T20 is a fast-paced game. It is also a game that severely limits the number of balls you get to face in an innings. One of the reasons why mostly openers score centuries is the fact that they get to play the most of balls.
The reason why despite his impressive recent form, Virat Kohli doesn't have a T20I century to his name is because he doesn't open. So do you know who has the highest score in T20Is n each position?
Does any Indian make the cut? How many Australians feature in this list? Does any player feature on this list, more than once?
Here are the highest scores in T20Is by batting position:
#1 Glenn Maxwell – 145* from 65 balls, for Australian against Sri Lanka at Pallekele, September 2016
When Maxwell is at his belligerent best, he plunders the opposing bowling attack to such an extent that they turn into a wilted lot. And he managed to achieve that against Sri Lanka in September 2016, scoring a 49-ball century that damaged the Lankans bowlers beyond repair.
In an evening of absolute carnage, the Australian team posted the highest score in T20Is, with Maxwell’s unbeaten ton powering them to 263. Interestingly, this was the first time that Maxwell was opening the batting for Australia in T20Is. He had hit a 51-ball hundred against the same opposition in the 50-over World Cup the previous year.
This was Maxwell’s maiden ton in T20Is. Australia’s score of 263 matched the highest innings total ever in all T20s, achieved by Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors in 2013.
#2 Aaron Finch – 156 from 63 balls, for Australia against England at Southampton, August 2013
The highest score in the history of T20Is and the only 150 in the format was achieved by Aaron Finch, who produced complete carnage on 29 August, 2013 against a hapless England bowling attack who simply had no clue as to what hit them.
When you lose an opener in the second over, you don't expect a huge total. Let alone, 248. But thankfully for Australia, they had Aaron Finch, who simply carved the England attack to all corners of the ground.
Although he was dismissed in the 18th over, it was not before he had smashed 11 fours and 14 sixes and amassed a scarcely believable 156 off just 63 balls at a staggering strike rate of 247.61. Given the sheer volume of hits that crossed the ropes, it is fair to say that this record is unlikely to be broken anytime soon.
#3 Brendon McCullum – 123 off 58 balls, for New Zealand against Bangladesh at Pallekele, September 2012
Brendon McCullum featuring on this list is not surprising. After all, he holds most of the records in T20Is, but the fact that he does for his exploits at No.3 is something that might not may have seen coming. Yet, his versatility and ability to attack from anywhere was evident from this knock.
Only four batsmen have scored T20I centuries from the No.3 position and the best score of the lost goes to McCullum, for his 123 against Bangladesh during the 2012 World T20. He was not only the second No.3 batsman to hit a T20I century but also the first to do so at a strike rate greater 200.
His blistering knock against Bangladesh was one in which he finished with a strike rate of 212.06. The record was almost broken earlier in the year by Hong Kong batsman Babar Hayat who smashed a century but he fell one run short and thus Brendon still holds on to the record of highest score by a No.3 batsman.
#4 KL Rahul – 110* off 51 balls, for India against West Indies at Lauderhill, August 2016
KL Rahul became the first No.4 in the history of T20Is to score a century, thereby beating Ricky Ponting’s record that was created in the first-ever T20I that was ever played between Australia and New Zealand in 2005.
After over 550 T20Is being played since then, the record set in the inaugural T20I was broken. And that was done in the first T20I between India and West Indies in USA after India were set a mammoth target of 246 by West Indies.
Coming in at 48/2 before the end of the fifth over after Virat Kohli had departed, the pressure was on Rahul to continue his impressive year in international cricket. And boy did he deliver. As he scored an unbeaten 51-ball 110 which included 12 fours and five sixes, almost helping his side achieve the impossible of chasing a world record target of 246.
#5 Joe Root – 90* from 49 balls, for England against Australia at Southampton, August 2013
Just one match features two innings on this list from two different sides. On 29 August, 2013 after Aaron Finch unleashed another degree of hell against an England bowling attack who simply had no answer to it.
In response, England needed something special if they had to chase down 248. After a fast start, England lost three wickets in four balls and that brought Joe Root to the crease. And he did his part, but unfortunately for England, no one else could give him company.
Although he scored just one six in his unbeaten 90, he still finished with a strike rate in excess of 180. And it was thanks to his knock and some useful cameos lower down the order that England just lost the game by 39 runs or Finch's destructive innings would have resulted in a humiliation for the hosts.
#6 Cameron White – 85* off 49 balls, for Australia against Sri Lanka at Barbados, May 2010
When Cameron White walked in to walk in to bat in the ICC World T20 group F clash between Australia and Sri Lanka, he had to face the hat-trick ball by Suraj Randiv with Australia in all sorts of trouble at 30/4 in the fifth over.
Before too long, captain Michael Clarke was gone as well and it was up to White and Mike Hussey to resurrect the innings and give the bowlers a respectable target to bowl to. White took it upon himself to first set a platform and then let loose on the Sri Lankan bowlers.
