IPL 2014 May 17, 2014

Six & not out: the IPL's best finishers

How MS Dhoni and AB de Villiers' IPL numbers stack up to show they are the best in finishing business
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MS Dhoni the finisher is now considered among the game's best, be it in T20s or ODIs. His teams' supporters have come to not just hope, but almost expect Dhoni to take the side to victory when he is batting in a chase. Here we look at Dhoni's finishing prowess in the IPL. Does he deserve all the accolades he gets or are there other batsmen, like AB de Villiers, who are being slighted in the process?

Below is a list of batsmen who have been there at the end of successful chases the most number of times for their respective IPL teams. (The statistics don't account for the vagaries of whether the concerned batsman came in with only a handful of easy runs to be knocked off, and so the chaff will have to be separated via a manual, qualitative assessment.)

Batsmen who have remained not-out at the end of a successful IPL chase
Batsman Innings Runs High score Strike rate 50+ scores 4s 6s
LRPL Taylor 11 243 81* 149.07 1 16 14
MS Dhoni 10 289 67* 156.21 2 23 12
AB de Villiers 10 419 89* 146.50 3 34 22
G Gambhir 10 539 75* 125.34 7 60 3
RA Jadeja 10 193 38* 178.70 0 14 11
DPMD Jayawardene 10 368 110* 139.92 3 42 7
JH Kallis 10 500 89* 123.15 5 47 13

From the table we can see that Ross Taylor is the only player to have been in such situations more often than Dhoni. Taylor sitting on top of the list may surprise a few because he has a limited array of shots and is not a player particularly well known for his temperament. Of Taylor's 11 innings, a couple are single-figure scores - 2 not out and 9 not out (13b) - and there is also an 18-ball 13. None of these innings can be said to have tested his qualities as a finisher.

There are also a clutch of batsmen who, like Dhoni, have finished not out 10 times at the end of a successful chase. Among these, Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir stand out because of the large number of 50+ scores they have made in order to take their team over the finish line. Creditable no doubt, but the relatively low strike rates for both indicate that, more often than not, they were probably batting in low-pressure situations. Only Ravindra Jadeja has a higher strike rate than Dhoni, but he regularly walks in when there is not much left to do (evidenced by the fact that he has no fifties and his 10 innings includes three single-digit scores), or it is just a big shot or two needed at most.

AB de Villiers and Dhoni, on the other hand, have borne the weight of their respective teams on their shoulders. Both de Villiers and Dhoni have no single-figure scores in their ten innings, and have, on an average, had to score at a very high strike rate - 149 and 156 respectively.

Another of Dhoni's signature moves is taking the game into the last over and spanking a few sixes right at the end. The image of him hitting a six in the last over and calmly walking away with a souvenir stump in hand has now become common in world cricket. The table below lists the batsmen who have hit the most number of sixes in the 20th over of an IPL chase.

Most sixes by a batsman in the 20th over of an IPL chase
Batsman Innings 4s 6s Runs Balls Strike rate
MS Dhoni 12 8 8 99 34 291.17
M Morkel 10 4 5 60 28 214.17
KA Pollard 8 4 5 51 17 300.00
RG Sharma 5 3 5 52 18 288.83
Harbhajan Singh 12 2 4 39 23 169.50

Dhoni heads this list by a long way. All of Dhoni's last-over sixes in chases have come when more than 10 runs have been required off the last over. Only on one instance did Dhoni end up on the losing side despite hitting a last-over six - in the IPL 2013 final, when Super Kings need 42 runs to win off the last over. Dhoni's success is further highlighted by the fact that all but two of the sixes hit by Morne Morkel and Harbhajan Singh have come in losses; the two victories effected by Morkel and Harbhajan were when ten runs or less were required off the last over. Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma have had their days in the sun, but Dhoni has clearly done it more often.

AB de Villiers is not one to take it late and has hit only two such 20th-over sixes. However, an interesting fact is that AB de Villiers has hit 11 sixes in the 18th and 19th overs of a chase - the most by any batsmen. Dhoni has only hit six sixes during this period - putting him only tenth-highest among the six-hitters in these overs while chasing. Clearly both players have differing strategies, but the merits do not need questioning as both methods seem to be equally effective.

