New Zealand and Pakistan contested the final T20I of 2020 last night in Napier. The Pakistan cricket team defeated the hosts to register a consolation victory. Unfortunately, the ICC T20 World Cup could not happen this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The next ICC T20 World Cup will happen in India in 2021. The top-tier nations competed in numerous T20I games in 2020 to finalize their playing XIs for the upcoming mega event.
After the COVID-19 break, England, India, and New Zealand achieved much success in the game's shortest format. The bowlers are the key to success for any T20I team.
Here's a list of the top five bowlers who scalped the most wickets in T20Is this year.
#5 Syazrul Idrus - 14 T20I wickets
Two players from associate countries made it to the top 5 of this list. The first name is Malaysia's right-arm medium pacer Syazrul Idrus.
Malaysia have the potential to become a top name in the T20I world. Players like Syazrul Idrus have played a vital role in the Malaysian cricket team's rise. Idrus played eight T20Is against teams like Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Nepal in 2020.
He returned with 14 T20I wickets in those eight games. His economy rate of 6.92 highlights how the batsmen struggled against him.
#4 Shardul Thakur - 15 T20I wickets
Shardul Thakur was the highest wicket-taker for the Indian cricket team in T20Is in 2020. The right-arm fast-medium pacer bowled in nine T20I innings for India and picked up 15 wickets.
In the recently-concluded T20I series against Australia, Shardul scalped five wickets in three matches. Although Thakur's economy rate was above nine runs per over, the fans can back him to perform well in the Indian conditions at the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Shardul Thakur's performance in the upcoming T20I series against England will likely determine his place in the World Cup squad.
#3 Aftab Hussain - 15 T20I wickets
Hong Kong's left-arm spinner Aftab Hussain is the only spin bowler to appear on this elite list. Hussain played nine T20Is for his country, dismissing 15 batsmen at a brilliant bowling strike rate of 13.6.
Hong Kong cricket team had given heavyweights India a scare in the Asia Cup two years ago. The associate country has a few extraordinary cricketing talents who can take the Hong Kong team to the next level in the coming years.
In 2020, Hussain played T20Is against Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, and Singapore. His economy rate of 6.61 is the best among the names present in the top 5.
#2 Haris Rauf - 16 T20I wickets
Pakistan cricket team's rising star Haris Rauf made his T20I debut against Bangladesh earlier this year. Rauf impressed everyone with his wicket-taking abilities in the game's shortest format.
Haris ended 2020 as the second-most successful T20I bowler globally. The right-arm pacer represented his country in 11 T20I matches, scalping 16 wickets at an economy rate of 8.65.
He was brilliant for the Pakistan cricket team in the home T20I series against Zimbabwe. In the recently-played series versus New Zealand, Haris Rauf took five wickets in three fixtures.
#1 Lungi Ngidi - 17 T20I wickets
South African speedster Lungi Ngidi bettered every bowler in terms of taking wickets in T20Is in 2020. Ngidi topped the bowlers' leaderboard this year with 17 wickets in the game's shortest format.
Lungi played nine T20I matches for the Proteas. Even with his economy rate of 10.47, Ngidi returned with 17 wickets. In his last series against England, he picked up four wickets in three games.
His best bowling figures in T20Is this year were 3/30. It will be interesting to see if Lungi Ngidi can continue his top form in T20Is when South Africa participate in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.Published 23 Dec 2020, 16:30 IST