When he finally finished, he had scored 85 off just 49 balls at a strike rate of nearly 175 with six fours and six fours. His knock helped Australia post 168, which proved to be more than enough as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 87.
#7 Jacob Oram – 66* off 31 balls, for New Zealand against Australia at Perth, December 2007
During the recently concluded Zimbabwe-India T20I series, Elton Chigumbura scored a fifty from No.7, which was the seventh time that someone had achieved that feat from that position. That knock also made him only the sixth batsman to achieve that, still his unbeaten 54 against India is only good enough for sixth on this list.
Taking two of the top three spots along with the top spot is New Zealand's Jacob Oram. In the only T20I against Australia, New Zealand were set a target of 187 thanks to Andrew Symonds' unbeaten 85. In reply, the visitors got off to the worst possible start and when Jacob Oram came in for the last ball of the eighth over, Kiwis were struggling at 31/5.
With the top order and little in the way of support against an Australian pace attack consisting of Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson, Oram decided to fly solo and produced a gem of an innings. Although it was ultimately in a losing cause, Oram's unbeaten 66 ensured there was a sense of respectability to the defeat. Oram's knock included five fours and six sixes and ended with the all-rounder finishing with a strike rate in excess of 210.
#8 Ragheb Aga – 52* off 25 balls, for Kenya against Scotland at Dubai, November 2013
Scoring a fifty in a T20I game isn't easy but do so after coming in at No.8 is something else. So it is no surprise that not many have achieved that feat in T20Is. In fact, only one batsman has ever got a fifty from No.8 in a T20I and that honour goes to Kenya's Ragheb Aga.
Coming in at 117/6 with just over five overs to go, Kenya would have been happy if they added 50 runs to the total but what Aga went on to do was something amazing. Of the last 31 balls of the innings, Aga faced 25 of them and scored 52 runs, including seven fours and a six.
Not only did Aga's 52 come at a strike rate in excess of 200 but it also helped Kenya post 183/7. Although Aga just got a solitary over with the ball but the total was still too much for Scotland to chase as they were bundled out for 91 and ended up losing by 92 runs.
#9 Anwar Ali – 46 off 17 balls, for Pakistan against Sri Lanka at Colombo, August 2015
The top two scores by a No.9 batsman in a T20I match are both from Pakistan fast bowlers and both came against Sri Lanka. Sohail Tanvir's 26-ball 41 at Dubai in 2013 is only good enough for second place as Anwar Ali took the record with 46 two years later.
Chasing 173 is not easy, especially if you have lost five wickets for 40 inside the eighth over. But with Shahid Afridi still at the crease, they had a chance. After scoring a 22-ball 45, Afridi left the crease in the 15th over with Pakistan still needing 66 off 35 balls.
Enter Anwar Ali at No.9, who completely changed the complexion of the game. Although he batted for just 17 balls, he scored three fours and four sixes and ended with a strike rate of 270.58. By the time he got out, he already got Pakistan to within 8 runs off victory with 8 balls to go. Eventually Imad Wasim got them home with four balls to spare but it would never have been possible without Ali's blitzkrieg.
#10 Sompal Kami – 40 off 31 balls, for Nepal against Hong Kong at Colombo, November 2014
There have been quite a few twenties by No.10s including the likes of Saeed Ajmal, Sunil Narine and Doug Bracewell but only one batsman has managed to come close to scoring a fifty in the shortest format of the game from No.10. And that honour belongs to Nepal's Sompal Kami.
While his innings was his career-best T20I score and his best score in all forms of senior cricket, the then 18-year-old's efforts were still not enough as he side were soundly beaten by Hong Kong. After coming in at 25/8, it looked as though Nepal were looking on course for the lowest T20I total.
But thanks to Kami's 40, they managed to cross 50 and eventually ended with 72 before being bowled out. The tail-ender's knock was full of boundaries, in fact 90% of his runs came thanks to them, courtesy of his six fours and two sixes. 72 though just wasn't enough, despite a spirited bowling performance as Hong Kong squeezed home by two wickets and with a ball to spare.
#11 Dewald Nel (Scotland) and Alex Cusack (Ireland)
The record for the highest score by a No.11 batsman in T20Is is jointly held by Scotland's Dewald Nel and Ireland's Alex Cusack. Both players remained unbeaten on 13 for their respective teams. While Nel's knock was against Pakistan, Cusack's was against Papua New Guinea.
Both players hit two boundaries but while Nel hit two fours, the Irishman hit a four and a six to finish with a strike rate of 325. While Nel finished with a strike of just 185, the fact that he scored it against Pakistan, lends his innings more credibility, especially given the fact that it was in the inaugural ICC World T20 as well.
Cusack's was in the 2015 World T20 qualifier and unfortunately for both players, their unbeaten knock came in a losing effort.