1000 T20I matches and counting….
Until the end of the last year, the tally of T20I matches played all over the world since 17 February 2005 stood at 717 games. That’s on an average about 51 games each calendar year in the last 14 years before the start of this year. However, thanks to ICC granting T20 international status to 104 countries from a manageable 18 sides has led to an explosion of these matches in 2019. We just witnessed the 1000th T20 international match at Delhi. This means that in the last 10 months alone we have had so far, 283 T20I matches! Moreover, we now have 69 sides participating at the international level, including the bits and pieces World XI side. The table below lays bare the complete picture.
1000 matches - format-wise - a comparison
While it took 24 years for the ODI format to reach 1000 games, comparatively, the shortest format has scaled the peak in 14 years’ time which explains the tremendous growth and popularity of the T20 game. In the below table we have a look at how each format got to the 1000 mark.
Rohit Sharma – the most capped Indian in T20Is
The Delhi T20I game saw Rohit Sharma playing in his 99th match of his career which made him the most capped T20I player for India. He went past MS Dhoni’s career tally of 98 matches. Incidentally, Dhoni was India’s most capped player since 14 June 2009 when he played against England at Lord’s in the WT20 tournament. At that juncture, Dhoni had played 17 matches, with three others Irfan Pathan, Gautam Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh just behind with 16 matches each. Since then in the last 10 years and little over 3 months no Indian player has gone ahead of him in terms of T20I matches, until now.
Leading the pack in terms of runs as well for India
For the third time in his career and all of them coincidentally happening during this year, Rohit Sharma has taken over the title of being the leading run-getter in T20I cricket history. The first time he did do was at Auckland on 8 February 2019 when he went past Kiwi Martin Guptill’s record tally of 2188 runs. Since then his teammate Virat Kohli has surpassed him twice on 18th and 22nd September 2019 at Mohali and Bangalore respectively in the recent series against South Africa. However, at this moment with Kohli taking a break, it does seem that Rohit will hold to this record solo for quite a while.
Life without Shakib and Tamim
In the Delhi T20 International, the Bangladesh playing XI were without the services of both Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal for only the fourth time in their T20I history. The side was unsuccessful on the previous three occasions, but they got it right this time at Delhi.
Bangladesh can still win, without their left-arm spinners
Bangladesh have always been considered as a side that produces top-quality left arm spinners across all formats. It is not often you see them going into a T20I match without the services of a left-arm spinner. The Delhi T20I match provided the only second instance. Only once before in their T20I history, Bangladesh did so without a left- arm spinner. That was nearly four years ago against Zimbabwe on 13 November 2015 at Mirpur. Then the three spinners used were Nasir Hossain (right arm off-spin), Mahmudullah (right arm off-spin) and Jubair Hossain (right arm leg-break). Interestingly Bangladesh won both these games – by 4 wickets (14 balls to spare) and by 7 wickets (3 balls to spare) respectively.
More the merrier
Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah used the services of eight bowlers, including himself, in India’s innings in the Delhi T20I match. This provided the 36th instance of eight or more bowlers used in a single innings in a T20I match. However, it should be noted that until the recent proliferation of T20I matches, there have been only 22 instances of eight bowlers being used in a T20I innings before the start of this year. This year alone has provided 14 such instances.
And not surprisingly, the record of nine bowlers used in an innings came recently, when Papua New Guinea bowlers did so against Bermuda on 19 Oct 2019 in Dubai. Incidentally, India was the first T20I side to use eight bowlers in the T20 World Cup match against South Africa at Nottingham on 16 June 2009. The bowlers then used by MS Dhoni in South Africa’s first innings were: Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina. Among those who did not bowl were: Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni and surprisingly Yusuf Pathan, who is a regular bowler. India, however, lost the game by 15 runs.
The only other occasion when eight Bangladeshi bowlers were used in a T20I match came against Pakistan at Mirpur on 29 November 2011. Shafiul Islam and Mahmudullah were the only survivors from that match who had a bowl at Delhi. And also, this is the first time any bowling side was using eight bowlers against India in a T20I match. Before this, on 21 occasions opponent sides used seven bowlers against India in a match. When this happens, India has managed to win 14 and lose 8, including the one at Delhi.
Note: All figures above are updated as on 3 November 2019