Batting in T20 cricket – a perspective through Impact Index

T20 cricket involves the most diverse record-keeping in the game, given that prominent domestic tournaments have as much (arguably sometimes, even more) importance as international T20 matches.

Here, to look at the best batting done across the world in this format, we have had to divide it into two broad categories – T20 Internationals and T20 Domestics. In each category, we provide the 3 highest impact batting performances both in a tournament and stand-alone-match context.

T20 Internationals

The following are the five highest impact batsmen in T20 Internationals.

Kevin Pietersen
The Viv Richards of T20 cricket, as it were. Has had a huge impact on every parameter – the best T20 batsman on this list when it comes to scoring rapidly, delivering under pressure and chasing. Also has the lowest failure amongst all batsmen in T20I cricket.

JH Kallis
Not an all-rounder on numbers in T20 cricket, much more of a batsman – but what a batsman. The highest Runs Tally IMPACT (proportion of runs scored in matches played) in T20Is.

Craig Kieswetter
The only batsman here who is not a big Test cricket achiever. His consistency and outstanding ability in a chase are his most significant attributes.

G Gambhir
A consistent run-amasser in T20 cricket; a big match player as well.

KC Sangakkara
High impact with volume of runs (Runs Tally IMPACT), delivering under pressure and chasing. Consistent and quite the big match player he is in other formats too.

3 Highest Impact T20I Batting performances
(Tournament Context):

These performances are high impact for the timing of the performances – they all came in a knock-out game with the batsman’s team going on to win the tournament – in other words, these are all tournament-defining performances in varying degrees (some semis, some finals).

1) C Kieswetter 63 off 49 v Australia in Barbados, 2010 - Batting IMPACT 6.33

The 2010 final in West Indies – chasing Australia’s 147, England are 7 for 1 when Kieswetter is joined by Pietersen – together they take the score to 118 by the 13th over by which time the match, and the championship title (England’s first-ever world cricket title), is effectively in the bag.

2) Yuvraj Singh 70 off 30 v Australia in Durban, 2007 -Batting IMPACT 6.16

One of the great modern-day batting performances in cricket, regardless of the format. Fresh from his feted feat of 6-sixes-in-an-over against England’s Stuart Broad, Yuvraj came out to bat in the 2007 semi-final in the 8th over with the score at 41-2. In less than 40 minutes, he transformed the game with some perfect batting (the likes of which is seen a handful of times in a generation) – as his team added 114 in less than 10 overs (when he was dismissed). Australia fought characteristically valiantly but fell short of the 188-target by 15 runs.

3) G Gambhir 75 off 54 v Pakistan in Johannesburg, 2007 - Batting IMPACT 6.12

In the landmark 2007 T20 World Championship, one of the hallmarks of India’s batting was achieving a steady start (sometimes even at the cost of a lower strike-rate). Gambhir’s innings in the tournament final was a perfect demonstration of that stability-provider – as his outstandingly-paced innings terminated only in the 17th over, when the score had reached 130. Rohit Sharma (the second-highest innings scorer with 30) took the innings total to relative safety, as India won eventually by 5 runs.

3 Highest Impact T20I Batting performances

(Match Context):

These memorable performances are only within a match context – not a single one of these performances came for a team that won the tournament that year. .

1) CL White 85 not out off 49 v Sri Lanka in Barbados, 2010 - Batting IMPACT 11.98

During a group match at the World T20 Championships in 2009, Australia were reeling at 30-4 when Cameron White walked in. In one of the finest innings in T20 history, he was single-handedly responsible for Australia reaching an unassailable 168 and his 6 fours and 6 sixes demoralised Sri Lanka so much that they folded up for 87, thus further increasing the impact of this performance.

2) TM Dilshan 96 not out off 57 v West Indies in London, 2009 -Batting IMPACT 11.47

The 2009 T20 World Cup semi-final – Dilshan producing a blistering 96 at the very top – with 12 fours and 2 sixes – propelling Sri Lanka to 158 singlehandedly (second-highest score 24). To provide some symmetry Gayle produced 63 out of West Indies’ 101 (with no one else touching double figures), as Sri Lanka won easily. They went on to lose to Pakistan in the final though.

3) JM Kemp 89 not out off 56 v New Zealand in Durban, 2007 - Batting IMPACT 10.64

During a group match at the landmark 2007 World T20 Championship, New Zealand set South Africa 154 to win. They were 17-2 when Justin Kemp walked in. A remarkable batting exhibition from him ensued, as he absorbed pressure, anchored the innings, scored at a brisk pace and completed the job by staying not out as well. Phew.

