Starting on October 17, the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 will take place in the UAE and Oman. The T20 World Cup was first staged in South Africa in 2007, with India winning the tournament. Since then, the event has been held five more times in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.
Since the inaugural edition, the Indian team has been unable to repeat their success in T20 World Cup. The only other final appearance came in 2014, where they lost against Sri Lanka in the finals. The Indian squad will be trying to end its trophy drought this time, and in order to do so, batters will have to play a big role in the crucial knockout matches.
Ahead of the mega event, here we take a look at India’s top five run-scorers in T20 World Cups:
#5 Gautam Gambhir (524 runs)
The man for the big moments, Gautam Gambhir has some incredible stats, when it comes to T20 World Cups. The former opener has scored 524 runs in the tournament and so many of them have come at crucial moments.
One such knock was against Pakistan in the final of the inaugural T20 World Cup. His 75 runs off 54 balls helped India reach a respectable total in the first innings to challenge the Pakistani batting line-up. Gambhir was the highest run-getter for India in that tournament and was only behind Matthew Hayden in the overall list.
#4 MS Dhoni (529 runs)
The former captain has scored 529 runs in the ICC tournament at a healthy average of 35.26. The 33-ball 45 by MS Dhoni against South Africa in the 2007 T20 World Cup is one of his best T20I innings. He added 85 runs with Rohit Sharma for the fifth wicket to keep India in the game. When India came out to bowl, they had momentum on their side, and they capitalised on it really well to win the match and proceed to the next stage of the tournament.
Because of the number at which Dhoni batted, statistics might not reflect how important some of his knocks have been for the team. In the semi-final of the tournament also, against the mighty Aussies, Dhoni played a quickfire innings of 36(18). The knock helped India set a massive target of 189 for Australia in the high-pressure game. India won the match by 15 runs.
#3 Yuvraj Singh (593 runs)
Yuvraj Singh has 593 runs with four half-centuries to his name, in the T20 World cup matches he has played. Who can forget the 6 sixes smashed by him in the group stage match off Stuart Broad’s bowling? Andrew Flintoff got involved in a heated argument with the passionate left-hander and it backfired big time, as Yuvraj unleashed a brutal exhibition of power-hitting at Kingsmead. India posted a total of 200+ runs and won the game by 18 runs.
In the same edition against Australia, in the semi-finals, it was Yuvraj Singh, again who set the stadium on fire. He smashed the Aussie bowlers all around the park to score 70 runs at a strike rate of 233.33. It can be said that Yuvraj has produced some of the most eye-pleasing knocks in the mega ICC event and was one of the biggest reasons why India lifted the trophy in 2007.
#2 Rohit Sharma (673 runs)
The current vice-captain of the Indian team has played all the editions of the T20 World Cup. He has scored 673 runs in 25 innings at a great average of 39.58.No one can forget his half-century against South Africa in the inaugural edition of the tournament.
A young Rohit Sharma produced a sensible innings against a formidable South African bowling attack that included Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Morne Morkel, and Vernon Philander. Rohit got the “Man of the Match” award for his 40-ball fifty. Rohit also played a key role in the final of the 2007 World Cup where he scored 30 runs off 16 deliveries and helped the team in reaching a good total.
Rohit Sharma has appeared for Team India in every edition of the T20 World Cup since its inception in 2007.
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) October 14, 2021
Rohit’s contribution as a batsman will be very important if India wants to have their hands on that elusive trophy in 2021. If he gets going, that will give India a boost early on in the innings and then later that would allow the middle order to freely express themselves with the bat.
#1 Virat Kohli (777 runs)
The Indian captain has just played three T20 World cups so far, but still tops the list of Indians to score most runs in the mega-event. Virat is the only Indian in the overall list of top-5 run scorers. Kohli has scored 777 runs in 16 innings with the highest score of 89 not out and these runs have been made at a staggering average of 86.33.
Virat has also won the “Man of the Tournament” award in the last 2 editions,i.e,2014 and 2016. He also holds the record of scoring the most runs in a single edition of the tournament. He amassed a whopping 319 runs in the World T20 2014.
Virat Kohli’s innings in the 2016 World Cup against Australia is etched in the memory of every Indian fan. With a match-winning 82* in a run-chase of 161 in a virtual quarterfinal, Kohli played a key role in helping India advance. This innings is often regarded as his finest in T20Is, and deservedly so, as he guided the side from 49-3 to the target without playing a single poor shot.72* vs South Africa in T20 World Cup 2014 Semi-Final is another innings that had class written all over it. The half-century against Pakistan in the 2016 edition, on a tough track, was also a “Virat-Kohli special”.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 12, 2019
Virat is 240 runs away from becoming the all-time leading run-scorer in T20 World Cups. He will be looking to achieve this personal milestone in the 2021 edition and also sign off as the T20I captain by winning a trophy for the team.