Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 08:38 am
Who is the best finisher in cricket?-Cricket's Big Question
In the context of cricket, a “finisher” refers to a player who specializes in successfully concluding an inning, particularly in limited-overs formats like One Day Internationals (ODIs) and T20s. A finisher’s primary responsibility is to bat in the later stages of an inning, often during the closing overs, with the specific aim of accelerating the run-scoring or ensuring that their team reaches a competitive total or successfully chases a target. These players are known for their ability to handle pressure, find gaps in the field, and play innovative and aggressive shots, including powerful hitting to clear boundaries. A skilled finisher can turn the tide of a match and is a crucial asset to any cricket team, as they are instrumental in achieving victory during the critical moments of a game, making them indispensable in modern cricket strategies.
Best finisher in cricket history
Test Debut: 2nd December 2005 vs. Sri Lanka
ODI Debut: 23rd December 2004 vs. Bangladesh
T20I Debut: 1st December 2006 vs. South Africa
AB De Villiers
Test Debut: 17th December 2004 vs. England
ODI Debut: 2nd February 2005 vs. England
T20I Debut: 24th February 2006 vs. Australia
Test Debut: 5th November 1999 vs. Australia
ODI Debut: 1st November 1996 vs. Zimbabwe
T20I Debut: 28th August 2006 vs. England
Test Debut: 22nd October 1998 vs. Australia
ODI Debut: 2nd October 1996 vs. Kenya
T20I Debut: 28th August 2006 vs. England
Test Debut: 28th September 1994 vs. Pakistan
ODI Debut: 14th April 1994 vs. Sri Lanka
Test Debut: 22nd November 1974 vs. India
ODI Debut: 7th June 1975 vs. Sri Lanka
Test Debut: 27th November 1996 vs. India
ODI Debut: 19th January 1996 vs. England
Test Debut: 3rd November 2005 vs. West Indies
ODI Debut: 1st February 2004 vs. India
T20I Debut: 17th February 2005 vs. New Zealand
Test Debut: 27th July 2014 vs. India
ODI Debut: 21st February 2012 vs. Pakistan
T20I Debut: 31st August 2011 vs. India
Test Debut: 9th October 1976 vs. New Zealand
ODI Debut: 11th June 1975 vs. West Indies
Dhoni truly embodied the essence of composure when it came to pursuing a target in cricket. He exuded immense self-assurance in his abilities and had an uncanny knack for orchestrating remarkable comebacks during nail-biting run-chases. Whether it was his clinical dismantling of Clint McKay in the 2012 Adelaide showdown or his masterful takedown of Suranga Lakmal in the final over of the 2013 tri-series final, Dhoni consistently demonstrated his mettle as a finisher.
His legacy is punctuated by memorable moments, such as the 13 crucial runs he notched up in the final over of the 2013 tri-series. His unwavering resolve shone through in numerous high-pressure situations, particularly against arch-rivals Pakistan, where he etched his name into cricketing folklore, notably in 2006. Beyond his batting prowess, Dhoni is universally lauded as one of the most accomplished cricket captains in history.
Despite a slight dip in his batting prowess in recent years, Dhoni continued to navigate his team to victory in moderately challenging run-chases, earning him the distinction of being the world’s premier wicketkeeper-batsman. He thrived in situations that pushed the game to its very limits.
Dhoni’s ODI career featured 112 successful run chases, where he averaged a remarkable 91.28, amassing 2556 runs, including 19 half-centuries and one century. His reputation as cricket’s ultimate finisher is well-deserved, and he undeniably ranks among the greatest wicket keepers in the annals of cricket history.
AB De Villiers
When it comes to the role of finishers in cricket, AB De Villiers is widely regarded as the natural successor to MS Dhoni. However, it’s during the dying moments of a game that his true batting prowess shines through. Among South Africa’s dynamic batsmen, he possesses an extraordinary ability to seal matches in a lucrative fashion. A prime example of his brilliance was his unbeaten 102 off just 59 balls in Ahmedabad, marking the seventh-fastest century in ODI cricket history.
