In the second episode of Wisden and CricViz‘s The Greatest T20 podcast, former West Indies captain Daren Ganga and Freddie Wilde, CricViz analyst and co-author of Cricket 2.0: Inside the T20 Revolution, joined host Yas Rana to name the greatest T20 team of all time.
After a lively discussion, the panel decided that Indian Premier League’s Mumbai Indians are the greatest T20 side of all time. Teams from all around the world were analysed before the decision was made and below are the best of the lot, as per our panel.
Big Bash League Titles: 3
Freddie Wilde: It would be wrong for us to not mention them in this discussion. The comparison with Chennai is a nice one in many ways. Between 2011/12 and 2017/18, they finished in the top four every time. Bringing that point of consistency together as we said in regards to CSK, in a format that is as volatile as T20 is very impressive.
Trinbago Knight Riders
Caribbean Premier League Titles: 3
FW: They’ve won the CPL three times. They’ve reached the playoffs every year. Since the early days of the Caribbean competition, they’ve expanded the numbers of overseas players that are available. Trinbago have often attracted some of the very best players from overseas like McCullum, Lynn, Munro and they’ve added them to the very strong Trinidad players.
Domestic T20 League Titles: 6
FW: We’ve spoken about sides like Chennai and Perth who’ve been consistent. And when we talk about the consistency, we’ve generally been speaking on a season by season basis, like they’ve always made the playoffs. With Sialkot, they won the championship five times (between 2006 and 2010) and they won 25 consecutive matches. And overall, over a span of 47 games, they lost just six. So not only were they consistent season to season but they were consistent match to match.
T20 World Cup Titles: 2
FW: They brought a very distinctive style of T20 cricket, one that has had a huge influence on the game. Gayle, I believe, has sort of been the totem for that. The prioritisation of boundary hitting, the power-hitting. They might play more dot balls than the other side, but they’ll often hit more boundaries. It’s not only what they’ve achieved in terms of titles, it’s the way that the game is played. And that is the impact this West Indian side has. We’re talking about greatest teams and they’ve won two trophies, but it’s the way they’ve done it that really stands out.
Chennai Super Kings
Indian Premier League Titles: 3
FW: In terms of greatness, I’m going to go for Chennai. And that’s because they’ve done it since 2008 all the way up to now. They obviously missed two seasons, when they came back after the two seasons’ ban, I don’t think people thought they’d still be in the mix because as we said, that they had a very old squad. But the fact that they have come back from that ban and just sort of dropped back in, into the ways they were before. For me, greatness is sealed by longevity and at that moment, Chennai have just got that over Mumbai.
Indian Premier League Titles: 4
Daren Ganga: In conclusion, after analysing all teams on points of recent dominance, quality of the opposing teams, performances, leadership and on the points of entertainment value and the following, I would conclude Mumbai Indians be the greatest T20 side, followed by the West Indies.
Some other sides which were a part of the debate were Kolkata Knight Riders, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Leicestershire Foxes, Hampshire and Pakistan.