Since the evolvement of T20 cricket as a mainstream tournament, hitters have been the crux of this format. In just a matter of few years, IPL has almost turned into a mecca for aspirants of this form of cricket. This also brought some shift in the pattern of these hitters.
A laymen of the game might have his horizons narrowed while speaking about the fantastic strikers of the ball but over the course of consecutive seasons, IPL has produced batting greats to widen this assessment of him. Addressed here are the ‘finishers’, who stood by the team responsibly at all times and brought wins for the club in an equally electrifying fashion. Be it at the pressure situations or easy run chases.
This new breed of T20 cricketers supposedly became the main entertainment of IPL and as expected would be the talking points in the upcoming season as well. Have a look-
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Renowned as the one of the greatest finishers of all time, particularly in the limited format of cricket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been an outclass for Chennai SuperKings at numerous occasions in his IPL career. Usually a middle-order batsman, Dhoni in his years in the Chennai club scored almost 3000 runs in 129 matches. His half-centuries in IPL account to 15 and most of these centuries are decorated as match-winning knocks. That time he was the face of a very strong Chennai team and now he has been put on charge of the newbies-Rising Pune Supergiants.
The biggest star of modern cricket, Virat Kohli, whose heroic run chases became the best of the World T20, is the face of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Though Kohli’s starting seasons in IPL could not draw out much of a finisher from him, his match winning knocks in the recently held T20 tournament settled down every stone cold speculation about him. In terms of total IPL performance, Kohli with an average of 32 scored 3000 odd runs that include 19 half-centuries and 4 centuries. With Kohli on board, RCB can always expect a crowd pulling run chase from him.
The fiery all-rounder of Mumbai Indians, Kieron Pollard is amongst the biggest finishers in the history of Indian Premier League. In his 5 year long career in the Mumbai club, Pollard smashed more than 1700 runs while contributing immensely in the club’s title wins. Playing at number 6 or 7, Pollard has been a responsible hitter for the Mumbai Indians not only in the IPL, but also in the Champions League Twenty20. This got justified when in the season of 2014, the Trinidadian all-rounder put up a blistering innings of 20 runs in just 7 balls that brought a spectacular win over Southern Express.
Being a star batsman for three different IPL clubs (Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab), Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell knows how to put in the best against variated bowling attack. With an average of 25, Maxwell scored almost 700 runs in 27 matches for Kings XI last year. Following the Australian’s scintillating stint in World T20, a repetition of his decisive performances is highly expected in the upcoming IPL. Truly a master hitter in T20s, Maxwell is Punjab’s ultimate game finisher.
Again an all-rounder to bring out the best entertainment, Andre Russell is Kolkata Knight Riders’ major hitter in the 2016 IPL edition. The Jamaican clearly knows how to finish the game under pressure. Be it on his homeland or at away turf. The recently held semi-final match against India in World T2O describes the best of his match-winning potentials when under tremendous pressure Russell smashed 43 runs in 20 deliveries and eventually brought the team a memorable win. His current form is blasting and is definitely one of the exciting facts about the coming IPL.