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Highest run-scorer in T20 World Cup: Who tops the records?

India’s Virat Kohli is the highest run-scorer in T20 World Cup history with 1141 runs from 27 matches.

With the T20 World Cup in Australia just around the corner, the anticipation and excitement are increasing with every passing day. The previous edition of the T20 World Cup 2021 held in UAE saw Australia defeating Pakistan in the semi-final and New Zealand in the final to become world champions in this format.

West Indies are the most successful side in T20 World Cup history and they are the only team to win two T20 World Cups. A major reason behind that achievement has been the incredible performances of batsmen, who have pioneered the T20 approach with quick-fire runs and aggressive intent in the powerplay and death overs.

As batters around the world continue to innovate and re-shape the game in this format, it will be interesting to take a look at the list of players who have scored the most runs in T20 World Cup history:

RankPlayerTeamMatchesRunsAverageStrike Rate50s100s
1Virat KohliIndia27114181.50131.30140
2Mahela JayawardeneSri Lanka31101639.07134.7461
3Chris GayleWest Indies3396534.46142.7572
4Rohit SharmaIndia3996334.39127.8890
5Tillakaratne DilshanSri Lanka3589730.93124.0660

Virat Kohli, India – 1141 runs in 27 matches

One of the best batsmen of all time, and arguably the greatest of his generation, Virat Kohli is the fifth-highest scorer in T20 World Cup history with 1141 runs in 27 matches. He has a stunning average of 81.50 – by far the highest among anyone in the top 10. Kohli also has a strike rate of 132.46 and he holds the record for scoring the most number of half centuries (14) in T20 World Cup history.

He was in great form during the 2014 edition, scoring 319 runs in six matches at an average of 106.33 and a strike rate of 129.14. Kohli’s spectacular batting helped India reach the final of the 2014 T20 World Cup where India ended up being the runners-up after losing to Sri Lanka.

Even in 2016, he had scored 273 runs in five matches at a jaw-dropping average of 136.50 and a strike rate of 146.77. He masterminded crucial victories over Pakistan and Australia almost single-handedly, but unfortunately, India fell short in the semi-final against West Indies.

Twice, he has been elected as the Most Valuable Player in T20 World Cups, winning the accolade with his breathtaking performances in 2014 and 2016.

Also Read: Virat Kohli tattoo

Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka – 1016 runs in 31 matches

One of the best all-format players the game of cricket has seen in modern times, the legend of Sri Lanka cricket Mahela Jayawardene holds the record for scoring the most runs in T20 World Cup history. He has amassed 1016 runs in 31 matches across every single edition of the T20 World Cup from 2007 to 2014.

Jayawardene has a splendid average of 39.07 and a strike rate of 134.74. He is the only player to cross the 1000-run mark in T20 World Cups and also has a century to his name along with six half centuries. He also holds the record for scoring the most boundaries (111) in T20 World Cup history. He retired from T20 cricket after winning the T20 World Cup with Sri Lanka in 2014.

Chris Gayle, West Indies – 965 runs in 33 matches

Chris Gayle is the only player in ICC T20 World Cup history to have scored two centuries. He is second on the list of players with 965 runs in 33 matches at an average of 34.46. The left-hander also has the highest strike rate of 142.75 among the top five list of run-scorers. Only South Africa’s AB De Villiers has a better strike rate (143.4) than Gayle in T20 World Cup history.

The first of Gayle’s T20 World Cup centuries arrived in the very first edition of the tournament against hosts South Africa. He followed that up with another 100* off 48 balls against England during the 2016 T20 World Cup held in India.

The West Indies giant has played in six editions of the T20 World Cup and hung up his shoes after the latest edition in 2021 in UAE. Gayle has been a crucial part in winning two World Cups with West Indies in 2012 and 2016. He also holds the record for hitting the most sixes (63) in T20 World Cup history.

Rohit Sharma, India – 963 runs in 39 matches

A part of the victorious Indian team in the inaugural edition, Rohit Sharma is the fourth-highest scorer in T20 World Cup history with 963 runs in 39 matches at an average of 34.39 and a strike rate of 127.88. Rohit has been a destructive opener for India in T20 World Cups and he holds the record for scoring the second-highest number of half-centuries, with nin fifties to his name.

During the inaugural World Cup in 2007, Rohit had scored 88 runs in three innings without losing his wicket even once. He had a terrific strike rate of 144.26 as India defeated Pakistan in the final to become world champions. His most productive World Cup came in 2014 when Rohit smacked 200 runs at an average of 40 to propel India to the final where they lost to Sri Lanka.

In his first World Cup campaign as a captain in 2022, India unfortunately bowed out after losing in the semi-finals to England.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma double centuries

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka – 897 runs in 35 matches

Third on the list of the highest run-scorers is another Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan. One of the most innovative T20 batters of all time, Dilshan was crucial in setting the tone for the Lankan lions with his trailblazing opening starts and also mastered the art of run-chases. Across six World Cup editions, he played in 35 matches and scored 897 runs at an average of 30.93 and strike rate of 124.06.

Dilshan has been a great savior of Sri Lanka cricket and he even took them to the final of the 2009 ICC World T20 where they lost to Pakistan. However, Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 2014, allowing Dilshan to go out on a high.

Highest run-scorer in T20 World Cup: From every edition

RankT20 World CupPlayerTeamMatchesRunsAverageStrike Rate
12007Matthew HaydenAustralia626588.33144.8
22009Tillakaratne DilshanSri Lanka731752.83144.74
32012Shane WatsonAustralia624949.8150
42014Virat KohliIndia6319106.33129.14
52016Tamim IqbalBangladesh629573.75142.51
62020Babar AzamPakistan630360.6126.25

FAQs

Who has scored the most runs in a single T20 World Cup tournament?

Indian batting great Virat Kohli currently holds the record for scoring the most runs in a single edition of the T20 World Cup. He smashed 319 runs in just six matches in 2014 at an unbelievable average of 106.33 with 4 half-centuries. 

Who was the highest run-scorer in the T20 World Cup 2021?

Pakistan captain Babar Azam finished as the leading run-scorer with 303 runs in six matches at an average of 60.6 in the T20 World Cup 2021.

Who has scored the highest runs in T20 Internationals?

Current Indian captain Rohit Sharma holds the record for scoring the most runs in T20 Internationals. He has 3620 runs to his name in 136 matches at an average of 32.32 and a strike rate of 140.63.

Who scored the most runs in T20 World Cup 2016?

Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal scored the most runs in the T20 World Cup held in 2016. He finished the tournament with 295 runs in six matches at an average of 73.75.

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