 

T20 Domestic

The following are the five highest impact batsmen in T20 Domestic cricket, around the world. The sample size of matches is much higher here than in T20 Internationals.

Suresh Raina

High impact on all batting parameters. Big match player in the IPL and one of the main reasons for CSK’s dominance.

MEK Hussey
Scored a very high proportion of runs in a match context right through his career (Runs Tally IMPACT – 4th highest in T20 domestic cricket).  Big match player.

Shoaib Malik
High impact on all batting parameters. High consistency as a batsman. Big match player.

Hylton Ackerman
Not known outside the South African circuit, a high impact T20 batsman, now retired. A consistent batsman in T20 with high Runs Tally and Partnership Building IMPACT numbers. Was a big match player too in this format.

Daniel Harris
The highest impact T20 domestic batsman to come out of Australia – not yet recognised enough for his abilities (is hardly getting any games in the IPL, for DC). His hallmark is consistency – he has the lowest batting failure rate in T20 history. High impact on all batting parameters – a merciless run amasser.

3 Highest Impact T20 Domestic Batting performances
(Tournament Context):

These performances are high impact for the timing of the performances – they all came in a knock-out game with the batsman’s team going on to win the tournament – in other words, these are all tournament-defining performances in varying degrees (some semis, some finals).

1) MK Tiwary 69 not out v Tamil Nadu in Hyderabad, 2011 - Batting IMPACT 15.22

The semi-final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2011 – eventual tournament winners Bengal were 8-2 when captain Manoj Tiwary walked in, 26-4 by the 10th over. The next 10 overs seemed to come from a different game as Tiwary struck 5 sixes and one four to completely change the complexion of the game in less than an hour’s batting. Tamil Nadu were dismissed for 59, providing further context to Tiwary’s remarkable performance.

2) K Weeraratne 76 not out v Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club in Colombo, 2007 -Batting IMPACT 11.17

In the first semi-final of 2007’s local T20 tournament in Sri Lanka, Ragama Cricket Club was 35-4 (and one opener retired hurt as well) as they chased an imposing 149 – not a single batsman had reached double figures. Kaushalya Weeratne then produced a magical innings, that had almost as high a Strike Rate IMPACT as Pressure IMPACT,  hitting 5 sixes and 3 fours to finish the match with 9 balls to spare.

3) AC Gilchrist 85 off 35 v Delhi Daredevils in Centurion, 2009 - Batting IMPACT 9.77

The highest impact batting innings in IPL history within a tournament context (as this was a 2009 semi-final). Chasing 153, Gilchrist did not allow any semblance of pressure to impose itself as he blasted the Delhi bowlers (notably Nannes, Nehra, Sangwan and Amit Mishra) in the most astonishing hitting anyone at the Centurion would have seen – and yet, it was quintessentially Gilchrist. In less than an hour, and barely 10 overs, the match had been reduced to a no-contest.

3 Highest Impact T20 Domestic Batting performances

(Match Context):

These memorable performances are only within a match context – not a single one of these performances came for a team that won that championship that year.

1) BB McCullum 158 off 73 v Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bangalore, 2008 - Batting IMPACT 16.22

The highest impact batting performance in T20 history, bar none. And it will stay that way perhaps for a long time. In the very first IPL match in history, an unlikely batting star set an emphatic tone – 10 fours and 13 sixes included.

2) YK Pathan 89 off 42 balls v Gujarat in Vadodara, 2010 -Batting IMPACT 16.02

During a group match during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2010/11, chasing Gujarat’s 128, Baroda were 2-2 when Yousuf Pathan walked in. Soon it was 6-4. 7-5, a while later 29-6 (after 7 overs). And then…the next 7 overs saw the most magical transformation possible on a cricket field – as Pathan’s blitzkrieg (including 8 sixes and 5 fours) took Baroda to within 9 runs of victory with 28 balls to spare, as he was dismissed for 89. Thankfully, his team did not let him down.

3) MK Tiwary 69 not out v Tamil Nadu in Hyderabad, 2011 - Batting IMPACT 15.22

The only performance to feature twice in this piece – as this was a high impact innings both in a tournament context (no. 1 on that list) and even on its own in a match context. Touching a Strike Rate IMPACT of 4 and a Pressure IMPACT of 1 in the same innings is utterly extraordinary.

 

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