perceptions, because perceptions bring biases. Hence, like always, we are going to build the team based on performance rating, which we feel is the most comprehensive and unique way of finding the team of the year.
So, who makes the cut for the T20I Team of the year 2019? Let’s find out in this article.
Shortlist: David Warner, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Jonny Bairstow, Reeza Hendricks, and David Malan.
#1 David Warner | Australia
Inns: 6 | Runs: 287 | Avg: 287 | SR: 145.7 | Rating: 8.8
Looking at the performances of the openers, David Warner was a sure shot selection for the opening slot. Since his comeback, the dynamic opener has not just been terrific in IPL 2019 and World Cup 2019, but also in the T20Is.
In the 6 innings, David Warner has played this year, he has scored 287 runs without being dismissed; which speaks volumes. He is also one of the only three players among the top 10 teams to have scored a century this year.
#2 KL Rahul (WK) | India
Inns: 9 | Runs: 356 | Avg: 44.5 | SR: 142.4 | Rating: 6.9
The second opening slot saw tough competition among Rohit Sharma, Jonny Bairstow, David Malan, Reeza Hendricks, and KL Rahul. While the performance saw every player being good in one particular area, KL Rahul outclassed everyone with his consistency.
KL Rahul may not be the first-choice opener for Team India in the T20Is, but in the limited opportunities he has got, he has been excellent. In 2019, he has managed to score a total of 356 runs from 9 innings at an average of 44.5, and a strike rate of 142.4.
Rohit Sharma, who missed out on the second opener slot hasn’t had a great year in the shortest format of the game. Overall, Rohit could manage only 396 runs from 24 outings at an average of 28.3, and a strike rate of 138.9. Moreover, his consistency of only 28% was the main issue.
KL Rahul is also the wicket-keeper of the team as aside Jonny Bairstow there hasn’t been a significant contribution from the wicket-keepers this year to make the cut for the team of the year.
Shortlist: Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Eoin Morgan, Kieron Pollard, and Ross Taylor.
#3 Virat Kohli | India
Inns: 10 | Runs: 466 | Avg: 77.7 | SR: 147. 8 | Rating: 7.5
The King, Virat Kohli has looked a different beast altogether this year in the T20Is. Not just his consistency, but also his aggression has been at another level making him a potent number 3 option.
The leading run-scorer among the top 10 teams, Virat scored a total of 466 runs from 10 innings at an impressive average of 77.7, and a strike rate of 147.8. His 94(50) and 70(29) against West Indies are among the highlighting knocks of this year.
#4 Babar Azam | Pakistan
Inns: 10 | Runs: 374 | Avg: 42.6 | SR: 137 | Rating: 5.7
The world number 1, Babar Azam keeps shining day by day with his consistent performances in the limited-overs cricket. He is the leading run-scorer this year for Pakistan this year in T20Is with a total of 374 runs from 10 innings at a good average of 42.6, and a strike rate of 137.
With the game inching towards more aggressive players, Babar Azam’s strike rate may look slightly on the lower side, but his ability to construct the innings, and then explode make him a viable number 4 candidate.
#5 Eoin Morgan (C) | England
Inns: 9 | Runs: 268 | Avg: 44.7 | SR: 172.9 | Rating: 5.9
The Captain of the side, Eoin Morgan is the best candidate for the number 5 slot. His numbers speak for itself having scored a total of 268 runs from 9 innings at a breathtaking strike rate of 172.9.
His 91(41) against New Zealand is one of the best knocks of the year in T20Is. Eoin Morgan is also the Captain of the side having led England to many wins this year; a parameter Virat Kohli slightly lacked in T20Is this year.
Shortlist: Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Santner, Kieron Pollard, and Colin De Grandhomme.
#6 Glenn Maxwell | Australia
Inns: 3 | Runs: 231 | Avg: 115.5 | SR: 183.3 | Rating: 9
Glenn Maxwell may have played only 3 innings this year, but he smashed a hundred and 2 fifties in those 3 innings. His tally of 231 runs at a strike rate of 183.3 takes his performance at par with the other best players in this category.
While Kieron Pollard, Colin De Grandhomme too were superb with the bat this year, Glenn Maxwell’s exploits down the order, and his potential part-time off-spin gets him an edge over the other two.
