Finishing matches is an art that not many cricketers manage to learn and master in their respective ODI careers. Only a few have that capability to respond in crunch situations and finish matches for their teams. It requires a special ability for batters to hold their nerve and target the right areas against a specific bowler to accumulate runs as per the situations demands.
Here’s a look at Top 10 finishers in ODI cricket:
10. Sir Vivian Richards:
Sir Vivian Richards was regarded as one of the most destructive batsmen of all-time. Even during a period when other batters played with a Strike rate between 50 to 60, Sir Viv was head and shoulders above the rest. He had his own swagger and was never bogged down even by the most fearsome bowlers of his time. He had the ability to play aggressively and always backed his ability to score runs with a strike rate nearing 100.
9. Arvinda De Silva:
One of the key heroes in Sri Lanka’s World Cup triumph in 1996, Arvinda De Silva carried the Sri Lankan batting on his shoulders. He had a solid defence and could even play the big shots, More importantly, he could hold his nerve and stay calm even in some of the nerviest moments of the match.
8. Mark Boucher:
Former South African wicket-keeper batsman, Mark Boucher always had a few balls to prove his worth in the team. He batted as low as 6 or 7 in the batting order and was asked to deliver as a finisher in the team. Boucher was much successful in donning the role and could smack boundaries to muster runs at a quick pace.
7. Javed Miandad:
Javed Miandad retired as one of the legends in Pakistan cricket. His consistency to score runs in almost every innings differentiated him from the rest. He also had this ability to take the attack to the bowler in the dying moments of the game His last-ball six against Chetan Sharma to secure a win in the Asia Cup Final against India is still one of the most memorable encounters for any Pakistani fan.
6. Lance Klusener:
Former South African all-rounder, Lane Klusener was highly under-rated and was often not given enough credit for his success in winning games for the Proteas. Klusener, on most occasions, would use to willow to draw his team out of trouble. He had the knack to instil life in some of the lost game by scoring runs with such clarity of thought.
5. Abdul Razzaq:
Former Pakistani bowling all-rounder, Abdul Razzaq was quite a regular figure while finishing matches for Pakistan. He had the ability to hit big shots. During his peak, he could take down any attack and slog them for runs in the death overs.
4. Shahid Afridi:
Shahid Afridi rose to fame, firstly as a hard-hitting batsman then as a finisher for Pakistan in ODI cricket. He had created an aura for himself and could easily decimate bowling attacks at will. At times, matches were not over until Afridi was shown the way back to the pavilion.
3. AB de Villiers:
One of the modern masters, AB de Villiers impressed with his 360-play all around the field. The former SA skipper was blessed to hit the same delivery on four different directions. He was highly confident of his ability which was even evident in his way of walking towards the bowler while playing any shot.
2. Micheal Bevan:
Michael Bevan was regarded as one of the best finishers of all-time in ODI cricket. Bevan, who batted with an average over 50, helped Australia in winning games from some of the most unthinkable situations. He was always the last man to concede in a situation, and more often than not was successful in getting his team over the line. He was mentally too strong and could read the game scenarios easily.
1. MS Dhoni:
Regarded as one of the best finishers that the world has ever seen, Dhoni was even better than Bavan in terms of his match-awareness. His confidence in his own ability to take the match deep defined him as a finisher in ODI cricket. He would wait for the right opportunity before going all guns blazing against any bowling attack. At times, he would force the opposition to commit mistakes, making it easier for him to take his team home even through a tough situation.