T20 is generally considered the most loved and well-attended format. But for some cricketers, it also happens to be the toughest format.
There could be various reasons for this, like format pressure, player’s adaptability, the need for scoring quickly, the lack of innovative shots, etc.. Not many players can fulfill all the criteria required to be a T20 great.
With the recent India vs West Indies T20 series breathing fire, there couldn’t be a better time to list the current most consistent players in T20 internationals.
Now the definition of consistency varies from person to person. For some, consistency refers to getting good starts regularly; for some, it is concerned with scoring big scores regularly; for some, it means scoring well in pressure situations; and for some, it is defined as performing well in all the conditions.
Reaching a conclusion is difficult with varied mindsets and thought processes. Therefore, similar to our methodology for ODIs, we have kept things simple in T20 Internationals too. However, considering the format, and the number of low scores, we have added another important parameter to the formula, in order to be fair to players batting at different batting positions.
Consistency = ((A+B)/(C-D))*100
A = Number of 25+ scores || B = Number of not-outs between 15-25
C = Total number of innings || D = Number of not-outs below 15
1. A 25+ score is generally considered a good score by any player, and definitely creates a value in the match. A score below that is psychology considered below average.
2. The data covers the last five years (7th November, 2013 to 6th November, 2018)
3. Not-out score below 15 generally does not create any impact in the match, hence it is not considered as a qualified innings, and thus subtracted from the total number of innings.
4. A player should have played at least 25 Innings in this time period.
All that said, let’s find out who are the current three most consistent players in T20 Internationals are.
#3: MS Dhoni
Alright, before you jump on my throat and start making judgmental comments, let’s look into MS Dhoni‘s numbers.
In the last five years, Dhoni has scored 715 from 40 Innings at an average of 44.68 and a strike rate of 143.57.
Prior to November 7 2013, Dhoni had scored 772 runs from 40 innings at an average of 32.16 and a mediocre strike rate of 114.88.
Clearly, from an overall numbers standpoint, Dhoni has had a tremendous turnaround in terms of average as well as strike rate.
Analyzing it further, Dhoni may not have scored big in this time period, but he has constantly chipped in with useful innings such as 22* (12), 27*(18), 20*(12), 20*(6), 18*(10), 15*(9), 43(25), 56*(36), 39*(22), etc. This shows his importance in the Indian side, purely as a finisher.
In the same time period, no batsman batting at 5 or below has had a better record than MS Dhoni.
Dhoni may have been dropped from the T20I squad last month, but when it comes to his performances over the whole of the last five years, he has certainly been Invaluable.
Overall, MS Dhoni gets a consistency rating of 60.71% and low-scores rating of 22.5%.
#2: Virat Kohli
Just like it must be for most of you, it came as a shocker to me when I got to know that Virat Kohli isn’t the most consistent player in T20 internationals.
We will come to the most consistent player on the next page, but before that, let’s look at Kohli’s T20I performance in the last five years.
In the last five years Kohli has been simply superb, scoring 1,515 runs in 39 innings at an average of 58.26 and a strike rate of 138.6. His tally of 1,515 runs in this time period is second only to Rohit Sharma, who has scored 1,664 from 50 innings.
With a low-scores percentage of only 20.51%, Kohli has been excellent at not throwing his wicket away early on in his innings.
In this time period he has had tons of superb innings, but two innings particularly stand out:
1. Chasing a low score of 119 vs Pakistan in T20 WC 2016 on a seemingly difficult track to bat, he single-handedly guided India to a win by scoring a valuable 55* off 37 balls.
2. Another WC special was his invaluable 82 off 51 balls that helped India beat Australia in an intense chase.
Some interesting Kohli stats:
1. 58.26 Average: Best in the last 5 years.
2. 14 Fifties: Best in the last 5 years.
3. 142 Fours: 3rd best in the last 5 years
4. 1515 runs: 2nd best in the last 5 years.
Overall, Virat Kohli gets a consistency rating of 69.23% and low-scores rating of 20.51%.
Right then, who is the most consistent player in T20 internationals?
#1: Babar Azam
With a consistency rating of a mammoth 76.92%, Babar Azam has dethroned Virat Kohli to become the most consistent player in T20 internationals.
I am sure it will be difficult to digest this fact, but to be honest, Azam has had a brilliant run in the last couple of years.
Making his T20I debut on 7th September, 2016, Azam has played a total of 26 innings since then, and has scored 1,031 runs at an average of 54.26 and a strike rate of 124.36.
He is also the fastest to 1,000 runs in T20 internationals, surpassing Kohli here too.
The only thing which could be held against him is that out of his 1,031 runs, almost 940 runs have come in Asia and West Indies. So while he may be the most consistent player currently, he is far from being the best.
To be called the best, he needs to improve his strike rate, and score heavily in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia.
Overall, Babar Azam gets a consistency rating of 76.92% and low-scores rating of 11.4%.
Aside from these three, there are many other players who may not be as consistent as the above mentioned, but are certainly among the best in the current era.
Given below is the consistency comparison of some of the top T20 international players in the current era.
In case you missed the previous article on the three most consistent players in one-day internationals, here’s the link: