The year 2022 witnessed several T20I matches with both bilateral series and ICC tournaments entertaining the fans. While Sri Lanka grabbed the Asia Cup, England went on to clinch the T20 World Cup for the second time in history. Quite a few Associate nations also played some memorable series.
Regarding individual performances, the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Mohammad Rizwan, Virat Kohli and others shined with the bat and rocked the top-scoring charts with their supreme consistency.
But to pick the top 5 batters is relatively difficult with several contenders. However, former India opener Aakash Chopra has named his top five T20I batters of the year. The cricketer-turned-commentator picked Suryakumar (India), Rizwan (Pakistan), and Kohli (India) as the top three choices, along with Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe) and Devon Conway (New Zealand) to complete the five batters list.
Chopra termed Suryakumar as the flagbearer of Team India in the T20 format, mentioning the Pune-born cricketer kept growing and showcased a completely different batting style.
“There was a lot of T20 cricket played last year, and one guy absolutely shone – Suryakumar Yadav. He is the flagbearer of India’s new T20 template. Suryakumar Yadav’s graph kept climbing continuously. He batted in a different style,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.
Chopra heaped praises on Kohli for his unreal transformation in the shortest format stating the former skipper overcame the struggles and turned the table in 2022. Notably, Kohli came back in form during the Asia Cup when he smashed his maiden T20I century in a match against Afghanistan. He then continued his form and finished the T20 World Cup as the leading run-getter.
“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. However, by the end of 2022, he has turned things around remarkably. 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,” he added.
Though, Chopra didn’t include Babar Azam, who led Pakistan to the finals of the T20 World Cup, scoring 735 runs in 26 T20I matches in 2022. Chopra reckoned New Zealand’s Conway had a much better season than Babar.
“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 his strike rate is 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,” Chopra added further.