Finisher- The toughest job in T20 cricket
Australia’s T20 finisher role. A role much talked about in the last two T20I’s against England. Both of which, Australia lost.
Donning a finisher’s role is the toughest job to do in T20 cricket. Only a handful of cricketers have perfected that job in world cricket. Ahead of the two T20 World Cups to be held in India and Australia in 2021 and 2022 respectively, most teams around the world are looking to groom players into that much important role.
One team that is in dire need of a finisher at the moment is the world number two ranked T20 team, Australia. Despite having a well-established top order and a highly potent bowling attack, the lower middle order is one area that has given serious headaches to Australia in the past few years. Many players have been tested for Australia’s T20 finisher role in recent years. But none of them hasn’t been quite able to seal that spot.
The failed experiment of Marcus Stoinis
One person who has been given the long run in that role is Marcus Stoinis. Despite the constant backing from the Aussie management, he hasn’t been quite able to seal that spot. He has just scored 157 runs at an average of 17.67 in the 20 T20 matches that he played for Australia in the middle order. All these have come at a mediocre strike rate of 117.58 It’s fair to say that he hasn’t been able to prove justice to that role.
However, the team say they want to develop Stoinis as Australia’s T20 Finisher. But, we are not so sure if he has the credentials, considering most of his BBL success has come at the top of the order.
Marcus Stoinis will get opportunities to develop into Australia's 'finisher' at the 2021 T20 World Cup https://t.co/8hTfEhKZpe
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) September 5, 2020
So who are the other players who could fit into Australia’s T20 finisher role?
7 Players who can replace Marcus Stoinis for Australia’s T20 finisher role
7. Ben Dunk
He may be 33 years old, but he is not far behind the others in the list in terms of the hard-hitting abilities. Commonly identified as the bubble-gum chewing bald-headed guy, he took the latest edition of the Pakistan Super League by storm.
He averaged 56.67 in PSL 2020 with a terrific strike rate of 178.95. Currently, not a part of Cricket Australia’s scheme of things, he could be someone that Justin Langer and co. could call upon for Australia’s T20 finisher role.
Ben has already been tested in national colours. But his last BBL numbers suggests that it would be worth trying him one more time. Averaging around 34 at an impressive strike rate of 131.9, he had donned the middle order cum finisher role with perfection for the Hurricanes in BBL 2019.
5. Ben Cutting
Ben Cutting’s numbers may not do full justice to the abilities that he possesses. But a T20 career strike rate of 150+ and a handful of experience of playing franchise T20 cricket around the world is more than enough to make his case stronger for a possible national selection.
His bowling and fielding abilities add to his strengths and it would provide the much-needed stability to Australia’s T20 side.
4. Josh Philippe
Young Josh Philippe was the breakout star of last year’s BBL. Scoring 487 runs at an average of 37.46 he caught everybody’s attention. Even though he found immense success while opening the batting for Sydney Sixers in BBL 2019, he can bat down the order as well.
— Cricket World (@Cricket_World) September 1, 2020
Also, Read – The Best Young Batsmen In T20 Cricket
So maybe Australia could plug him into the middle order and make maximum use of his talent, like what England is doing with young Tom Banton in T20I’s. A rare young talent, should be shifted down to become Australia’s T20 finisher?
3. Beau Webster
The tall Tasmanian who plays for Melbourne Renegades in the BBL has enjoyed serious success in the last edition of the tournament. For a batsman who has mainly batted in the top order in first-class cricket, his breakout season in the BBL happened when he was pushed down the order.
He has scored around 400 odd runs at an astonishing average of 44.44 while batting in the middle order. His success down the order for Renegades has prompted Tasmania to demote him to make maximum use of his exploits. Maybe it’s high time, that Langer too uses him as Australia’s T20 finisher.
2. Mitchell Marsh
One person who has got the most number of opportunities at this position after Marcus Stoinis is Mitchell Marsh. Even though he failed to live up to the expectations while given chances in the national setup, he came back to form in BBL 2019-20. He averaged around 45 while batting in the middle order in the tournament.
Also, Read – The Top 6 Best T20 Batsmen For Australia Cricket
With 350 runs coming in at an impressive strike rate of 149.57, he looks like the ideal man to complement Maxwell for Australia’s T20 finisher role. His ability to bowl a few overs in between adds up to his advantage.
1. Jonathan Wells
Jonathan Wells has made a strong case for himself with impressive performances in the last year’s BBL. With 478 runs coming at an average of 68.29, he stands way ahead of others in this list as the most deserving candidate.
It is to be noted that all of his runs have come while batting at number five for Adelaide Strikers. He was also voted as the MVP of BBL 09. Considering that the next T20 World Cup is going to be held in India, his ability to play spin effectively adds to his credentials as a well-established finisher.
Jonathan Wells is the most deserving candidate to replace Marcus Stoinis as Australia’s T20 finisher.
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