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Wisden’s current combined India-Pakistan T20I XI

by Sarah Waris 5 minute read

India and Pakistan have thrown up a number of talented players across formats over the years, and we get down to make a T20I XI with current players from the two nations.

We have taken stats into account from 2020 and considered the overall impact of the players in the success of their respective sides. Our XI comprises three quicks and two spinners, and two all-rounders.

Rohit Sharma (Captain)

21 matches, 680 runs @ 34, SR: 144.98, 50s: 7, HS: 74

Four openers were in contention: KL Rahul, Mohammed Rizwan, Babar Azam and Rohit. The India skipper has the lowest average among the four in T20Is since 2020 but has the best strike rate. While opening the innings, Rohit’s strike rate increases to over 150. The Mumbai Indians captain’s ability to go after the bowling from the very start even if consistency has alluded him of late makes it tough to leave him out of the XI.

Mohammad Rizwan (wk)

39 matches, 1,459 runs @ 69.47, SR: 134.22, 100s: 1, 50s: 13, HS: 104*

One of the most improved batters in the world, Rizwan’s average allows him to walk into our XI. Though his strike rate could prove to be a bone of contention on occasions, Rohit’s newfound ability to get going upfront at the other end should help ease the pressure on Rizwan. He has also made the most runs by any batter from India or Pakistan in this duration.

Virat Kohli

22 matches, 663 runs @ 47.35, SR: 136.13, 50s: 6, HS: 85

Despite undergoing an extended slump in his international career, Kohli’s numbers in T20Is continue to be impressive. He has the third-highest average among all players with at least 500 runs in the format in the last two years and has continued to be fominant in chases, making 303 runs in eight innings at an average of 60.60 and a strike rate of 144.28.

Suryakumar Yadav

14 matches, 351 runs @ 39, SR: 165.56, 50s: 4, HS: 65

India have won 13 out of 14 games with Suryakumar in the XI, an indication of the impact of the Mumbai Indians player. In 12 T20I innings, the 31-year-old has batted with a strike rate of over 180 five times, and his strike rate in the death (overs 17-20) is a massive 252.38.

Shreyas Iyer

22 matches, 583 runs @ 48.58, SR: 147.56, 50s: 5, HS: 78*

Shreyas Iyer’s consistency makes him impossible to ignore, with three consecutive half-centuries in India’s 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka standing out. It’s a run that might finally have earned Iyer a first-choice spot in India’s team, as well as securing him a spot in this XI.

Asif Ali

13 matches, 101 runs @ 16.83, SR: 162.90, HS: 27*

Asif was on fire in the T20 World Cup last year, scoring runs at an average of 57 and a strike rate of 237.50. One of the biggest hitters in the world in the death, Ali has smashed 10 sixes in 10 innings since 2020 and has a strike rate of 221.21 in the last four overs in the format.

Shadab Khan

26 matches, 153 runs @ 25.50, SR: 145.71, HS: 42
27 wickets @ 23.81, ER: 7.30, BBI: 4-26

The all-rounder is the third-highest wicket-taker across both teams in this period. He has kept things tight and picks up a wicket every 19.5 deliveries in T20Is since 2020. With the bat, Shadab has played handy cameos, with his last two T20I knocks being a 10-ball 21* against Bangladesh and a 12-ball 28* against West Indies.

Ravindra Jadeja

12 matches, 163 runs @ 163, SR: 168.04, HS: 45*
13 wickets @ 17.30, ER: 6.42, BBI: 3-15

The left-hander’s rise across formats has been impressive, and he has continued his form in T20Is as well. Jadeja has batted in seven innings and has been dismissed just once since 2020, and his strike rate in wins increases to 190. With the ball, he has been economical, giving his team crucial breakthroughs in the middle overs.

Haris Rauf

34 matches, 41 wickets @ 24.60, ER: 8.44, BBI: 4-22

No other bowler from the two countries has picked up more than 35 wickets in T20Is since the start of 2020, which gives a glimpse of how consistent Rauf has been. He is also one of the six bowlers to have a four-for in this period.

Shaheen Shah Afridi

29 matches, 31 wickets @ 26.90, ER: 7.91, BBI: 3-26

The youngster sent India on the backfoot with some brilliant bowling when the two sides faced each other in the T20 World Cup last year. His pace has troubled the best batters in the world, and he will form a dream team with Jasprit Bumrah with the new ball.

Jasprit Bumrah

15 matches, 16 wickets @ 19, ER: 5.88, BBI: 3-12

Bumrah’s economy rate of under six is the best among bowlers who have picked up at least ten wickets from both countries since 2020. His death bowling skills and his ability to bowl yorkers anytime in the game makes him a must-pick.

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