It's the end of another exciting year of cricket, and the youngest format T20 has already taken the world in a storm. The format is now seen as a platform to spread cricket in new nations and the governing body of cricket, International Cricket Council has already granted T20 international status to all it's 104 member countries, which will come into effect from January 1, 2019.
Even at the grass root level, the year witnessed a lot of new T20 tournaments being introduced by many associate nations like Bhutan and Uganda, to enhance the skills of local talent. The calendar was fully packed with many franchisees and city-based lucrative T20 leagues which include some prominent names like Indian Premier League, Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League, etc., while few new entrants like Afghanistan Premier League, Mzansi Super League and Global T20 Canada joined the list.
In 2018, Overall 717 (including 81 T20I) T20 matches have been played. Where few players have had a golden run this year, while others failed to make an impact. So, based on the performance of these players in 2018, the following 11 players have been selected to form the T20 XI of 2018.
Note: Franchise based T20 leagues and domestic cricket have been taken into account in this list.
Also read: Sportskeeda's T20I XI Of The Year
#1 Colin Munro (New Zealand)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 48, Innings – 48, Runs scored – 1530, Avg – 34, Hundreds – 1, Fifties – 12
Colin Munro is a powerful hitter of the cricket ball and dominated the 2018 T20 circuit with his batting, to end the year as a leading run-getter in the shortest version of the game. Scoring 1530 runs in 48 matches at a strike rate of 151.18 comprising a century and 12 fifties.
His highest score this year came against West Indies at Mount Maunganui on January 3, where he smashed 53-ball 104 to help home team post gigantic 243 against the visitors. This makes him the most successful batter of 2018.
#2 KL Rahul (India)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 27, Innings – 25, Runs scored – 983, Avg – 46.80, Hundreds – 1, Fifties – 7
KL Rahul had a memorable year in this format. He is fourth on the list of most T20 runs by an Indian batsman in the calendar year. He has scored 983 runs from 25 outings at an average of 46.80 and a strike rate of 155.29 including seven fifties and a hundred.
His best performance came against the English side at the Old Trafford. The right-hander hit a sublime unbeaten 101 to lead India to a dominant eight-wicket victory over a chastened England. So, his inclusion in this XI is a no-brainer considering his incredible numbers in the calendar year.
#3 Jos Buttler - Skipper (England)
Performance in 2018 : Matches – 31, Innings – 31, Runs scored – 1119, Avg – 39.96, Hundreds – 0, Fifties – 10
Jos Buttler is one of few pure T20 entertainers. The Lancashire wicketkeeper-batsman has been in good form in T20s this year. He has 1119 runs to his name in his 31 appearances at an average of 39.96 and a strike rate of 149.79.
His highest score this year came while playing for Rajasthan Royals during IPL 2018 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur against Chennai Super Kings. His superb 60-ball 95* guided Royals to a thrilling four-wicket win over buoyant Chennai.
He has been Mr. Dependable for each team he played for and used his abilities to utter excellence and has been selected to lead T20 XI of 2018.
#4 Rishabh Pant (India)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 32, Innings – 31, Runs scored – 1209, Avg – 41.68, Hundreds – 2, Fifties – 10
India's ultimate talent Rishabh Pant is a perfect fit when it comes to T20s. His aggressive batting style and innovative shots make him stand among the best batsmen in this format. The wicketkeeper-batsman has 1209 runs to his name in 31 Innings at an average of 41.68 and a strike rate of 172.71 is enough to underline his performance.
Pant has a couple of centuries to his name this year and has hit 10 fifties as well. His highest score this year came against Sunrisers Hyderabad during IPL 2018 group game, where he scored an unbeaten 128 runs of just 63 balls to help Delhi DareDevils post a respectable total.
His ability to thrash any bowling attack makes him a perfect T20 batsman to occupy his name in this list.
