It is a thrilling IPL qualifier, and 20 runs are required off the 19th over. Would the batsman be able to carry his team across the finish line? Or would he succumb to his stomach jitters? It is situations like these that make us wonder about who is the best finisher in the IPL? Throughout […]
It is a thrilling IPL qualifier, and 20 runs are required off the 19th over. Would the batsman be able to carry his team across the finish line? Or would he succumb to his stomach jitters? It is situations like these that make us wonder about who is the best finisher in the IPL?
Throughout 13 years of its glorious history, the Indian Premier League has given us countless memorable moments. From Dhoni’s classic last-over finish back in 2010 that allowed CSK to qualify for the playoffs to AB de Villiers iconic maximum off the third-last delivery that led RCB to victory against the Rajasthan Royals in 2019, each new edition is jam-packed with dramatic moments.
With several new players making their way into the 14th season of the IPL, such as Dawid Malan and Kyle Jamieson, one might think who is the best finisher in the IPL amongst these power hitters? Here is a list of the top finishers of the Indian Premier League who’ve been shortlisted on the basis of their all-time strike rate and runs in the death overs (15-19):
Who is the best finisher in the IPL?
1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni- Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Who is the best finisher in the IPL? The first name that pops up to this question is the legendary MS Dhoni!
From finishing India’s dream run of the 2011 World Cup with a six to taking his IPL franchise, the CSK, across the finish line in numerous encounters, he is well known for his ability to nail run-chases in the final overs. In all the death overs he has faced in his IPL career, he has amassed a staggering 2,303 runs at a strike rate of 189.1.
The knock that showcased his ability to finish run chases was against Punjab Kings in 2016. He was up against the spin maestro, Axar Patel, who was all set to defend 23 runs in the last over. By hitting two maximums and a four in the first five deliveries, the equation was reduced to 6 runs off the last ball (an extra was conceded by Axar Patel).
With his iconic helicopter shot, he smashed a monstrous six to win the match for Rising Pune Supergiants! Hence, one can find the answer to who is the best finisher in the IPL in MS Dhoni.
2. Kieron Pollard- Mumbai Indians (MI)
Hands down, Kieron Pollard is amongst the best T20 players of all time. His destructive batting style remains unparalleled, and his ability to electrify the innings towards the end makes him amongst the top finishers of the Indian Premier League.
In the death overs, the right-handed Trinidadian cricketer has scored 1,782 runs. With a normal strike rate of 149.87 that levels up to 185.4 towards the end, he has given numerous match-winning finishing performances in the last few overs that has enabled the Mumbai Indians to win numerous no-win encounters.
His match-winning finish against the Orange Army (SRH) back in 2013 is a good example of his ability. He scored an unbeaten 66 from 27 deliveries at a time when MI was down and out from the chase. He finished the innings for Mumbai with a couple of sixes, taking them home with a 7-wicket victory!
3. Ab de Villiers- Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Ab de Villiers is renowned as Mr. 360 for a reason. He can pull off maximums from any angle, and on his heyday, he can become a bowler’s nightmare. When all the chips are down but ABD is on the crease, the chase is always in the hands of RCB. With such a shining reputation, there’s no wonder why he’s known as a classic finisher.
In the death overs, de Villiers has scored 1,254 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of 233.1. Moreover, with 235 sixes, he has also smashed the 2nd most sixes in IPL history.
A good example of his finishing ability is his 90-run knock against the Delhi Capitals in 2018. RCB had a 175-run chase ahead of them, but they were never really settled into it. Once de Villiers came at the crease, he smashed a dozen boundaries to reduce the chase to three runs from thirteen balls. With a dashing four across the ground, he finished the game for RCB in style!
With such phenomenal performances and records, he is the perfect addition to our list of ‘who is the best finisher in the IPL’!
4. Andre Russel- Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
The two-time MVP winner has made his way on to our list because of his potential to cripple any bowling lineup. He has the highest strike rate in IPL (182.33), and with an average of nearly 30, he has proved to be instrumental for KKR in the death overs. He has scored a total of 665 runs in 38 innings at the death at a tremendous strike rate of 218.
The best instance of Andre Russel finishing the innings was against RCB when KKR was given a target of 206. What initially started as an easy chase was disrupted in between by a consistent fall of wickets. When Russel came on to bat, KKR needed 53 from 18 and then started the phenomenal ‘Russel’ hammering.
Andre Russel scored 48 runs from 13 balls, whisking the match away from RCB right from under their noses towards the end!
5. Hardik Pandya- Mumbai Indians (MI)
One of the best answers to who is the best finisher in the IPL can be found in Hardik Pandya. He might not look as brawny as Kieron Pollard or Andre Russel, but his ability to smash the ball in the death makes him stand equal to these legends. Signed by the Mumbai Indians in 2015, he has given plenty of remarkable finishes, single-handedly winning matches for the Mumbai Indians.
The 27-year-old all rounder has racked up 836 runs at the death at a stunning strike rate of 192.2. His first iconic finish that earned him praise was against the Chennai Super Kings in 2015 when the men in blue needed 30 runs from two overs. Hardik Pandya came in and wreaked havoc in the 18th and 19th over, scoring 21 runs from only 8 balls.
6. Ben Stokes- Rajasthan Royals (RR)
There is not one but several instances where Ben Stokes has proved his ability to finish off the game in style. With two IPL centuries to his name, he has scored a total of 920 runs in 42 matches at a strike rate of 135.09.
He portrayed his potential to finish off matches in the 13th edition of the IPL against the Mumbai Indians. Rajasthan was given a huge total of 195, but with the loss of two top-order batsmen within the batting powerplay, their chances of pulling off the chase were bleak. This is where Ben Stokes stepped in. By scoring an unbeaten 107 from 60 balls, he finished the chase within 18.2 overs with a dashing four through deep midwicket.
7. Rishabh Pant- Delhi Capitals (DC)
With his recent hot-form in international cricket, Rishabh Pant is all set to lead the Delhi Capitals in the upcoming season of the IPL. The New Delhi southpaw is DC’s most successful finisher, having scored 333 runs in 141 balls at a tremendous strike rate of 236.17.
One of the finest innings of Rishabh Pant was against Gujarat Lions in 2017 when DC was given a mammoth total of 208. He scored 97 from 43 balls, with the knock consisting of nine sixes and six fours.
SC Views: So, who is the Best Finisher in the IPL?
The answer to who is the best finisher in the IPL does not lie in a single player. The Indian Premier League is a platform where talent meets opportunity, and it’s not fair to endow the title of best finisher to a single player. But if we were to name them individually, the seven players mentioned above are most probably the best finishers of the IPL!