Who is the greatest finisher in cricket currently?
In both T20 and ODI cricket, finishing off the innings is vital to help the team reach a competitive total. It becomes more vital when you are batting second, because you can pace an innings accordingly. The best finishers in world cricket are able to close out games with the bat, once it has been set up for them by the top-order.
MS Dhoni was a classic example in his prime. “Captain Cool.” would take the game deep, into the final overs, knowing he had the capability to hit boundaries at will.
It is a very difficult art to master, though and only elite ball strikers and those with cool temperaments can do it on a regular basis.
So, who are the top 5 best finishers in world cricket?
5. Andre Russell
In fifth place is perhaps the most destructive finisher in T20 cricket, Andre Russell. He would have been higher up the list, had he represented the West Indies much more in limited-overs cricket as a whole.
Nevertheless, Russell has shown his capabilities finishing off games numerous times in T20 cricket for the various franchises that he has represented. His overall strike rate of 170 in the format is mind-blowing, considering that a strike rate between 130 and 140 is considered very healthy.
Russell has tremendous power in his armoury and can smash the ball to all parts of the ground. This means that he doesn’t have to connect every ball well for it to go for six. He sets up deep in the crease, reducing the margin of error for the bowler.
Andre Russell is number five on our list of “Best finishers in world cricket.”
4. Hardik Pandya
No player has grown as much as Hardik Pandya over the last five years and as a result features in fourth place. His rise with the Mumbai Indians has resulted in him being one of the first names in the Indian Team in limited overs cricket.
Recently, Hardik had a great tour of Australia. In the final ODI at Canberra, he built a partnership of over 150 with Ravindra Jadeja to rescue the innings, scoring 92 of just 76 balls himself. Chasing 195 to win the second T20I at Sydney, Hardik scored 42 from just 22 balls to help India seal the series.
Hardik uses his core strength to generate power and he has long levers which can hit the ball a long way. His reach plays a big part in this because he can access the ball from pretty much anywhere on the crease. He averages nearly 35 in ODI cricket, at a strike rate of 115. In IPL, he averages 30 at a strike rate of 160.
Hardik Pandya is number four on our list of “Best finishers in world cricket.”
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3. Kieron Pollard
Number three on this list is Kieron Pollard. The West Indian is known for how he chooses his bowlers wisely when finishing off an innings. He does this incredibly well and targets certain bowlers, who he feels suit his style of batting and he can go after.
Pollard has immense power and clear the boundary with ease, favouring the straight boundaries, because there are hardly any fielders there, even if he mishits, he will likely be safe.
He has done well for the West Indies in the limited opportunities he has received, due to political issues. However, it has been in T20 leagues such as the Indian Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League where he has really prospered. Pollard averages 30 at a strike rate of 150 for the Mumbai Indians and has finished off many games towards the back end of an innings.
Kieron Pollard is number three on our list of “Best finishers in world cricket.”
2. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli’s reading of the game in run-chases is second-to-none, particularly in ODI cricket, giving him the number two spot on this list. His record when chasing is unbelievable, given the pressures that he must come under of over 1 billion people expecting him to take India to victory.
In ODI’s, Kohli has scored over 7000 runs chasing, at a batting average of 68 and at a strike rate of 95. The fact that he has 26 centuries in ODI run chases, makes him one of, if not the greatest batsman in the format already.
Kohli has a different game to others on this list. He nudges and works the ball around for singles and doubles, without taking many risks to build his innings.
Virat Kohli is number two on our list of “Best finishers in world cricket.”
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1. Jos Buttler
In first place is England’s superstar, Jos Buttler. The right-hander has proved his credentials in all three formats of the game. His versatility in T20 cricket, sometimes plays against him because he is promoted to open. However, he is a sublime finisher towards the end of an innings, with the range of shots that he plays.
Buttler has the ability to scoop bowlers who nail their yorkers and can go deep in the crease to make full length deliveries, into balls that are in the slot. He has both the touch game and the power game to use when required.
Buttler averages nearly 40 at a strike rate of 110 while chasing and averages 40 at a strike rate of 126 when batting first. Both are quite ridiculous for ODI cricket standards. His 90 of just 51 balls against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2016, was an example of how his arrival can boost an already fast scoring rate.
Jos Buttler is currently the best finisher in world cricket, as a result of his ability to power the ball to all parts of the ground but also thanks to his cool temperament.
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