The greatest T20 player: Chris Gayle or Virat Kohli? | – ESPNcricinfo

1:18 PM IST

  • ESPNcricinfo staff

It’s down to the final eight! The player with more votes progresses to the semi-finals.

Voting closes at 6.30am GMT on Friday, May 1. Please reload the page if the polls don’t load for you automatically.

Chris Gayle v Virat Kohli

Chris Gayle

Runs 13,296 Ave 38.20 SR 146.94

Wickets 80 Ave 31.10 ER 7.64

Most runs. Most hundreds. Most sixes. Highest score. Fastest hundred. The one name that sits atop all these lists in T20s is Gayle’s. He was an established international name by the time T20 cricket took root, but it’s a format he made his own with his consistent big scoring across the world. The first to surpass the 10,000-mark in T20s, he still has a lead of over 3000 runs at the top. His 22 hundreds are 14 more than the next best, and he could become the first to hit 1,000 sixes. He has won two T20 World Cups, and has impressive numbers in the tournament. Gayle’s star turn in the world of T20 leagues began in the 2011 IPL, when he joined Royal Challengers Bangalore as a replacement player. He finished the season as the top run-scorer – a feat he would repeat in 2012 – and was named the MVP as his team made the final. After a third straight IPL season in which he made 600-plus runs, he led Jamaica Tallawahs to the title in the inaugural CPL in 2013. He added another title in 2016, and is the leading run scorer in the league. At 40, Gayle is past his prime, but he already has a record that will take some beating.

Virat Kohli

Runs 8900 Ave 41.92 SR 134.56

The only player to average over 40 among those with 5000-plus T20 runs, Kohli’s success is down to a solid technique combined with a batting philosophy that minimises risk. That average moves to over 50 in T20Is, a format where he’s the top run scorer. He is also the most prolific run scorer in the IPL, and starred in the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 2011 and 2016 campaigns, where they reached the final. In the 2016 IPL the RCB captain – a role he took over before the 2013 season – amass a record 973 runs at an average of 81.08 and a strike rate of 152.03; he also scored four of his five T20 hundreds that season. He was also the Player of the Tournament in the 2014 and 2016 T20 World Cups, but his personal bests in those tournaments (77 in the 2014 final against Sri Lanka, and 89 not out in the 2016 semi-final against West Indies) came in knockout losses.

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