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The calendar year 2022 was filled with T20I cricket. It (2022) finally saw the end of Sri Lanka’s long-running drought in major tournaments and also witnessed England winning the T20 World Cup for the second time in history.
When it comes to individual performances, former India skipper Virat Kohli wreaked havoc with his batting along with Suryakumar Yadav while players like Sikandar Raza, Wanindu Hasaranga and Devon Conway played some phenomenal cricket to light up the season.
Having said that, former India opener Aakash Chopra who followed the season, picked his top five T20I batters of the year. Going by the stats and his own analysis, the cricketer-turned-commentator, ranked the top five batters in the following order – Suryakumar Yadav (India), Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan), Virat Kohli (India), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe) and Devon Conway (New Zealand).
During his analysis, Chopra hailed Virat Kohli for his dynamic transformation in the shortest format of the game. He talked about Virat’s struggles and mentioned how he overcome those in the latter half of the year.
“Nobody would have imagined that Virat Kohli would find a place on this list. He struggled for form for years altogether, and his performances were quite underwhelming in the IPL too. Everything was going wrong for him,” said Chopra.
“However, by the end of 2022, he has turned things around in remarkable fashion. In T20Is this year, Kohli scored 781 runs in 20 matches at an average of 55.78 with a strike rate of 138.23. He was outstanding during the T20 World Cup. The pitches were quite challenging against Pakistan and England during the World Cup, but he still managed to score,” the 45-year-old added.
Why Babar Azam couldn’t find a place on Aakash Chopra’s list?
Babar Azam, who led Pakistan to the finals of the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup, scored 735 runs in 26 T20I matches in the year. Despite that, Chopra didn’t include Azam in his top five T20I batters of 2022.
The former cricketer stated that Devon Conway had a much better season and that’s the reason Babar Azam is missing from the list. Lauding the Kiwi international, Chopra even mentioned that the 31-year-old even had a better season than Suryakumar Yadav.
“Going by the stats, Babar Azam should be the no. 5 but I am not including him in my list. He has scored 735 runs in 26 matches and his average is only 32 and strike rate merely 123. Sorry! but I can’t take him in my team.
I am including Devon Conway’s name instead at his place. Conway’s numbers in T20Is in 2022 are unbelievable, had he played more matches in the format this year, he would have overtaken SKY (Suryakumar Yadav) to claim the top position,” said Chopra.