Who has been the best so far in cricket’s newest format? You get to decide | ESPNcricinfo.com

Here are the next set of match-ups to determine the greatest T20 cricketer. The players with more votes progress to the round of 16.
Note: Voting closes at 6.30am GMT on Thursday, April 16. Click here to reload the page if the polls don’t load for you automatically.
MS Dhoni v Babar Azam
MS DhoniRuns 6621 Ave 39.88 SR 135.62Catches as keeper 165 Stumpings 83
MS Dhoni marshalled a young group with very little international pedigree to the inaugural T20 World Cup title back in 2007. In that high-pressure final against Pakistan, Dhoni punted on Joginder Sharma to bowl the final over. The move worked, and there was no stopping the advent of the IPL after that. The Chennai Super Kings shelled out US$ 1.5 million to get Dhoni on board in the inaugural IPL auction. He soon established himself as Chennai’s thala, leading them to titles in 2010, 2011 and 2018 – when they returned after a two-year suspension. Under Dhoni’s captaincy, Super Kings have made it to the knockouts in all ten seasons they have played the IPL. Despite usually batting lower down the order, Dhoni is the seventh-highest scorer in the IPL, with 4432 runs at an average of 42.20 and a strike rate just under 138. Dhoni has also effected the most dismissals as a keeper in both the IPL and in T20Is. Dhoni is the most experienced captain in the format, and that came to the fore when he and Hardik Pandya denied Bangladesh in the 2016 T20 World Cup. Even as T20 continues to evolve into a data-driven sport, Dhoni continues to defy analytics and conventional T20 cricket wisdom with his instincts.
Babar AzamRuns 4861 Ave 43.01 SR 125.31
Currently the No. 1-ranked T20I batsman in the world, Babar Azam is technically strong, and has excelled in the shortest format. Azam only made his T20I debut in September 2016, but has grown rapidly to become Pakistan’s fourth-highest run-scorer in the format. Other than Virat Kohli, he’s the only batsman with over 500 T20I runs to average over 50, and his T20 average of 43.01 is the highest for any batsman with over 1000 runs. He’s the second-highest run-scorer in the PSL, only behind Kamran Akmal, with 1388 runs in 43 innings at an average of 35.58 and a strike rate of 117.32. Captaincy hasn’t affected his batting; in fact he has fared better with the extra responsibility, hitting 432 runs in ten T20 innings at an average of 61.71 and strike rate of nearly 144. Azam sparkled for Somerset in the T20 Blast last year too, finishing as the top run-scorer in the competition and scoring his maiden T20 hundred: an unbeaten 102. He matched that score in the National T20 Cup at home later in the year.
Chris Gayle v Mohammad Nabi
Chris GayleRuns 13,296 Ave 38.20 SR 146.94Wickets 80 Ave 31.10 ER 7.64
Most runs. Most hundreds. Most sixes. Highest score. Fastest hundred. The one name that sits atop all those lists in T20s: Chris Gayle. He was an established international name by the time T20s 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’s still over 3000 runs in the lead at the top. His 22 hundreds are 14 more than the next-best, and he could become the first to 1000 sixes. He’s won two T20 World Cups, and has impressive numbers in the tournament. Gayle’s star turn in the world of T20 leagues came 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 with 600-plus runs, he led Jamaica Tallawahs to the title in the inaugural CPL in 2013 – adding another 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 would take some beating.
Mohammad NabiRuns 3951, Ave 22.70, SR 142.07Wickets 255, Ave 23.55, ER 6.98
Mohammad Nabi has been Afghanistan’s mainstay over the years, having played exactly 100 T20 matches for the side: he’s their second-highest run-scorer and highest wicket-taker. The allrounder played a key role as the country qualified for T20 World Cups in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His utility offspin and lower-order power-hitting make him an attractive proposition for franchises in T20 leagues, and he’s played in practically every T20 league in the world. Nabi is one of only five allrounders with over 1250 runs and 50 wickets in T20Is. Whether choking runs for the opposition batsmen, or smashing the bowlers all over, Nabi is among Afghanistan’s first citizens in the world of global T20 stars.
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