AB De Villiers has earned a reputation as a master run-chaser and one of cricket’s premier finishers. He holds records for the fastest fifty (16 balls), quickest hundred (31 balls), and the fastest hundred and fifty (62 balls) in ODIs. His distinctive batting style has earned him the moniker “MR.360” because of his ability to score from any corner of the field.
After a five-month hiatus from cricket, AB De Villiers possesses a unique ability to return to the field and still outclass the world’s best bowlers. In ODIs, he boasts a strike rate of over 107 runs per innings when contributing to a winning cause, with an impressive average of 66.01. This remarkable feat cements his status as one of the most formidable power-hitters in the cricketing world.
AB De Villiers has achieved the extraordinary for South Africa on numerous occasions, whether it’s anchoring innings on challenging wickets or single-handedly rescuing games. Even to this day, he continues to accomplish feats that most cricketers can only dream of.
Abdul Razzaq stands out as one of Pakistan’s cricket players who consistently delivered unexpected and remarkable performances. Within the realm of cricket, he carved a niche as one of Pakistan’s finest finishers. What set Razzaq apart was his remarkable ability to launch powerful long-range shots, even though his name may not be etched in the record books, his prowess on the cricket field remained undiminished. An exemplary display of his talent was witnessed in his 72-ball 109 against South Africa in Sharjah, a performance that is revered as one of the greatest ODI innings of all time. This stellar showing catapulted him into the elite list of cricket’s greatest finishers.
During his tenure as a player for Pakistan spanning from 1999 to 2013, Abdul Razzaq was renowned for his ability to decimate cricket balls. Notably, he holds the record for hitting the most sixes in a single ODI match. Beyond his role as a vital batsman during death overs, Razzaq frequently rescued his team from precarious situations and piled up substantial totals.
Remarkably, Abdul Razzaq is among the select group of just 53 players worldwide who have achieved the dual milestone of scoring 1,000 runs and taking 100 wickets in ODI cricket. In 2000, at a tender age of 20, Razzaq accomplished the feat of securing the youngest hat-trick in test cricket against Sri Lanka. His versatility in batting is evident by his ability to excel in every position, from opening to the No.11 spot. Furthermore, he and Nasir Jamshed set a record for the highest third-wicket partnership in any form of T20 cricket, an impressive 162 runs in 2009
Shahid Afridi, widely recognized as “Boom Boom” in the world of one-day international cricket, emerged as a superstar due to his dual prowess as a hard-hitting batsman and a formidable finisher for the Pakistan team. Afridi’s style was characterized by an unstoppable ability to launch bowlers into unexpected and swift retreats. His reputation as a match-winner for Pakistan was solidified by his remarkable finishing skills, and at times, it seemed like a game was not concluded until Afridi had his say in it.
One of the most enduring moments in cricket history is Afridi’s unforgettable performance against India during the Asia Cup, where he smashed two consecutive sixes off Ravichandran Ashwin to seal victory for Pakistan. This iconic display further solidified his status as one of the premier finishers in the game. Additionally, Afridi remains renowned for his colossal sixes, etching his name in cricket’s annals for the longest hits.
Afridi’s journey in one-day internationals began with a bang when, at the age of 16 years and 217 days, he blazed his way to the fastest one-day international century, achieved in just 37 balls. This extraordinary feat came against Sri Lanka, where his explosive 102, including six fours and a staggering 11 sixes, propelled Pakistan to a resounding 82-run victory.
The 2013 World Cup match in Guyana exemplifies Afridi’s exceptional abilities as a Pakistani all-rounder. Not content with a scintillating 55-ball 76 that steered Pakistan to a total of 224 for nine, Afridi’s leg-spin wizardry dismantled the Windies, restricting them to a paltry 98 runs in just nine exceptional overs. On a statistical note, Afridi boasts one of the highest strike rates in the history of cricket.
Michael Bevan earned a decade-long reputation as the premier finisher in international cricket, a moniker that saw him dubbed “The Finisher.” His role was instrumental in Australia’s triumphs in two out of three World Cup finals he participated in, clinching victory in 1996 and 1999. While his test career was short-lived, Bevan etched his name as one of the most influential players in the history of One Day Internationals (ODIs). His stature was such that, in December 2002, the Wisden Guide ranked him as the fifth-greatest ODI batsman of all time.
