The greatest T20 batsman currently playing for New Zealand
New Zealand are currently ranked as the 6th best team in T20I by the ICC. Despite this, the Kiwis always tend to punch above their weight in T20I Cricket, especially in tournaments, having reached the World T20 Semi-Finals in 2016. Batting is an art in T20 cricket and over the years New Zealand’s best T20 batsman has changed hands multiple times.
Almost a decade ago, Brendon McCullum was at the peak of his powers. Then, Corey Anderson had a period of success. However, the former has retired and the latter does not play much for New Zealand these days.
With batting being so vital in this format of the game and the 2021 World T20 in India approaching fast, we must ask:
Who is currently New Zealand’s best T20 batsman?
Kane Williamson has a good T20 record in terms of runs and average. He has scored 12 half-centuries and averages 33. His stroke play and charisma makes him a solid T20 player that is very reliable.
However, his strike rate lets him down. He only strikes at 125, which means that he is more of an anchor then an aggressor. However, as shown before, he is hugely versatile and can up the tempo if required and strike above 150.
The highest run-scorer in New Zealand’s T20I history. Martin Guptill has scored 2621 runs in the format at a batting average of 32. His strike rate of 135 is good and he often provides the team with fast starts.
However, he does struggle in the middle-overs at times on slow pitches when the spinners are in operation. He has struggled in the subcontinent, only averaging 24, 21 and 19 in India, Sri Lanka and UAE respectively.
Perhaps the most destructive New Zealand batsman in T20I cricket. Colin Munro has played 65 T20Is and scored 1724 runs at a batting average of 31 and at a strike rate of 156. His flamboyant striking makes him a superb partner for Martin Guptill.
The southpaw smashed a 14-ball half-century against Sri Lanka at Eden Park in 2016 to help New Zealand chase down a target of 143 in an amazing 10 overs.
The young wicket keeper batsman has quickly made himself a regular fixture in New Zealand’s T20I side. He smashed 84 against India in Wellington in 2019 and then made the same score against Pakistan a year later.
In 30 T20Is, Tim Seifert has scored 668 runs at a batting average of 28 and at a strike rate of 139.
For a player so supreme in both Test Matches and ODI’s, Ross Taylor’s record in T20Is is underwhelming. He is the only player to have played over 100 games in all three formats.
Taylor averages 46 in test matches and 48 in ODI’s but this almost halves in T20Is to 26. His strike rate of 122 isn’t great either but his experience makes him in with a shout. One of his best knocks came against South Africa at the 2014 World T20, where the middle-order around him collapsed but he held fort until he was run out. South Africa won the game by 2 runs.
Colin Munro is New Zealand’s best T20 batsman currently due to the power game that he possesses and how consistent he is with it. He has scored 3 centuries in T20I cricket – one each against Bangladesh, India and the West Indies. He averages 31 and strikes at 156, which makes him a superb player in the format.
Munro’s batting at the top of the order will be vital to New Zealand’s chances at the 2021 World T20 in India.
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