Monday, October 29, 2018

Pakistan's T20 Dominance

Last night Pakistan completed their 10th consecutive series win in T20 Internationals.

This run includes wins against England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Australia, West Indies, a World XI team, and a tri-series involving Australia and Zimbabwe. The streak dates back to September 2016; since then, in over two years, Pakistan have lost only 4 T20  internationals.

I don't know of any team that has had such an outstanding run in T20s.

It is quite remarkable!

Here is a look at the team, the captain, the batsmen, and the bowlers who have made such dominance possible.

No surprise that Pakistan is the number 1 ranked T20 team in the world, with quite a margin.

They have a whopping win loss ratio of 6.5 over the past 2 years!

I have never seen such a W:L ratio in any form of the game for a period this long. It is miles ahead of all other teams, barring Afghanistan (who largely play the associate nations), making the difference between Pakistan and rest of the teams quite significant.

Pakistan have not only dominated T20 cricket over the past two years; they have been dominating the game since its inception.

Pakistan have the best W:L ratio in T20 Internationals since the format began (barring Afghanistan). Considering Pakistan have played more T20 Internationals than any other team, that fact is even more impressive.

September 2016 was when Pakistan played their first T20 International under Sarfraz Ahmed, and despite all the flak and criticism he has faced recently, he has been a star skipper in the shortest format of the game.

Pakistan's remarkable streak in T20 cricket coincides with Sarfraz Ahmed's T20 captaincy and it has made him the most successful T20 captain in the history of the format.

No other captain comes even close to Sarfraz's Win % and W:L ratio in T20Is.

During this period, since September 2016, Babar Azam is the leading run scorer in all T20 Internationals.

In fact, Babar made his T20 debut during this period and he has been miles ahead of all other batsmen since then.

Shoaib Malik and Fakhar Zaman, who also made his T20 debut during this period, are both among the top 5 runs scorers in T20 Internationals since September 2016.

Babar and Malik, along with Glenn Maxwell, are the only batsmen in T20 Internationals who are averaging above 50 in this golden period of T20 cricket for Pakistan.

Babar Azam has had an amazing run in T20 Internationals. His past 5 scores are:


If it wasn't for that 45, he would have become the first batsman to have 5 consecutive scores of 50 or more in T20Is.

Babar is also on the verge of breaking Virat Kohli's record of reaching a 1,000 runs in 27 T20 innings.

Babar requires another 95 runs in 3 innings to break the record, an opportunity that he will have during the three T20Is against New Zealand over the next one week.

There is another Kohli record that can potentially be broken over the next week.

Fakhar Zaman requires another 101 runs to go past Kohli's record of 641 T20I runs in a calendar year, and he has another 3 innings left in 2018 to make this happen.

Coming back to Babar Azam; he is the only batsman in the world with a batting average of over 50 in T20 Internationals.

That is quite a feat by Babar considering the kind of batsmen he is ahead of.

Each match of this just concluded T20I series between Pakistan and Australia had a similar pattern. Pakistan got off to a flying start, stuttered in the middle order ending 20-30 runs short of what they should have got, and bowled and fielded exceptionally to keep Australia well away from the target.

Pakistan's bowling in the shortest format of the game has been outstanding.

Shahid Afridi, who hasn't played the format in two years, is still the leading wicket taker in all T20Is. While Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal, who haven't played T20Is for two and three years respectively, are among the top 4 wicket takers in the history of T20Is.

As for the current crop, during the period since September 2016, Pakistan have 3 bowlers among the top 10 wicket takers in T20 Internationals, with leg spinning allrounder Shadab Khan leading the way.

Pakistan's bowling attack is full of variety comprising left arm pacers, right arm pacers, leg spinners, off spinners, left arm spinners, and the works.

Undoubtedly that makes it quite tough for the opposition.

Pakistan have bowled out teams 30 times in T20Is, which is the most by any team in T20 Internationals.

Quite a record that!

PAKISTAN are no doubt the Kings of T20 cricket and their run over the past two years has been nothing short of phenomenal! They have got the top order, they have got the bowling, and now if they can only find some consistent middle and late order batting they can truly become an invincible T20 Force.

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