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Expert panel picks out the greatest T20 players of all time

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Pundits Ian Bishop, Aakash Chopra and Kevin Pietersen along with South Africa internationals Lungi Ngidi and Rassie van der Dussen have picked the greatest T20 players of all time in a variety of categories.

Speaking to BetWay, the five panellists selected the best players across five categories – consistent run-scorer, six-hitter, spinner, death bowler and fielder.

They unanimously named Virat Kohli as the most consistent run-scorer in the format, while Chris Gayle was named the most destructive batter. Sunil Narine was the mystery spinner who was rated the most challenging to face, while Lasith Malinga, with his yorkers and accuracy, was picked out as the format’s greatest death bowler. AB de Villiers was named as the greatest fielder in the history of T20s.


Consistent run-scorer: Virat Kohli

Van der Dussen: Virat Kohli just always seems to be making runs. A simple technique, classic technique, which obviously applies in Test cricket. But he has also got the power game.

Chopra: He actually changed the perception completely that 30 is the new 50 in T20 cricket. He was averaging 50 for a very long time.

Six-hitter: Chris Gayle

Chopra: Nobody, I think, comes close to Christopher Henry Gayle.

Pietersen: The pick-up over mid-on, just the flat bat smack. It’s so dismissive.

Ngidi: Looking at him from the top of your run-up, it looks like he’s standing right next to you. One swing and it’s out of the stadium.

Bishop: He changed and helped to evolve the way T20 batting was and that’s why I think he’s the GOAT of T20 batting.

Spinner: Sunil Narine

Pietersen: Sunil Narine [is the greatest T20 spinner] because of his variations. I had no idea
which way it was going.

Chopra: It’s like going to a foreign country. Maybe I go to China and everybody speaks a different language and I find myself completely at sea and you have no answer to the question that you’ve been asked. Somebody bowling a maiden super over, I mean it takes some doing.

Bishop: I remember that over clearly actually. It was unfair really.

Death bowler: Lasith Malinga

Pietersen: Lasith Malinga, as good as it gets in death bowling.

Van der Dussen: I never faced anything like that before in my life.

Ngidi: Those yorkers are absolutely crucial and deadly.

Chopra: He actually bowled a slower yorker as the last ball of the 20th over to win an IPL title. I mean, who would have thought that this was possible?

Fielder: AB de Villiers

Bishop: I’m not sure that too many are better in any area of the field than AB de Villiers.

Van der Dussen: Some of the catches and the run-outs he inflicted were truly mind-boggling.

Ngidi: I think the presence that he had on the field and just what he brought to a team as well, automatically we all raised our games.


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