The T20 format of cricket has completely revolutionized the game. Test cricket has lost its luster, while ODIs have lost nearly all relevance due to the shorter, faster format that is preferred by many. Innovative and out-of-the-box methods are simply a couple of the main aspects that are connected to the new-age format.
Since the first T20 international that was played in 2005, countless individuals have taken the game to new heights. Records are tumbling almost every day with no shortage of entertainment for the fans.
Considered a batter-oriented format, bowlers find it hard to offset the willow-wielders for long. The fast-paced game has made the sight of the ball sailing over the ropes a routine affair.
The international stage has witnessed many big hitters display their skills around the globe and send bowlers and fielders on a hopeless leather hunt. With 10 wickets in hand and just 20 overs to bat, there is liberty for players to go for boundaries right from the start.
The brevity of the format induces even the more orthodox run-accumulators to abandon their patience and look for boundaries. Obviously, those batsmen who are adept at finding the boundaries, through placement or power, tend to be stars in this version of cricket.
On that note, let's take a look at the top three players who, with their hard-hitting abilities, have scored most T20I runs through boundaries.
#3. Paul Stirling - 2,020 runs
Ireland's swashbuckling opener Paul Stirling is a player with phenomenal T20I numbers and has been a consistent run-scorer up top.
Since his debut in 2009, the right-hander has grown from a chubby 18-year-old to the linchpin of Ireland's batting line-up. Stirling is the highest run-getter in T20Is among Europeans and is the fourth highest overall, with 2,975 runs to his name in 110 innings.
The 31-year-old is accustomed to providing quick-fire starts to his nation and is well suited against both pace and spin. It's interesting to note that Stirling, with 340 career fours, holds the T20I record for most fours hit by a batter. He has even smashed 110 sixes in the format, taking his tally of runs through boundaries to 2020 runs.
It has to be noted though that, being from a relatively weaker team, he has played a lot of cricket against non-Test playing nations. This has allowed him to stack up highly-impressive numbers.
Still, one cannot blame him for the circumstances in which he plays and the opposition he deals with. Stirling may not be the among the most dangerous batsmen in top-level cricket, but he is a mighty fine member of his team.
#2. Rohit Sharma - 2,230 runs
Arguably India's best white-ball player currently, Rohit Sharma is in the second spot on the list. The India all-format skipper has mustered 2,230 T20I runs through boundaries alone, smashing 313 fours and 163 sixes so far in his career.
Rohit's commanding brilliance is a secret to none. The 35-year-old is considered a modern-day great and has been the cornerstone for India's success for years now.
Rohit is currently the highest run-getter in T20Is with 3,487 runs at a strike rate of 140 in 124 innings. The Mumbai lad has also registered four centuries in the format - the most by any player in T20Is.
What makes Rohit so dangerous is hit ability to find boundaries all around the ground. He is among the finest pullers in the game and is a treat to watch when driving the ball also.
The Mumbai Indians captain can both utilise his timing to play the most elegant strokes as well as smash the biggest sixes to send the ball into oblivion.
Rohit is currently gearing up for the upcoming Asia Cup, which is to be begin from August 27. If he is at his best, it would be nigh on impossible to stop India.
#1. Martin Guptill - 2,246
Leading the charts is another opener, Martin Guptill of New Zealand, who has scored as many as 2,246 T20I runs from boundaries. Guptill recently went past Rohit Sharma when he smashed a four and a six against the West Indies in a recently-concluded T20I game.
The enigmatic strokeplayer has been a mainstay of New Zealand's batting in white-ball cricket for over a decade now. With his fearless approach, Guptill proves to be a menace to opposition bowlers as it is extremely difficult to stop him when in full flow.
Guptill has great ability to clear the boundaries and is very adept at lofting the ball down the ground.
While he was the first Kiwi batter to notch up a double ton in ODIs, the Auckland-born dasher is a megastar in the 20-over format. In the 116 T20I innings he has played, Guptill has racked up 3,482 runs, with almost 65 percent of those runs coming from fours and sixes.
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