Sportskeeda Cricket Awards: T20 XI of 2018
It's the end of another exciting year of cricket, and the youngest format T20 has already taken the world in a storm. The format is now seen as a platform to spread cricket in new nations and the governing body of cricket, International Cricket Council has already granted T20 international status to all it's 104 member countries, which will come into effect from January 1, 2019.
Even at the grass root level, the year witnessed a lot of new T20 tournaments being introduced by many associate nations like Bhutan and Uganda, to enhance the skills of local talent. The calendar was fully packed with many franchisees and city-based lucrative T20 leagues which include some prominent names like Indian Premier League, Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League, etc., while few new entrants like Afghanistan Premier League, Mzansi Super League and Global T20 Canada joined the list.
In 2018, Overall 717 (including 81 T20I) T20 matches have been played. Where few players have had a golden run this year, while others failed to make an impact. So, based on the performance of these players in 2018, the following 11 players have been selected to form the T20 XI of 2018.
Note: Franchise based T20 leagues and domestic cricket have been taken into account in this list.
Also read: Sportskeeda's T20I XI Of The Year
#1 Colin Munro (New Zealand)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 48, Innings – 48, Runs scored – 1530, Avg – 34, Hundreds – 1, Fifties – 12
Colin Munro is a powerful hitter of the cricket ball and dominated the 2018 T20 circuit with his batting, to end the year as a leading run-getter in the shortest version of the game. Scoring 1530 runs in 48 matches at a strike rate of 151.18 comprising a century and 12 fifties.
His highest score this year came against West Indies at Mount Maunganui on January 3, where he smashed 53-ball 104 to help home team post gigantic 243 against the visitors. This makes him the most successful batter of 2018.
#2 KL Rahul (India)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 27, Innings – 25, Runs scored – 983, Avg – 46.80, Hundreds – 1, Fifties – 7
KL Rahul had a memorable year in this format. He is fourth on the list of most T20 runs by an Indian batsman in the calendar year. He has scored 983 runs from 25 outings at an average of 46.80 and a strike rate of 155.29 including seven fifties and a hundred.
His best performance came against the English side at the Old Trafford. The right-hander hit a sublime unbeaten 101 to lead India to a dominant eight-wicket victory over a chastened England. So, his inclusion in this XI is a no-brainer considering his incredible numbers in the calendar year.
#3 Jos Buttler - Skipper (England)
Performance in 2018 : Matches – 31, Innings – 31, Runs scored – 1119, Avg – 39.96, Hundreds – 0, Fifties – 10
Jos Buttler is one of few pure T20 entertainers. The Lancashire wicketkeeper-batsman has been in good form in T20s this year. He has 1119 runs to his name in his 31 appearances at an average of 39.96 and a strike rate of 149.79.
His highest score this year came while playing for Rajasthan Royals during IPL 2018 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur against Chennai Super Kings. His superb 60-ball 95* guided Royals to a thrilling four-wicket win over buoyant Chennai.
He has been Mr. Dependable for each team he played for and used his abilities to utter excellence and has been selected to lead T20 XI of 2018.