Top 5 T20I teams of 2017
In the shortest format of the game, it's been quite the year for teams from the subcontinent. Two arch-rivals - and an associate nation - have done the best in the shortest format of the game, and uncovered some star players in the process.
Here's a look at the top 5 T20I teams of the year:
2016 World Twenty20 champions West Indies may not have ended the year on the best note in One-Day internationals or in T20s, facing a whitewash from a powerful New Zealand bowling attack led by Trent Boult in New Zealand in the 50-over format, and an all-round onslaught from the Kiwi batters in the shortest format.
However, prior to the NZ series, they won 6 of their 10 matches this year. They beat England and India in one-off T20I matches this year, and at home, beat Afghanistan in their T20 series.
Youngster Shai Hope in particular was the team's performer this year, and despite their series loss to Pakistan in the format, Hope pitched in with good scores and some consistent performances.
The Black Caps - Trent Boult and Colin Munro, in particular, ended the 2017 T20 International season on a high. Their series against the West Indies - which commenced at the end of 2017, has been a particularly successful one for the Kiwi squad.
The team played 8 matches in T20Is last year, winning 5 - giving them a win percentage of 62.50. At home, they took a series whitewash over Bangladesh, winning 3-0, and beat the West Indies 2-0 in a three-match Twenty20 international series at home as of the end of the year. Today, they completed the series, and with it took a 3-0 victory.
Kiwi batsman Colin Munro in the match today became the first ever batsman to reach three T20 centuries in the third T20 at New Zealand's Mount Maunganui, following on a 53-run innings in the first T20, and 66 runs in the second.
India's pace attack has taken quite the front seat this year, and its batsmen have been doing some heavy hitting throughout the cricketing season. The Men in Blue have won 9 of their 13 T20 International matches this year, beating both India and Sri Lanka in T20I series at home this year.
Old hands Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been the top scorers for India in the format, with the skipper leading the cordon at 299 runs off 10 innings in the format. Rohit Sharma is not too far behind, with 283 runs off 9 innings. 25-year-old KL Rahul has hit the big time this year, and comes in at No. 3 with 279 runs from 7 innings - putting him at an average of 39.85, higher than Virat Kohli.
India ended their T20I year with a series whitewash - 3-0 over visitors Sri Lanka earlier last month.
Despite only being an associate cricketing nation, Afghanistan have made quite the mark in international cricket. Afghanistan have played 10 matches this year, winning 7 of them.
The squad won the Desert T20 challenge earlier this year, beating out Ireland, Scotland, the UAE, Namibia and Oman to the title, and then beat Ireland in a T20I series hosted in India.
In particular, their 19-year-old bowling sensation Rashid Khan has been quite a revelation for the squad, both in the international format and in league cricket. Rashid made his IPL debut in 2017 for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, and this year in the Australian Big Bash League for the Adelaide Strikers.
Topping this list with a whopping 8wins of 10 matches, Pakistan have had the best year of any Twenty20 international team with an 80% win rate - far ahead of any of the other teams on the list.
The Men in Green toured the West Indies earlier this year, beating the Windies in a T20 series 3-1 to take the title. They also beat Sri Lanka 3-0 in a series whitewash, with Shoaib Malik doing well for the team.