#5 Rassie van der Dussen (South Africa)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 19, Innings – 18, Runs scored – 632, Avg – 45.14, Hundreds – 0, Fifties – 5
The South African has been in good form in T20s this year. He has scored 632 runs in 18 innings at an average of 45.14 and a strike rate of 135.91. The Proteas batsman was among leading run-getters in Mzansi Super League 2018
His highest score this year came against Tshwane Spartans where he scored an unbeaten 96 runs off just 44 balls to propel Jozi Stars to playoffs.
#6 Laurie Evans (England)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 24, Innings – 23, Runs scored – 919, Avg – 65.64, Hundreds – 0, Fifties – 10
Laurie Evans is one of few lesser known names in T20 cricket but posses great firepower in the shortest format. The batsman plays for Sussex in T20 Blast and came into the reckoning during his stint for Kabul Zwanan in APL 2018.
He has 919 runs to his name in 23 outings at an impressive average of 65.64 and a strike rate of 137.98. His highest score this year came against Somerset during T20 Blast on August 5, where he scored 96 runs from 67 balls to help Sussex post a respectable total on the board.
He is one of the most skilled players the game has ever seen and can moderate his batting according to the situation.
#7 Dwayne Bravo (West Indies)
Performance in 2018 - Batting: Matches – 52, Innings – 42, Runs scored – 663, Avg – 25.50, Hundreds – 0, Fifties – 1.
Performance in 2018 - Bowling: Matches – 52, Innings – 51, Wickets taken – 59, Avg – 30.42, Economy – 9.44.
Dwayne Bravo is an utility cricketer in any line-up. The all-rounder has done well in both zones either it's batting or bowling. He scored 663 runs at an average of 25.50 and a strike rate of 154.90 while picking up 59 wickets at an economy rate of 9.44.
He had his fair share of ups and downs throughout the year and his best performance came against Mumbai Indians when he scored incredible 30-ball 68, which paved the way for Chennai Super Kings sensational return to the IPL 2018.
#8 Andre Russell (West Indies)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 36, Innings – 32, Wickets taken – 35, Avg – 24.14, Economy – 9.00.
The West Indian pacer has had a very good year with the ball picking up 35 wickets in 32 innings at an average of 24.14 and an economy of 9.00. His best figures of 3/31 came against Royal Challengers Bangalore for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2018.
The all-rounder also showed a good hand in batting as he managed over 600 runs in T20s in 2018. His all-round abilities make him a plus for any team.
#9 Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 61, Innings – 60, Wickets taken – 96, Avg – 15.46, Economy – 6.35.
The 20-year-old from Afghanistan has had an awesome year with the ball and ended this year as a leading wicket-taker in the shortest format. Picking up 96 wickets in 62 matches at an average of 15.46, an effective economy of 6.35.
His best figures this year came against Bangladesh at Dehradun Stadium on June 6, where he picked up four wickets, giving away just 12 runs. This makes him a go-to bowler in the T20 format, and his inclusion in this list is no brainer.
#10 Andrew Tye (Australia)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 51 Innings – 50, Wickets taken – 75, Avg – 20.52, Economy – 8.22.
Andrew Tye was the second highest wicket-taker in 2018, with 75 wickets from 51 games. He has been amongst wickets in almost every game and was a go-to bowler for every team he played for.
His best performance of 4/16 came during IPL 2018 group game against Mumbai Indians. The bowler has gone through a brilliant phase this year and tops the list of leading wicket-taker in a calendar year among fast bowlers.
#11 Jofra Archer (England)
Performance in 2018: Matches – 41, Innings – 40, Wickets taken – 61, Avg – 20.77, Economy – 8.31.
Jofra Archer had a decent year with the ball. He has picked up 61 wickets in 40 outings at an average of 20.77 and an economy of 8.41. His best figures this year came against Adelaide Strikers during BBL 2017-18 on the 4th of January, where he picked up three wickets, giving away 15 runs.
Archer is very effective in the death overs with his accurate yorkers and is the last player to be included in ln this limited-overs T20 side of 2018.