The first-ever T20 international was played in 2004 between Australia and New Zealand. Over the years, the format has witnessed tremendous growth in terms of the number of spectators watching the game on television as well as in stadiums.
A T20I produces results in close to three and a half hours and is an action-packed format that has been welcomed by both players and fans around the globe.
There are a few cricketers who have dominated the Test as well as the ODI formats but did not play more than a single T20 international during their illustrious careers. Here is a look at five such cricketers.
#1. Sachin Tendulkar (India)
The master-blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, holds the record for scoring the most runs in Test as well as ODI cricket. He has 100 international centuries to his credit, dominating the two formats with his exceptional batting.
The legend, however, played a solitary T20 international which happened to be India's first-ever international game in the format. India played its first-ever T20I match against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2006. Chasing a target of 127, Sachin Tendulkar opened the batting with the skipper of the team Virender Sehwag and scored ten runs before being bowled by Charl Langeveldt. He hit two boundaries during his brief stay at the crease.
India won the game on the penultimate ball. The said match was Sachin's first and last appearance for India in T20 internationals. He decided to skip the 2007 World T20 and subsequent T20I games to give younger players a chance to play the said format.
If the T20 format had been introduced a decade earlier, Sachin Tendulkar could have dominated the said format too by scoring tons of runs at the top of the order.
#2. Rahul Dravid (India)
Rahul Dravid, affectionately nicknamed 'The Wall' was a legend of the game in Tests as well as in ODI cricket. The Karnataka player scored 13288 Test runs, and 10889 ODI runs, and is one of seven players in the game to have scored over 10000 runs in each format.
Just like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid too played a single T20 international game for India. The year was 2011. India suffered an embarrassing whitewash in the four-match Test series in England. Dravid, who scored three centuries, was one of the only shining stars for India in the series.
Owing to his excellent Test form, Dravid was selected for the limited-overs edition of the England tour. He made his T20 international debut against the hosts in Manchester. In what turned out to be his only international game in the format, Dravid scored a quick-fire innings of 31 of 21 balls that included three consecutive sixes off spinner Samit Patel.
India lost the match by six wickets despite Dravid making his presence felt in the T20 format. Subsequently, the right-hander announced his retirement from T20Is after the said game.
#3. Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan)
Former Pakistan skipper and a member of the 1992 World Cup-winning team, Inzamam-ul-Haq, is another player who makes it to this list. Haq, who holds the record for scoring the most runs in ODIs for Pakistan, was a vital member of the Test squad too. He was a dependable middle-order batsman who could excel in any situation.
Inzamam-ul-Haq captained Pakistan in their first-ever T20 international against England in Bristol in 2006. The skipper played an unbeaten innings of 11 in the said game as Pakistan comfortably chased down a target of 145 set by England.
The right-hander did not play another game in the format before retiring from international cricket in 2007. Haq could have tasted success in T20Is too considering his ability to play attacking innings and score quick runs. However, his running between the wickets could have been a liability for the team in the shortest format of the game.
#4. Jason Gillispie (Australia)
Former Australian fast bowler, Jason Gillespie, played a solitary T20 international in his career. The said match was against England in 2005 at the Rose Bowl where the fast bowler did not have a good outing.
Gillespie conceded 49 runs in his four overs, picking up the lone wicket of Andrew Strauss. He however was the unlikely top-scorer for Australia in the said game. Chasing 180 runs for victory, Australia were dismissed for a paltry 79, with Gillespie contributing 24 with the bat. The bowler, subsequently, did not feature in another T20I game for his team.
The fast bowler had an illustrious career for Australia in Test cricket, where he picked up 259 wickets at an average of 26.14, and had eight 5-wicket hauls. He has a Test double hundred to his credit. Gillespie was also a useful bowler in ODIs, and a part of the Australian team that won the 2003 World Cup.
#5. Mohammad Rafique (Bangladesh)
Mohammad Rafique is the first Bangladesh bowler to take 100 Test wickets. A competent left-arm spinner, he was also a useful batsman lower down the order. Rafique was one of the few bright spots for Bangladesh in the 2000s when the team was struggling to find its feet in international cricket.
In ODIs, Rafique scalped 125 wickets and was a part of the World XI squad for the Super Series against Australia in 2005.
The left-arm spinner played a solitary T20 international for Bangladesh. The said game was against Zimbabwe in 2006, where he scored 13 runs of 5 balls and picked up a wicket in his quota of four allotted overs. Bangladesh won that match by 43 runs. Despite a decent outing with both bat and ball, he was not considered for selection in T20 internationals.
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