#7 Mitchell Santner | New Zealand
Inns: 12 | Runs: 93 | Wkts: 20 | Rating: 7
The joint-leading wicket-taker among top 10 teams, Mitchell Santner has had a wonderful year as a bowler. He has taken 20 wickets from 12 innings at an average of 15.4, and an economy rate of 7.3.
The good thing about these numbers is that most of his wickets have come in the pace-friendly conditions of New Zealand. This is what differentiates him from the rest aside from being a smart bowler. Additionally, his 93 runs suggest he can be a good bowling all-rounder for the team.
Shortlist: Rashid Khan, Andile Phelukwayo, Deepak Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Chris Jordan, Lockie Ferguson, and Beuran Hendricks.
#8 Rashid Khan | Afghanistan
Inns: 10 | Wkts: 20 | Avg: 12.9 | ER: 6.6 | Rating: 9
The second spinner of the Team, and the joint leading wicket-taker among the top 10 teams, Rashid Khan makes up for a perfect spinner of the team. He managed to take 20 wickets including a 5-wicket haul at an average of just 12.9, and an economy rate of 6.6.
While these wickets have mostly come against lower-ranked teams, the lack of good competition and his oozing class helps him make the cut as the second spinner.
#9 Andile Phelukwayo | South Africa
Inns: 7 | Wkts: 13 | Avg: 15.5 | ER: 7.7 | Rating: 7.3
Possibly the most underrated player of the team, Andile Phelukwayo has actually been excellent as a middle-overs bowler this year. The fact that has taken 13 wickets from 7 innings at an impressive average of 15.5 adds to his Strengths.
Moreover, Andile Phelukwayo has given just 1 bad performance as a bowler this year, and in the other 6, he has either managed to take wickets or be economical with his spell. He is also a good value add as a batsman, though he hasn’t had a good outing as a batsman this year.
#10 Deepak Chahar | India
Inns: 9 | Wkts: 16 | Avg: 13 | ER: 6.5 | Rating: 7.8
Probably the best pacer of the year, Deepak Chahar would be remembered for his magical spell of 6-7, where he single-handedly took India to a series victory against Bangladesh.
Even if we keep those 6 wickets aside, he gave 3 more stunning performances with the ball. In the era of Bumrah and Bhuvi, Deepak Chahar has actually managed to churn out a niche for himself.
Jasprit Bumrah, on the other hand, couldn’t make it to the final 11 because he could only play 2 T20Is due to injury. So, we had to leave out the World’s best bowler for having not played enough matches this year.
#11 Lasith Malinga | Sri Lanka
Inns: 10 | Wkts: 14 | Avg: 17.9 | ER: 6.4 | Rating: 7.1
Aging like a wine, Lasith Malinga keeps coming back at the batsmen with some amazing display of bowling. Similar to Deepak Chahar, Lasith Malinga would be remembered for his breathtaking spell of 5-6 against New Zealand post the World Cup.
Overall, Lasith Malinga’s numbers are not bad either. He has taken 14 wickets from 10 innings at an average of 17.9, and an economy rate of 6.4. He is also the leading wicket-taker for Sri Lanka this year in T20Is.
A worthy mention for Chris Jordan, who marginally missed out of the team. Jordan has been England’s best pacer this year having taken 14 wickets from 8 innings at an average of 12.9, and a decent economy rate of 7.6. He would have been a perfect pacer for the death overs, but given the team’s demand for a more versatile bowler, Andile Phelukwayo makes the cut above him.
#12th Man: Kieron Pollard | West Indies
Inns: 8 | Runs: 270 | Avg: 45 | SR: 134.3 | Rating: 5.9
The West Indies Captain, Kieron Pollard has been among the runs this year. While not the belligerent Pollard that we have seen in the past, his strike rate of 134.3, and an average of 134.3 describe his aspiration to play with maturity, and not throw it away. While not in the playing 11, Kieron Pollard would still represent the team as a potent 12th man.
Thanks for reading the article. Here’s the compiled list of our T20I Team of the year 2019.
The T20I Team of the Year 2019:
David Warner, KL Rahul (WK), Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Eoin Morgan (C), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Santner, Rashid Khan, Andile Phelukwayo, Deepak Chahar, Lasith Malinga, and Kieron Pollard (12th).
What changes you would have made to the T20I team of the year 2019? Do let us know in the comments section down below.
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.