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Former India Cricketer Names Virat Kohli Among His Five Best T20I Batters In 2022, Excludes Babar Azam

Former India opener Aakash Chopra has named Suryakumar Yadav, Mohammad Rizwan, Virat Kohli, Sikander Raza and Devon Conway among his five best batters in T20Is in 2022.

Published: December 31, 2022 7:53 PM IST

By Sports Desk | Edited by Koushik Paul

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Babar Azam and Virat Kohli. (Image: Twitter)

New Delhi: Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra included Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav among his top five T20I batters in 2022 but surprisingly left out Pakistan captain Babar Azam from the list. Chopra also hailed Kohli’s transformation in the ongoing year from rock bottom to reaching the peak.

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In a video on his YouTube channel, Chopra kept Suryakumar on top for his exploits with the bat for India. Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan, Kohli, Zimbabwe’s Sikander Raza and Devon Conway of New Zealand followed suit.

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Chopra highlighted Kohli’s numbers and hailed the former India skipper for the way he performed in difficult conditions in the year. “Nobody would have imagined that Virat Kohli would find a place on this list,” Chopra continued in his channel.

“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 in remarkable fashion.

“In T20Is this year, Kohli has 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,” added Chopra.

In fact, since his international debut in 2008, Kohli scored his maiden T20I century in the Asia Cup earlier this year against Afghanistan. It was also Kohli’s first international century after November 2019 and 71st overall equalling Ricky Ponting.

Kohli also was India’s highest run-getter at the T20 World Cup 2022 with 296 runs. India crashed out in the semifinal against eventual winners England. Kohli is also India’s second highest run-scorer in T20Is.

As far as the exclusion of Babar from his list is concerned, Chopra detailed the logic behind. The Pakistan captain is fifth among the highest run-getters in T20Is in 2022. “Going by the stats, Babar Azam should be the No.5 but I am not including him in my list,” he elaborated.

“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,” added Chopra. Meanwhile, Kohli, who is vacating with his family in Dubai, has not been included in the Indian side for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka starting in January.

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Published Date: December 31, 2022 7:53 PM IST