In the realm of ODIs, Bevan displayed a contrasting batting style. He exuded a sense of control right from the outset, thriving under pressure. Bevan’s prowess extended beyond batting; he was a skillful slow left-arm wrist spinner, and his contributions with the ball were often invaluable. Moreover, he left an indelible mark as one of the greatest fielders in the annals of cricket.
Bevan made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Sharjah in 1994, although his maiden match did not require him to bat. However, he swiftly became a vital component of the team, making several pivotal cameos. His significant breakthrough arrived after his test debut against Pakistan. In the final innings of the Wills triangular series, which featured South Africa, Bevan remained unbeaten while facing 52 balls, notching up his first ODI fifty. Despite his outstanding performance, Australia fell short of their target of 269 after 50 overs. Soon after his debut, ODIs became a regular feature in Bevan’s career, marked by his consistency in delivering stroke-filled cameos.
Viv Richards was an imposing presence in the world of Test cricket, striking fear into opponents with his formidable skills. His commanding personality was a perfect match for his imposing physique, and his immense pride in becoming the first Antiguan to represent the West Indies was a potent source of motivation. Renowned for his game-changing abilities, Richards is rightfully celebrated as one of the greatest finishers in the history of cricket, his impact on matches being nothing short of legendary. His rapid ascent established him as one of the planet’s premier batsmen and an all-time cricketing great.
In his exceptional year of 1976, Richards strung together a series of remarkable performances, including a sensational 192-run innings in a Test match against India. He initially opened the batting for Australia, where he faced the formidable duo of Denis Lillee and Jeff Thomson, before settling into the number 3 position behind Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge. The highlight of that year was a magnificent series in England, where he amassed a staggering 829 runs in just four Tests, including a memorable 291-run innings at The Oval.
Richards possessed a unique and extraordinary batting style. Even when bowlers targeted the area just in front of his front pad, hoping to catch him off-guard, he would calmly work the ball to the leg side or ruthlessly dispatch it over the fielders for boundaries. His opponents often believed he might miss a delivery, but Richards rarely disappointed.
One of the most striking aspects of his game was his sheer power. Despite not being exceptionally tall, standing at 5 feet 10 inches, he had the muscular shoulders of a boxer. Richards amassed a remarkable tally of 114 centuries in first-class cricket, with a highest score of 322. His overall runs tally exceeded 36,000, and in the realm of One Day Internationals, he showcased his dominance by amassing nearly 7,000 runs, including 11 centuries. Richards’ monumental achievement of an unbeaten 189* remains the highest individual score in the history of One Day cricket. In recognition of his illustrious career, he was rightfully inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009, adding yet another feather to his already illustrious cap.
Lance Klusener, the former South African all-rounder, often found himself underrated and underappreciated for his immense contributions to the Proteas. However, right from his early days, Klusener exhibited the hallmarks of one of cricket’s most exceptional all-rounders in history. Klusener’s preferred tool for rescuing his team from dire situations was the willow, and he possessed an uncanny ability to breathe life into seemingly lost games.
His exceptional cricketing skills firmly establish him as one of the premier finishers the sport has ever witnessed. In his 49 matches, Klusener boasted an impressive highest score of 174 and held the best wicket average of 8/64 in multiple test matches.
In the realm of One Day Internationals, Klusener’s record was equally impressive. With a highest score of 103 runs and 192 wickets, including a best bowling performance of 6/49, he amassed a total of 3,576 runs in 171 ODIs at an impressive average of 41.1. However, it is his indelible mark on the One Day International series, particularly during the 1999 World Cup, that truly solidified his cricketing legacy. Klusener emerged as one of the most feared batsmen in the cricketing world during that tournament and was deservedly honored as the Man of the Tournament.
In the years leading up to the World Cup, Klusener had already showcased glimpses of his formidable hitting prowess. However, it was during the tournament itself that his distinctive baseball-style backlift and thunderous hitting earned him an ardent following, making him one of the most beloved players of the era. Among his many accolades, Klusener also received the prestigious title of the 2000 Wisden Cricketer of the Year, further cementing his status as a cricketing legend.
