Australia T20 stalwart Glenn Maxwell has picked his top five T20 players of all time. The all-rounder was asked to pick five players he would have in his T20 World XI. Maxwell selected a team that covers all aspects of the game. He picked two all-rounders, one wicketkeeper, one pacer and a spinner in a side that will give a tough fight to the strongest 5-man team.
Rashid Khan was the first player Maxwell opted for. The leg spinner has established himself as one of the greatest spinners of all time. Rashid, who plays almost every T20 league across the globe, has played 281 T20s, picking up 388 wickets at a staggering average of 17.54 and a strike rate of 16.60.
The Australian all-rounder next picked destructive West Indian Andre Russell and England’s Ben Stokes in the team. Russell is a big impact player. He significantly improves the chances of his team if he has a good day. He is brutal with the bat, sharp with the ball and electric in the field – a complete cricketer. Russell has a scintillating record in T20s, having scored 6405 runs at a strike rate of 169.66 in 382 games. He also has 340 wickets to his name.
Next on the list is England World Cup hero Ben Stokes. The southpaw has pulled off some remarkable performances for England in the last few years and is arguably the most improved cricketer in recent times. His stats doesn’t justify the skills he poses but the numbers are sure shot to significantly improve in the coming few years. In the 148 T20s Stokes has played, he has scored 2865 runs at an average of 24.91 at a strike rate of 135.07. He also has 86 wickets to his name.
Maxwell chose Australia legend Adam Gilchrist as the specialist wicketkeeper. Gilchrist was part of the Aussie side that dominated world cricket in the early 2000s. Opening the batting, Gilchrist tore apart the best bowling lineups. Irrespective of the format, Gilchrist knew just one way to play – attack. His strike rate in ODIs was the same as players have in T20s nowadays. T20 came into existence in the fag end of his career yet he was able to make a mark in the limited games he played. Gilchrist featured in 102 T20 games, scoring 2622 runs at a strike rate of 140.28 with three centuries.
The final player on Maxwell’s list was Shaun Tait. One thing that comes to mind with Shaun Tait is raw pace. Tait was one of the fastest bowlers to have played the game. He consistently clocked speeds of over 150 wrecking havoc among the batters. “Having played against him, I know how quick he was. Even at the back end of his career, he was bowling absolute rockets. I think he’d certainly strike fear into any batter at the other end,” ICC quoted Maxwell.
Tait’s career was marred by injuries yet he had an excellent record in the T20s. He played 171 T20 matches and picked up 218 wickets at an average of 22.41.