The introduction of the Twenty-20 (T20) format by the International Cricket Council (ICC) has revolutionalised the game of cricket. While many argue the shortest format is killing Test cricket, others say T20s are globalising the game. While this is a debate for another time, one thing is for sure: T20s have added that much needed ‘masala in the game’. Batting has become more explosive. Batsmen now look to get as many runs as possible in the fewest balls. Given the constant pressure of scoring runs, there are a handful of cricketers who can perform consistently with the bat.
Here are the batsmen with the most runs in T20 internationals:
12Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka) | 1889 Runs
Former Sri Lankan Captain and opener Tillakaratne Dilshan was among the most innovative and creative batsmen in the world. His famous ‘Dilscoop’ shot is proof of that! Since his T20 international debut vs England in 2006, Dilshan has scored 1,889 runs in 80 T20I matches with a strike rate of 120.54. In 2009, Dilshan was awarded the ICC Twenty20 International Performance of the Year for his 96 (57 balls) vs West Indies in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 semi-final, England.
- Runs: 1889
- Matches: 80
- Average: 28.19
- Not Outs: 12
- High Score: 104* vs Australia (2011)
- Strike Rate:120.54
- 50s/100s: 13/1
11Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan) | 1908 Runs
Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez comes on the 11th spot among batsmen with the most runs in T20 internationals. Hafeez, also dubbed as the ‘Professor’, has scored 1,908 runs in 89 matches with an average of 29.46 for Pakistan. In 2012, Hafeez was named to lead the T20 team in the World T20 Championships in Sri Lanka. Pakistan reached the semi-finals where they were beaten by hosts and runner-ups Sri Lanka.
- Runs: 1908
- Matches: 89
- Average: 24.46
- Not Outs: 8
- High Score: 86 vs South Africa (2013)
- Strike Rate: 116.12
- 50s/100s: 10/0
10PR Stirling (Ireland) | 1929 Runs
Paul Stirling is one of the best batsmen to have ever played for Ireland. His stats show why! In 72 T20 international matches for the ‘Green-Whites’, Stirling scored 1,929 runs at a strike rate of 134.68 and an average of 29.67 runs per match. During the 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifiers in the UAE, Stirling scored 291 runs in eight matches to end as the tournament’s top scorers. Furthermore, his performances allowed Ireland to finish third and secure a place in the 2020 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Australia.
- Runs: 1929
- Matches: 72
- Average: 29.67
- Not Outs: 6
- High Score: 91 vs Afghanistan (2019)
- Strike Rate: 137.68
- 50s/100s: 16/0
9JP Duminy (South Africa) | 1934 Runs
The former vice-captain of the South African T20 team JP Duminy has had an illustrious career. The all-rounder scored 1,934 runs in 84 T20 internationals for South Africa. He had an incredible average of 38.68 runs, the second-best among batsmen with the most runs in T20 internationals. Duminy played his last T20 international against Sri Lanka in March 2019.
- Runs: 1934
- Matches: 81
- Average: 38.68
- Not Outs: 25
- High Score: 96* vs Zimbabwe (2010)
- Strike Rate: 126.24
- 50s/100s: 11/0
8Mohammad Shahzad (Afghanistan) | 1936 Runs
Wicket-keeper opening batsmen Mohammad Shahzad is one of the most explosive batsmen in the Afghanistan cricket team. Since his debut in T20 internationals, Shahzad has gone on to score 1,936 runs in 65 matches with a strike rate of 134.81 and average of 31.22 runs per match. His best performance for Afghanistan in T20 internationals was against Zimbabwe in 2016.
- Runs: 1936
- Matches: 65
- Average: 31.22
- Not Outs: 3
- High Score: 118* vs Zimbabwe (2016)
- Strike Rate: 134.81
- 50s/100s: 12/1
7Eoin Morgan (England) | 2002 Runs
Eoin Morgan is the only player on this list to have played for two different nations. His international career started with Ireland for whom he played 23 ODI’s. In 2009, he shifted allegiances to England. Since then, Morgan has scored 2,002 runs in 86 matches with an average just under 30. Morgan was a key part of the English team which won the 2010 ICC World T20 Championships, West Indies. In 2019, he led England to World Cup glory in front of his home crowd.
