In the shortest format of the game, the wicketkeepers have to be good batsmen, and they need to score runs too at a quicker pace as other pure batsmen do. When there is an added responsibility of captaincy to that, some wicket-keepers get bogged down, while others relish the opportunity and take their batting to the next level. Many wicketkeeper-batsman who have led their team has done well with the bat against India. Here we take a look at five such highest T20I scores by wicketkeepers who have led their team against India.
1. Quinton De Kock – 79*
Quinton de Kock‘s first limited-overs assignment as a skipper was a three-match T20I series against India in 2019. Having lost one match and the other being washed out, there was one final chance for South Africa to salvage something from the T20I series in the third T20I. The Protea bowlers bowled brilliantly to restrict India to just 134-9.
Chasing 135 to win, the Indian bowlers needed early wickets to try and stay in the game. But De Kock gave them absolutely no chance whatsoever. He smashed 79 runs off just 52 balls, including 6 fours and 5 huge sixes. South Africa chased down the target with 9 wickets in hand and more than 3 overs to spare. De Kock’s score remains the highest by a wicketkeeper-captain against India in T20Is.
2. Kumar Sangakkara – 78
Sri Lanka were touring India in 2009 and were playing a T20I series. In the first T20I, Sri Lanka batted first and scored a mountain of runs. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara led the charge with the bat as he scored a brilliant 78 runs off just 37 balls, hitting 11 fours and 2 sixes. Some late hitting from Kapugedera ensured that Sri Lanka posted 215-5 in their 20 overs.
The Indian batsmen tried their best but could only reach 186-9 in their 20 overs, losing the game by 29 runs. Sangakkara’s score of 78 remains the second-highest by a wicketkeeper-captain against India in T20Is.
3. Tilakaratne Dilshan – 61
This was a one-off T20I between India and Sri Lanka with the latter being hosts in 2009. T Dilshan was playing as a wicket-keeper in that game and was also leading the side in the absence of Kumar Sangakkara. Sri Lanka batted first and posted a competitive total of 171-4 in their 20 overs.
Dilshan led the way with the bat too scoring 61 runs from 47 balls including 7 fours and 1 six. India were in deep trouble at 115-7, but a miraculous effort from Yusuf Pathan and brother Irfan Pathan saw them chase the target and win the game by three wickets.
4. Kumar Sangakkara – 59
Sri Lanka played Indian in Mohali in the 2nd T20I of the 2009 series. Batting first, Sri Lanka played really well and managed to score 206-7 in their 20 overs. Skipper Sangakkara again led the way with the bat and scored a fine 59 from just 31 balls. He smashed the Indian bowlers all around the park and gave them absolutely no chance.
India however, chased down the target and completed one of their highest run-chases in T20I history. Virender Sehwag’s blazing 64 and Yuvraj Singh’s brilliant 60 off 25 balls ensured that all the good work done by Sangakkara was left in vain. Sangakkara is one of the best Southpaw Wicketkeepers to have played the game.
5. Matthew Wade – 58
Matthew Wade became one of the latest additions to the list of wicket-keeper captains who did well against India. Wade captained the Australian side in the second T20I of the 2020 T20I series as skipper Aaron Finch was out with an injury. Wade provided a fantastic start for the Aussies in the powerplay and took full advantage of the fielding restrictions.
His quick-fire 58 helped Australia lay a platform for the likes of Maxwell and Smith who then made merry and help Australia post a mammoth total of 194-5. However, that was not enough as Hardik Pandya’s brilliance with the bat ensured India won the second T20I and took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. There are quite a few wicketkeepers going around in Australian camp, Wade is making his stand clear by performing well against Indian Team.