As a left-handed batsman, Michael Hussey established himself as one of Australia’s most prolific cricketers. Born on May 27, 1975, Hussey’s entry into international cricket may have been relatively late, occurring at the age of 28, but it was marked by remarkable achievements. He earned the nickname “Mr. Cricket,” a testament to his enduring excellence, and is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest left-handed batsmen in cricket history.
In 2006, Michael Hussey ascended to the coveted position of the world’s number one batsman. Fondly known as ‘Huss’ or ‘Cricket,’ Hussey had already exhibited immense promise during the ING Cup, which paved the way for his inclusion in the Australia ODI squad against India in 2004. In his debut match, he contributed 17 runs, playing a part in Australia’s victory.
Following a highly successful 2005, during which he notched up five half-centuries, remaining unbeaten in four of them, Hussey rapidly earned a reputation as one of the most dependable finishers in the game. His test debut came in 2005 against the West Indies, where he scored one run in the first innings but made a strong statement with consecutive centuries in the following two matches.
A memorable instance of Hussey’s match-winning prowess occurred during a game against New Zealand in 2007. Australia found themselves in a tight spot, attempting to chase down a challenging target of 155. When Hussey entered the fray, the score was a precarious 48-4. With resilience and skill, he compiled an unbeaten 65, single-handedly guiding his team to victory even as wickets fell around him.
Jos Buttler, a right-handed batsman, has firmly established his prowess across all three formats of the game. His occasional promotion to the opening position in T20 cricket, while showcasing his versatility, can also present challenges. Nevertheless, it’s his ability to execute an array of shots towards the end of an innings that elevates him to the status of one of cricket’s premier finishers.
Buttler’s mastery extends to playing yorkers with precision, and he possesses the skill to deftly slice full-length deliveries into the perfect slots to outfox bowlers. He seamlessly switches between a finesse-based approach and a power-packed style as the situation demands. Remarkably, Buttler boasts an average strike rate of 110 when chasing, and when setting a target while batting first, his average skyrockets to 126.
These statistics are nothing short of astounding in the context of One Day International cricket, exemplified by his scintillating performance in 2016 when he blazed 90 runs off just 51 balls against Pakistan at Trent Bridge. It’s no wonder that he is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the sport.
Buttler’s current standing as the best finisher in world cricket is a result of his remarkable ability to power the ball to all corners of the ground combined with his unwavering temperament. What sets him apart is his unique skill set, allowing him to play shots all around the field, earning him the moniker of a “360-degree batsman” in cricket parlance.
Javed Miandad undoubtedly stands as one of Pakistan’s most exceptionally talented right-handed batsmen, a noteworthy achievement in a nation renowned for producing bowling legends. Upon his debut, Pakistan’s inaugural Test captain, Abdul Hafeez Kardar, aptly hailed him as “the find of the decade,” and this assessment has stood the test of time. Miandad’s remarkable cricketing abilities also position him among the greatest Muslim athletes of all time.
Miandad charted his own unique course in the realm of cricket, both in technique and batting style. Known for his precision in finding gaps and a superb sense of timing, Miandad possessed an impeccable edge and angle for placing the ball. Alongside his exceptional innings, he showcased a repertoire of elegant shots, including the much-admired reverse sweep.
One of Miandad’s standout qualities was his knack for rescuing Pakistan from precarious situations, a trait that earned him the reputation of being one of the finest finishers in cricket. His contributions were instrumental in Pakistan securing numerous victories. Notably, as a member of the triumphant 1992 World Cup squad, he gained global recognition for his talents.
The burden of being Pakistan’s premier batsman placed immense pressure on Miandad’s shoulders, but he consistently rose to the occasion. In the 1992 World Cup, he played a pivotal role, amassing three crucial half-centuries in just nine innings, including pivotal 50s in the semifinal and final, leading Pakistan to a historic title win. Miandad’s international career spanned from 1975 to 1996, a testament to his longevity and enduring impact on the sport.
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