The origin of the term, finisher, could well be attributed to Michael Bevan, Australia’s lower middle order batsman, who averaged more than 50 despite coming in to bat towards the end of the innings. Rightly so, he provided the “finishing touch” to propel Australia to match-winning totals. With the evolution of T20 cricket, the term has been redefined, and due to the format we have witnessed the emergence of some of the most talented players of the world in addition to some shots, which would hardly be thought of hitting, against deliveries as fast as 140 clicks or more. Here is our selection of the 10 best finishers in the current cricketing scenario.
The explosive South African batsman is capable of doing what one would normally do in a video game, and he proved it with his century in just 31 deliveries against the West Indies this year. However, that’s only a glimpse of his cricketing talent. Probably the most skilled cricketer in the present day and possibly the agilest, his floral wagon wheels speak of the wide range of shots that the man can play. Notwithstanding the sheer talent, behind there is a soft and passionate sportsperson.
The calmest cricketer in the midst of the most tumultuous situations, MS Dhoni is known for taking the game to the very end. Averaging more than a 100 in successful run chases, Dhoni has amassed more than 2100 runs while chasing in a winning cause. Since the 2011 World Cup, he has averaged more than 60 in 62 innings. He is one batsman whom the umpires must be wary of since he hits the ball very hard past the bowler.
The talented left-hander from Uttar Pradesh has evolved from a classy stroke player to a dangerous and clean striker, and now he seems to be doing a significant job for the Indian team towards the end of the innings. From the IPL and T20Is to 50-over cricket, he has become a consistent performer for his domestic and national sides.
The young South African star has instantly become one of the key players of his national side, finishing the match alongside AB de Villiers. His most notable performance, arguably, would be the unbeaten century for Kings XI Punjab which he scored off just 36 balls in a cliffhanger. An average of more than 40 in ODIs at positions as low as 5 and 6 shows his capability to perform in tough situations.
The swashbuckling Australian is currently one of the most fearsome batsmen in cricket. Coming in to finish the innings (particularly in ODIs) set by his fellow teammates, the star batsman almost invariably seems to find the gaps or the crowd. With quick wrists and a bunch of unconventional strokes, his innings probably plays the decisive role for the side he plays for.
The Windies all-rounder on his day finds the ropes at meager distances from the crease. A strike rate in excess of 150 in Twenty20 matches is a testimony to the power hitting of the batsman. The man, who is known for his talks on the field, has 344 fours and 348 sixes to his name in the 243 innings he played in the shortest format of the game.
Another Australian in the list, who, unfortunately, couldn’t be a part of the playing XI of the world cup-winning team, Bailey ensures that he plays few dot balls and finds boundaries regularly in the death overs. The Kings XI captain has played some crucial knocks towards the end of the innings for his national, BBL and IPL sides and looks eager to unleash more in the near future.
The Sri Lankan all-rounder and captain is probably their most relaxed head in unnerving moments. Often finding himself as a lone warrior towards the end of the Sri Lankan batting, Mathews has scored 20 half centuries and a century since the 2011 World Cup batting at positions from 4 to 8. He has, of late, been their most reliable batsman after Kumar Sangakkara, and is one of the danger men if he finds a partner.
The only English wicketkeeper to score a century in ODIs after Alec Stewart. Jos Buttler plays the role of winding up the innings with a bang. He is one of the silver linings in the English side that looks to regain its ground in ODIs after being unable to qualify for the quarterfinals of the World Cup. With a strike rate of 142.66 in 122 Twenty20 matches, England has a lot of hope from this man to deliver and finally seal the wicketkeeper berth for some time.
The gritty Australian all-rounder is a tough man to bowl to when Australia looks to wrap up the innings. His innings of 63 not out the last year is tough for the Indian fans to forget. The hard-hitting batsman is one of the most capable batsmen. He can cause a turnaround in the game with his knack of hanging in till the very end.
(In matches since the 2011 World Cup batting at positions from 4 to 8)
|1||AB de Villiers||62||59||15||3068||162*||69.72||107.87||8||18|
(All Twenty20 matches including international, domestic, etc.)
|1||AB de Villiers||170||156||32||3771||105*||30.41||137.82||1||21|
(Statistics Source: ESPNcricinfo)
edited by Bhavna Rachuri