5 cricketers who have prolific domestic T20 records but haven't played many T20Is

Brad Hodge
Hodge playing in the BBL (L), Georgie Pie Super Smash (C) and IPL (R)

Not all players are as lucky as these three to have played plenty of domestic and international T20sT20 is a format where consistency can be a pipe dream for both batsmen and bowlers at the best of times. The fast-paced, hit-miss nature of the format dictates that one isn't likely to maintain the consistent standards they might have set for themselves in ODIs or Tests.Sometimes, even when those giddy heights are reached and consistency is achieved, lady luck plays spoilsport.The likes of Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum and Lasith Malinga all have stellar T20 records and have been given the chance to replicate that form in T20 internationals. But not everyone has been so lucky.In fact, some players, despite impressive records in the format haven't been given enough opportunities in T20 internationals to showcase their talent.Here are 5 cricketers with prolific domestic T20 records but haven't played many T20Is:

#5 Brad Hodge

Brad Hodge
Hodge playing in the BBL (L), Georgie Pie Super Smash (C) and IPL (R)

If there is one batsman in the world, who is arguably as good as Gayle, in terms of pure numbers, but isn't given even half the credit that comes the way of the West Indian opener, then it has to be Brad Hodge.

Hodge's 250 T20 matches have come for 15 different domestic teams and while he, like Gayle, might be constantly on the move, his presence is felt, wherever he goes. As the only other batsman apart from Gayle to have scored more than 6,500 T20 runs, Hodge's records are nothing if not impressive.

Nobody has hit more fours in the format than Hodge's 673 and only two have hit more fifties than Hodge's 47. His average of over 37 is among the best in the format and his strike rate of over 130 makes him an explosive middle-order batsman who can both go for the big shots but at the same time rotate strike and keep the scoreboard moving.

Despite all of this though, Hodge has only played 15 T20Is for Australia, the last of which came in 2014. With the World T20 in India, a place where he has plenty of experience batting in, the 41-year-old might get another shot of increasing that tally.

Even if he does, he will go down as a T20 great who got an all too brief stint at international cricket.

#4 Shaun Marsh

Shaun Marsh
Only Gayle has a better T20 average than Marsh (min 50 matches)

You might have all the talent in the world, but if you don't have that bit of luck go your way, then you might not end up fulfilling your talents. Take the case of Shaun Marsh, here is a supremely gifted batsman, whose record in the shortest format of the game are so good, that only Chris Gayle, the undisputed king of the format, can claim his record is better.

Over 4,500 runs at an average in excess of 40 and a strike rate of almost 130 are numbers that are beyond the wildest dreams of most T20 openers. Then again, Marsh isn't your run-of-the-mill opener.

But such has been Australia's quality in the opening department that Marsh has just played 13 T20Is. Although his record in those games aren't especially noteworthy, his career record in the format is proof that he has what it takes to succeed in the format.

Unfortunately for Marsh, as long as Aaron Finch and David Warner are still playing, it seems as though he is unlikely to add to that tally, which would be a shame given his incredible record in the shortest format of the game.

#3 Yasir Arafat

Arafat has a better T20 strike rate than Malinga

T20 as a format is fast-paced and was brought in to increase the entertainment quotient. So it is only understandable that the rules are stacked in favour of the batsmen. Since that is the case, it is only natural that as a bowler, you need be like a death adder, strike powerfully but quickly as well.

Among all bowlers with at least 150 T20 wickets, only one has a better strike rate than Yasir Arafat. In fact, Arafat has a better strike rate than even Malinga, who is widely regarded as the best T20 bowler.

Playing for 14 different domestic teams across 6 countries, Arafat has picked up 277 wickets in his 217 matches. Although he doesn't have a single five-wicket haul to his name, nobody has picked up more four-wicket haul than Arafat's 10.

Despite being third highest wicket-taker in T20 cricket history, Arafat has only played 13 T20Is for Pakistan, which was spread across a five-year period from 2007 to 2012. One of the best finishers with the ball didn't really get much of a chance to finish games for his country as Pakistan's curious selection policy got the better of another talented cricketer.

#2 Alfonso Thomas

A Thomas
Alfonso’s ability to keep things quiet at the end of the innings was an invaluable asset

Death bowling is an art few have managed to perfect. In T20s, where the boundaries are smaller and the odds are stacked in favour of the batsman, death bowling is even harder. Yet, anyone who has followed Alfonso Thomas' career will tell you how he has not only mastered their art form but at times, also made a mockery of claims that it is difficult to achieve perfection.

One of only five bowlers to have taken more than 250 wickets, the man nicknamed "The Fonz" is one of the greats, as far as T20 bowling is concerned. His 263 wickets have come at an economy rate of 7.5, which considering he predominantly bowls at the death overs, is an achievement in itself.

His ability to nail yorkers almost at will is second to none. While Lasith Malinga might be associated with the death over yorker, it is fair to say that IPL and international cricket, neither of which Thomas had a lot of experience with, has more do with it.

Despite his stellar record in the format, he has only played a solitary T20I for South Africa. The game in question was one in which he took 3 wickets and was the pick of the bowlers, but being born in a strong era for South African seamers meant that was his one and only shot at international cricket.

#1 Azhar Mahmood

Azhar Mahmood
Mahmood has one of the best records for a T20 all-rounder

When he began his career, Azhar Mahmood was touted as the next big thing in Pakistan. The all-rounder showed that wasn't all just talk as he scored three Test tons against South Africa inside five months of making his debut. In ODIs, his big hitting and ability to swing the ball meant he was a very useful all-rounder.

When T20s were introduced in 2003, it seemed as though Mahmood was destined for greatness as he was a player, who looked as though he was made for a format that wasn't invented when he started out. In domestic T20s, Mahmood has lived up to his billing as he is one of only two players to have scored 4,000 runs and picked up 250 wickets.

His record in the format is one of the best, for an all-rounder, but curiously, he has never played a single T20I for Pakistan. In fact, nobody really seems to know why Pakistan stopped selecting him in ODIs either.

Without a country to represent and a glowing reputation in English county cricket, he applied for British citizenship and has continued to play in T20s all around the world, but unfortunately, not T20Is.

His was a talent that was lost forever for reasons unbeknownst to all. For an Azhar Mahmood on song would have been a treat to watch in T20Is.

Edited by Staff Editor


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