T20I cricket is the shortest format of the international game recognised by the ICC. The emphasis of a batsman in a T20I game is more on his strike rate, making it difficult to produce consistent performances in the format.
Virat Kohli is the highest run-scorer in T20I cricket, with 2794 runs to his name. But the more remarkable aspect is that he has scored these runs at an average of 50.80, the highest among all batsmen who have scored a minimum of 1000 runs in T20I cricket.
While maintaining a high batting average in T20Is is a tough ask, it is even more so while chasing a target as a batsman is always under pressure of the mounting required run rate.
On that note, let us have a look at the 5 batsmen who have the maximum career average in T20I run chases. Note: Here we are only considering batsmen who have a scored a minimum of 500 runs in T20I chases.
5 batsmen with the highest average in T20I run chases
#5 Kumar Sangakkara (44.93)
Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka occupies the 5th spot in the list of batsmen with the highest averages in T20I run chases. The wicket-keeper batsman averages 44.93 while batting second in T20 internationals.
Although Sangakkara has a career average of just 31.40 in T20Is, he has displayed greater consistency in run chases. The classy Sri Lankan has scored 674 runs in the 25 matches his team has batted second.
This includes 4 half-centuries with a highest score of 69 runs against New Zealand at Colombo in September 2009, although that effort came in a losing cause.
The Sri Lankan team managed to win 12 of these 25 matches, with Sangakkara averaging an impressive 88.75 in such encounters.
#4 Jean-Paul Duminy (45.55)
Jean-Paul Duminy of South Africa has the 4th highest average in T20I run chases. The left-handed middle-order batsman averages 45.55 while chasing a target.
Duminy has a decent overall average of 38.68 in T20I cricket. But he is even more consistent while batting second and has scored 820 runs in 34 such matches.
These runs comprise 4 half-centuries with a highest score of 78 against Australia at Melbourne in January 2009, although that effort could not help his team chase down the stiff 183-run target.
The Proteas managed to overhaul the target in 21 of these 34 matches, with Duminy averaging 59.62 in successful run chases.
#3 KL Rahul (46.78)
KL Rahul sits at the 3rd spot in the list of batsmen with the highest averages in T20I run chases. The Indian opener averages 46.78 while batting second in T20I cricket.
Rahul's overall average of 45.65 is also quite similar to his average while chasing a target. In the 21 matches where India has batted second, he has contributed 655 runs.
Both his centuries in T20I cricket have come while chasing a target, with the highest score of an unbeaten 110 in a heart-breaking one-run loss against the West Indies at Lauderhill in August 2016. Apart from the two hundreds, he has also struck three half-centuries in pursuit of a target.
1st T20I: West Indies 245/6 (E Lewis 100, J Charles 79) Beat India 244/4 (KL Rahul 110*, RG Sharma 62) by 1 run pic.twitter.com/iC6N93YKGc— Cricket West Indies (@TheCricketWI) August 27, 2016
The Indian team has won 16 of these 21 matches, with KL Rahul having scored 532 runs at an average of 44.33.
#2 MS Dhoni (47.71)
MS Dhoni has the 2nd best batting average in T20I run chases. The talismanic wicketkeeper-batsman averages a healthy 47.71 while batting second in T20I cricket.
The former Indian skipper has an overall average of 37.60 in T20I cricket but this goes up by more than 10 basis points while chasing the target. Dhoni has scored 668 runs in the 46 matches that India has batted second.
The surprising aspect is that he has managed to keep such a high average without scoring a half-century in T20I run chases. His highest score of 49 runs while batting second came in a losing cause against New Zealand at Rajkot in November 2017.
With MS Dhoni in the team, India have managed to win 29 of the 46 T20I matches in which they have batted second. In successful run chases, Dhoni has scored 290 runs at a whopping average of 72.50.
#1 Virat Kohli (82.15)
Virat Kohli takes the pride of place atop the list of batsmen with the highest averages in T20I run chases. The Indian captain averages a breathtaking 82.15 while batting second in T20I cricket.
While Kohli has an outstanding overall average of 50.80 in T20I cricket, his average assumes Bradmanesque proportions while chasing a target. The RCB captain has amassed 1561 runs in the 39 matches India has batted second.
These runs include an incredible 16 half-centuries with a highest score of an unbeaten 94 runs against West Indies at Hyderabad in December 2019, a knock that helped India chase down a massive 208-run target with 6 wickets in hand and 8 balls to spare.
#INDvsWI— Times Now Sports (@timesnowsports) December 6, 2019
Virat Kohli's unbeaten 94 helps Team India thrash West Indies by six wickets in Hyderabad opener#ViratKohli #Kohli #KingKohli #TeamIndia #INDvsWESTIND
Read: https://t.co/B6mYzXzXBY pic.twitter.com/f5hGUgfsx0
India has incredibly won 29 of these 39 matches, with Virat Kohli having scored 1295 runs in successful run chases at an unbelievable average of 107.91.