2 Indian batters with a slowest T20I fifty off more than 50 balls in history
T20 cricket is a fast-moving game, and it doesn't allow much time for a batter to settle down and take his time. Because it gives only 120 balls a side to score as many runs as possible. That is the reason that we have seen some incredible innings in the history of T20 internationals.
It gives the batsman the licence to go after the bowling from the very first ball. In particular, the openers enjoy playing because they have six overs with the fielding restrictions. That is why we have mostly seen openers score big runs for their teams.
A 30-35-ball half-century is considered to be an ideal fifty in T20 games. And being a batsman, scoring a quick half-century always gives the team an advantage in the game. But what if the batsman scores a fifty but takes more than 50 balls for that?
That might not be an ideal knock, considering the playing terms of T20. But did you know that two Indians hold the record for the slowest T20I half-century ever? And both batters took well over 50 balls to complete their half-century. Let's check.
2. KL Rahul 51 off 56 Balls vs South Africa in September 2022
The slowest half-century for India in T20 internationals came recently against South Africa in the first match of a three-match T20I series at Thiruvananthapuram. And it came from the bat of KL Rahul. India restricted South Africa to 106/8 in their 20 overs on a difficult pitch for batting.
However, coming out for a chase, India also struggled on the pitch and scored 17 runs in the first six overs. Rahul played 26 balls in the power-play and scored only 11 runs. It looked from the start that he might end up getting out after that struggle. But with the innings progressing, he gained a bit of confidence and played his shot.
In the end, he hit a six to win the match and complete his 56-ball half-century. Thus, he registered India's slowest fifty in T20 internationals. Suryakumar Yadav (50* off 33) and Rahul helped India win the match by 8 wickets.
1. Gautam Gambhir 50 off 54 balls vs Australia in February 2012
The second slowest half-century for India came off the bat of former opener Gautam Gambhir in February 2012. It was the second and final match of the series against Australia in Melbourne. Australia won the first game, but India bowled well in the second and restricted Australia to 131 all out in the first innings.
In reply, both Indian openers started cautiously in the first six overs. Virender Sehwag got out after scoring 23 off 16. Virat Kohli (31 off 24) and MS Dhoni (21* off 18) had some useful knocks. But on the other hand, it was Gambhir, who just stuck to the crease to cruise to the slowest half-century for India (KL Rahul broke his record recently).
Gambhir reached his fifty off 54 balls and remained not out on 56* off 60 balls, and India won that match in the very last over with 8 wickets and two balls to spare.