Within days of Shoaib Malik striking his 2000th run in T20I cricket, Virat Kohli joined the Pakistani veteran in the exclusive club of four.
Malik became the third member of the club, which only had the New Zealand duo of Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill before Sunday, when he hit 37* against Zimbabwe in the first match of the ongoing tri-series – Australia are the third team – on July 1.
Kohli, focussed on taking singles as KL Rahul got to his century in a comprehensive Indian win over England in the first game of their three-match series at Old Trafford, scored 20* in 22 balls to get to the milestone on Tuesday, July 3.
Amazingly, Kohli got to the mark in only his 60th match, and 56th innings, topping McCullum’s record of 66 innings, making the Indian captain the quickest to 2000 T20I runs.
Of the lot, Malik has been the slowest, but what makes his feat remarkable is that he is a middle-order batsman unlike the other three and has showcased tremendous staying power in what is thought of as a younger people’s game. Malik is 36. And became the first to play 100 T20Is the day after scoring his 2000th run.
Rohit Sharma, Kohli’s colleague, is best placed to become the fifth to join the league, as he is just 19 runs away, with the next best, Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad, close to 100 runs behind.