T20 World Cup: Rohit and Kohli chase 1,000-run landmark, bowlers eye repeat of 2021 hat-trick heaven

By Sports Desk October 15, 2022

Hosts Australia head into the T20 World Cup as defending champions, but no team has ever won back-to-back editions of this tournament.

The showpiece for international cricket's shortest format has provided some spectacular moments since South Africa staged the first edition 15 years ago.

West Indies are the only team to have carried off the trophy twice, and their long-time ring master Chris Gayle is absent this time, having not featured since the Caribbean side bowed out of the T20 World Cup last year.

With Gayle all but retired from internationals, and with others shuffling away, new stars will emerge over the coming weeks, and some established figures will be chasing records.

Here, Stats Perform looks at the T20 World Cup's top performers, and the spectacular feats from tournaments gone by that the class of 2022 will have in their sights.

Batters bid to go big in post-Gayle era

Sri Lanka great Mahela Jayawardene is the only batter to have topped 1,000 runs in the history of the T20 World Cup, reaching 1,016 from 31 innings, spanning 2007 to 2014. He went out on a sensational high, passing the 1,000-run barrier in the final as Sri Lanka won the 2014 title by beating India in Mirpur.

Windies great Gayle sits second on that list with 965 runs, and is the only batter to have made two centuries in T20 World Cups. Those were also the fastest two tons in T20 World Cup history (47 balls v England in 2016, 50 balls v South Africa in 2007).

There are a number of batters who could join Jayawardene in reaching 1,000 runs at the T20 World Cup, but principal among them are the India pair of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

Rohit replaced Kohli as skipper at the end of last year, following India's failure to get past the Super 12 stage at the World Cup, and there could be a friendly rivalry emerging in the race for four figures.

Rohit enters the tournament for top-ranked India on 847 runs in past editions, while Kohli has 845. Strikingly, Rohit's runs have come from 30 innings at an average of 38.50, whereas Kohli has plundered his in just 19 innings, and the latter's average of 76.81 is by far and away the best among all batters with 500-plus runs in the competition.

It helps, of course, that Kohli has finished unbeaten in eight of those knocks. The next highest average among such players is former England batter Kevin Pietersen's 44.61 (580 runs from 15 innings, two unbeaten).

The highest score by any batter in a single innings at the T20 World Cup remains the 123 that Brendon McCullum, now England's Test head coach, plundered for New Zealand against Bangladesh in Pallekele at the 2012 tournament. That was McCullum's highest score across his entire T20I career.

David Warner is another who could make it to 1,000 runs, but the Australia opener will need a big tournament to make that happen. He goes in on 762 runs from 30 prior innings, Cricinfo statistics show.

Only one batter has reached 500 T20 World Cup runs without making a fifty, and that was former India captain MS Dhoni, who skippered the team to the 2007 title. His best score in 29 innings, from which he accumulated 529 runs, was a modest 45.

Pakistan's Babar Azam dazzled at the 2021 T20 World Cup, scoring a tournament-high 303 runs in six innings.

His four half-centuries matched the most by any player in an edition of the tournament, the ICC said, having been previously achieved in 2014 by Kohli and in 2007 by Matthew Hayden.

Shakib, Mendis and Campher set standards for bowling elite

Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan is something of a T20 World Cup superstar. As well as ranking eighth on the run-scoring list (698 from 31 innings), the all-rounder has taken more wickets than anyone, with 41 at an average of 17.29.

A haul of 11 at the 2021 tournament took him top of the list, and there is nobody threatening to get particularly close to the 35-year-old spinner.

Among players selected for this tournament, the player with the next highest wicket haul is India's Ravichandran Ashwin, with 26 from 18 matches.

When it comes to T20 cricket, unsurprisingly there have been precious few five-wicket hauls, given the bowlers each have just a four-over allocation.

Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis is the only bowler to have snagged six in an innings, taking princely figures of 6-8 against Zimbabwe in 2012, while eight others have taken five wickets in a match, headed by Rangana Herath's remarkable 5-3 against New Zealand at the 2014 tournament, when the Black Caps were skittled for 60.

That ranks as the fourth-lowest team score in a T20 World Cup, with Netherlands responsible for the two worst totals, both times folding against Sri Lanka when making 39 at Chattogram in 2014 and 44 in Sharjah last year.

The other side to post a sub-60 score were West Indies, routed for 55 by England in Dubai 12 months ago.

A hat-trick represents the holy grail for all bowlers, and there have been just four in T20 World Cups, with Brett Lee taking the first for Australia against Bangladesh at the inaugural 2007 tournament.

There were no more until the 2021 tournament, which incredibly featured three: Curtis Campher took four wickets in four balls for Ireland against Netherlands, before Wanindu Hasaranga (for Sri Lanka against South Africa) and Kagiso Rabada (for South Africa against England) both managed three in three.

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    Asked if there was a more daunting test in world rugby than tackling Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Wales centre Tompkins said: “I don’t know about daunting.

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    “There is no point in playing a mediocre side, and it is going to be good to see where we are at.”

    Wales lost their opening two Six Nations encounters against Scotland and England by a combined margin of three points and could easily have arrived in Dublin with an unbeaten record.

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    Tompkins added: “If we are off on any one thing, any one aspect of play, they are going to pounce on it.

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