A game of cricket always gets intense as the game progresses. And with the pressure soaring high comes one of the biggest tasks in white-ball cricket, sealing the game. Now, not everyone can close an innings on a good note. It requires the particular skills of a finisher to ace this task. That’s why they have become a vital part of the shorter format of the game. In this article, we will look at the players who have excelled at this role of finisher the most. So, here are the five best finishers of all time in ODI cricket history.
Best finishers of all time in ODI cricket history:
#5 Virat Kohli:
Virat Kohli is the only batter to bat on the number three position on this list. But his consistency and zeal to finish the games for India make have earned him the title of Chase Master. Virat averages the most in runs scored in winning cause among players having played at least 75 ODIs.
Virat Kohli averages 76.44 in winning causes in ODIs. Apart from this, he still has the fastest ODI century and the fastest ODI century in a successful chase for India. Kohli could be one of the greatest or maybe even the greatest finisher by the end of his career, but he has a long way to go and thus stays at number five.
#4 Mike Hussey:
Mike Hussey is the reason why Australia claimed several of their seemingly impossible victories. The best example of his finishing skills is his unbeaten 60 off 24 deliveries to get Austalia over the line in the Semi-Final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2010. Hussey pulled a far-fetched 34 runs 12 balls with a ball to spare to guide Australia to the final.
Coming back to ODIs, Mike Hussey averages 48.15 in ODIs and has gone unbeaten in 44 out of his 157 ODI innings. An unwavering mind and a responsible playing style have made him one of the best finishers for Australia. That’s why he earns the 4th spot on this list of best finishers of all time.
#3 AB de Villiers:
No one in this world can enter the field after being away from cricket for the last five months and still thrash the best bowlers in the world at will other than AB de Villiers. AB averages 66.01 and has a strike rate of over 107 in runs scored in winning cause in ODIs.
AB de Villiers has done the unthinkable many times for South Africa. He has finished games on dead batting surfaces, played anchor through tumbling wickets, and saved the games for his team on his own. These things that he still often pulls off are only imaginative to other cricketers in this world, making him unique and deserving of this number three spot.
#2 Michael Bevan:
Michael Bevan began finishing games in an era where the rules equally favoured batters and bowlers, and boundaries used to be longer. He knew when to hit a boundary or run hard to steal singles or doubles. This skill helped him in finishing numerous games for Australia.
Bevan averaged more than 53 and remained not-out 67 times in 196 innings in his ODI career. In winning causes, he averaged 65.24 and remained not-out 53 times in his career, which is the second most after MS Dhoni in about 40 innings less. That’s why he bags the number two spot among the best finishers of all time. Often called the inventor of the finisher role, Michael Bevan set an example for the new generation on how to finish games.
#1 Mahendra Singh Dhoni:
Michael Bevan may have defined the role of a finisher, but it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni who shaped it in the modern era of cricket. Before him, India was good at defending but failed miserably at chasing totals, costing them several high-profile games. Dhoni ignited the trend of chasing totals in the Indian Cricket Team, which they excel at today.
Dhoni used to play a responsible role in his innings, often saving his wicket while keeping the flow of runs intact. He bailed India out from several difficult situations, including the final of the ICC World Cup 2011. It was Dhoni who introduced the trend of attacking at the later stages. He often used to deal in doubles or hit the gaps to maintain the run rate without taking many risks.
MS Dhoni holds the record of remaining not-out for the most number of times in both ODI and T20I cricket. He remained not-out 83 times in ODIs. This stat alone justifies his zeal to finish games and go unbeaten every time he took the field. And this is why he takes the top place in this list as the best finisher of all time.