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2022 in Review

2022 in Review: Wisden’s men’s T20I innings of the year, Nos.5-2

Wisden's Men's T20I Innings of the year, Nos.5-2
Ben Gardner by Ben Gardner
@Ben_Wisden 4 minute read

The honourable mentions in Wisden’s men’s T20I innings of 2022, the picks from Nos.5-2.

It’s been a bumper year for men’s T20I cricket, with a T20 World Cup, an Asia Cup, and plenty of bilateral cricket played besides. From Nos.5-2, just one innings is from the T20 World Cup, and four nations are represented.

READ MORE: Wisden’s men’s T20I team of the year for 2022


2022 in Review: Wisden’s men’s T20I innings of 2022 – Nos.5-2

No.5: David Miller

106* (47 balls, 8 fours, 7 sixes) v India, Guwahati, October 2

You don’t chase 238 in a T20I. And you definitely don’t from being 1-2 after 10 balls, and 70-3 after 10 overs. David Miller was 10 off 10, and then he put the foot down, accelerating through the innings with more gear shifts than the climax of a Fast and Furious film. Harshal Patel was crashed for consecutive boundaries to get him moving. R Ashwin was smashed for 16 in four balls, another ratcheting up. An Arshdeep Singh yorker was smoked inside-out over extra cover. Somehow, the Proteas remained theoretically in touch.

Heading into the last two overs, 63 runs were needed, and the 19th would be bowled by Arshdeep, their new death bowling find. But by this point, Miller was in his head. Full tosses were pumped for six, Miller querying the height, Kohli-style. Yorkers were chopped backward of point or flicked through midwicket. The over, costing 26 in all, ended with another six. Two more sixes followed in the final over, bringing up a staggering, 46-ball hundred. It wasn’t quite enough, but Miller had wowed the crowd. His overall numbers in 2022 are staggering, and this was his peak.

No.4: Babar Azam

110* (66 balls, 11 fours, 5 sixes) v England, Karachi, September 22

When it works, it really, really works. There has been plenty of discussion over the chosen approach of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan at the top of the Pakistan batting order in T20Is. Could they go harder earlier? Is it asking too much of the middle order when they get in but don’t go on? Would one anchor be enough, with a hitter at the other end?

What the debate tends to ignore is how thrilling it is when it comes off, Babar and Rizwan outdoing each other in a spree of high-class, high-wire strokeplay. Ten-wicket wins normally end as formalities, decided long before the final blow. The beauty of this was, it was fraught right to the end. Had one fallen at any point before the last couple of overs, the result may have been different, and they would have been questioned again. But that only makes the bravery all the more significant, and when it comes off, it’s scintillating.

No.3: Glenn Phillips

104 (64 balls, 10 fours, 4 sixes) v Sri Lanka, SCG, October 29

New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips is perhaps the truest all-rounder in the world game. He bowls weird off-spin. He might be the best fielder in the world, perfecting the art of diving to always intercept the ball at his fullest stretch, reaching chances others wouldn’t get near. He can keep. But most of all, he can bat. New Zealand were 15-3, the top three seen off inside four overs, with Sri Lanka’s spin pair of Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga perhaps the best of any side in the competition.

But there was no backward step from Phillips, who took his time to get set before counter-attacking. From 41 off 36, he smashed 61 off his next 25 to bring up his hundred. Chamika Karunaratne was given the full 360 treatment, boundaries laced behind point, through extra cover, and through mid-wicket. Hasaranga was sliced over the off-side. Theekshana was pumped for consecutive sixes, and was hit for two fours in the 19th over as Phillips went to his century. Having had figures of 1-6 from his first two overs, he ended with 35 runs conceded. Phillips hit 10 fours and four sixes. His teammates managed one and two respectively between them.

But in a way, what stood out was his running, in a sprinter’s pose before setting out to extra any extra runs on offer. In the last 10 overs of the innings, he faced just seven dot balls. One Dhananjaya de Silva over went for nine runs without a boundary. Sri Lanka were run ragged, collapsed, and New Zealand had one foot in the semi-finals.

No.2: Suryakumar Yadav

117 (55 balls, 14 fours, 6 sixes) v England, Trent Bridge, July 10

This was the year of SKY, and this was his best innings, one which showed just how far ahead of the rest he is. India’s top three had struggled to 31-3 after five overs chasing 216. No one else made it to 30. And Suryakumar Yadav simply existed on another plane. His trademark is a kind of reactive unorthodoxy, but all from a base so solid that any shot he plays seems so secure and simple. Even at the point of delivery, it’s impossible to predict where any stroke will target, because to any line and any length, all it takes is a shuffle and a flick and anything is possible. This was SKY in excelsis.

Actually, he did something he doesn’t normally: he got set. Even with the powerplay to target and the rate rising, he ended the first six overs on eight off 12. Two balls later, he was on 18, those wrists at work to ensure a square drive beat the man in the deep and a shuffle and flick soared over the leg-side.

There was no containing him, and a game that should never have been close was kept alive. India needed 15 an over from the last eight, and until Suryakumar fell, they were in the game. From 52 off 34 at that point, he hit 51 off his next 14 to bring up a stunning hundred, a stretch that contained five fours and five sixes. Starved of the strike for the 18th, 16 runs off the first three balls of Moeen Ali’s ninth over left the equation at 25 needed from nine. And then, finally he fell, a glorious failure, but glorious nonetheless.

READ: Wisden’s men’s T20I innings of 2022, No.1


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