- Runs: 2002
- Matches: 86
- Average: 29.88
- Not Outs: 17
- High Score: 91 vs New Zealand (2019)
- Strike Rate: 135.72
- 50s/100s: 11/0
6David Warner (Australia) | 2079 Runs
Australia’s opening left-hand batsmen David Warner is next on the list of batsmen with the most runs in T20 internationals. Warner is known for his aggressive style of batting which includes a lot of aerial shots and ‘switch hits’. In 76 matches, Warner has scored 2,079 runs at an average of 30.57 and a strike rate of 140.85, the highest among the top 12 batsmen with most runs in T20 internationals.
- Runs: 2079
- Matches: 76
- Average: 30.57
- Not Outs: 8
- High Score: 100* vs Sri Lanka 2019
- Strike Rate: 140.85
- 50s/100s: 15/1
5Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) | 2140 Runs
Former New Zealand great Brendon McCullum comes at the fifth place on this list of batsmen with the most runs in T20 internationals. However, not a long time ago McCullum used to be on top of the T20 internationals charts. The Black Caps Wicket-keeper opener was the first batsmen to cross 2,000 runs in T20 internationals. Furthermore, he is the first and only one of the two batsmen from New Zealand to have two centuries in T20 internationals.
- Runs: 2140
- Matches: 71
- Average: 35.66
- Not Outs: 10
- High Score: 123 vs Bangladesh (2012)
- Strike Rate: 136.21
- 50s/100s: 13/2
4Shoaib Mallik (Pakistan) | 2263 Runs
Shoaib Mallik is the second cricketer from Pakistan to make it to the chart of batsmen with the most runs in T20 internationals. An occasional captain for Pakistan, the former batsman holds three unique records in T20s. He became the highest T20 run-getter for Pakistan, first Asian batsman to score over 2,000 T20I runs and the first player to play a 100 T20 internationals in the world.
- Runs: 2263
- Matches: 111
- Average: 30.58
- Not Outs: 30
- High Score: 30.58 vs England (2015)
- Strike Rate: 124.06
- 50s/100s: 7/0
3Martin Guptill (New Zealand) | 2436 Runs
Coming towards the peak of the charts is Martin Guptill. The opening batsman has scored 2,436 runs in 83 matches at an average of 33.36 matches. Along with his teammate Brendon McCullum, Guptill is another player to have scored two centuries for the Kiwis in T20 internationals. Currently, Guptill has the most runs in T20 internationals for New Zealand.
- Runs: 2436
- Matches: 83
- Average: 33.36
- Not Outs: 7
- High Score: 105 vs Australia (2018)
- Strike Rate: 134.58
- 50s/100s: 15/2
2Rohit Sharma (India) | 2633 Runs
When it comes to T20, you can hardly find a complete opener than Rohit, or should we say Ro-hit-man, Sharma. The cricketer has won the world’s biggest T20 league, the IPL, on four occasions, while also leading the list of the batsmen with most sixes in T20.
On 12th December in the match against West Indies, Sharma moved past skipper Virat Kohli, who was ahead of him by a single run, with a stunning knock of 71-runs off just 34 balls. However, in return, Kohli hit a blazing 70 from 29 balls to level the terms! While their race to the top spot will be the talk of the town for quite some time, especially with 2020 T20 World Cup coming up, Rohit can be relieved with the fact that he is the only player to hit four T20 international centuries. In contrast, Kohli is yet to hit his first century in the shortest format of the sport.
- Runs: 2,633
- Matches: 104
- Average: 32.10
- Not Outs: 14
- High Score: 118 vs Sri Lanka (2017)
- Strike Rate: 138.21
- 50s/100s: 19/4
1Virat Kolhi (India) | 2633 Runs
What can we say about Virat Kohli that has not been told before?! The Indian captain shares the top spot in this list with Rohit Sharma with 2,633 runs. Look forward to a half-century every time he plays a T20 international, as Kohli has a mind-boggling average of 52.66. In fact, he remains the only batsman to have 50+ average on all the three formats of the game.
It is surprising that with over 2,000 runs Virat Kohli is still missing a century in T20 internationals. The Indian captain came close to scoring one against West Indies last year, only to fall short by 6 runs.
Virat Kohli is seen at his best when he is batting in the second innings as he is able to complete run chases easily and consistently. His concentration, fitness and nerves under pressure are among top reasons why he is on the top of the list.
- Runs: 2633
- Matches: 75
- Average: 52.66
- Not Outs: 20
- High Score: 94* vs West Indies (2019)
- Strike Rate: 138.07
- 50s/100s: 24/0