Dhoni is not without his critics - there are some who are of the view that Dhoni is a glory hunter who pushes game too deep even when it could have been taken to its logical conclusion much earlier. While this criticism does not always seem unreasonable, Dhoni's explanation is that the deeper you go into a match, the more it becomes a question of who will hold his nerve better - the batsman or the bowler? In these one-on-one situations, Dhoni backs himself to come up trumps against the bowler every time.

Bishen Jeswant is a stats sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 22, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    MSD is da best in all formats for finishing da game becoz he bats with a sensible head and plays according to the situation....

  • fifth_ump on May 20, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    While this analysis is helpful to shortlist candidates, it will neither tell, nor must not be used, for purposes of finding better finishers. A few other dimensions will be useful: - number of times these shortlisted guys remained not out till the end AND lost a close game. - number of times these shortlisted guys got out in the ending stages of a chase AND lost the game. (The above will help eliminate non deserving candidates) - a game is a game, but big match finishers must be given extra points for the sheer pressure they withstand to deliver.

  • xtrafalgarx on May 20, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    Finishing is overrated. Smashing a couple of sixes at the end of an Innings is now commonplace, nothing special, a lot of people can do it, we saw Faulkner do it the other day.

  • ladycricfan on May 19, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    @freedomofspeech2, you call Dhoni not a match winner. Then How come he has won so many trophies. Non other Indian captains have any trophies except Dev, who has one,WC. How many trophies AB has won to show for his match winning abilities, specially with the talented team like SA? Dhoni's captaincy skill alone is enough to win matches. Add to that his wicket keeping and finishing matches in pressure situations he is incomparable.

  • freedomofspeech2 on May 19, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    ABD is not a finisher..He is a top class batsman who can take any bowlers to the cleaners. He can score wonderfully in any formats, can play all the shots in the book and also can improvise new shots... He scores at very quick pace and gets out sometimes so that batsman like Dhoni can take time and score off the last over.

    Dhoni is a good finisher but not a match winner...He cannot win when the target set is a bit high..He can chase any run a ball targets not if the target is very high. He gave up against Punjab X1 when chasing 230 plus target.... I would have backed ABD to go for the target.... I do not understand the role of finisher...If you can score a 20ball 23 or something like that in the last overs and win the match...Yes Dhoni is the best.. I can bet on Dhoni 7 out of 10 times to win the match...But you need to score a target of 200plus in 20 overs...or 60runs to get in 25 or 30 plus balls...Dhoni backs out.I would bet my money on somebody like ABD to do that.

  • ladycricfan on May 19, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    At the start of his international career, Dhoni used to play in Sehwag's mode. See the ball, hit the ball style. But through experience he understood that that style doesn't necessarily win you games. He started valuing his wicket. Pacing the innings and batting till deep will win you more games than carefree batting. He evolved as a better cricketer. Everybody gets better with experience. But in Dhoni's case he completely changed the way he approached the game. Hence all the trophies.

  • ladycricfan on May 19, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Definition of finisher means you bat till the end and win the games. Not to leave it to others to finish it. To do that you have to play percentage shots. Dhoni does that vey often. AB goes for his shots and and might lose his wickets in the process, as he did in yesterday's match. Of course his cameo won the game for RCB and deserved MOM but he did not finish the game. Both their methods are equally valuable for the teams. But to call one a finisher there is no one better than Dhoni.

  • on May 19, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    If AB plays countinuisly he will finish the match before 20th over (By 18th or 19th over). .... But if Dhoni .....he will take it up to the 20th over and will finish it at the end....but Dhoni will never give a chance to opponent to come back..thats the different between AB & Dhoni....if Dhoni is there... more than 90% of the times he will win the match... AB is technically more sound than dhoni, but Dhoni is ahead of AB Devilliers in finishing stages at the moment.. ..we will see in the future.... but both of them are fantastic cricketers...any true cricket fan will love both of there talent....

  • imtiazjaleel on May 19, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    Dhoni creates fear among the bowlers and they often does mistakes at the end. He is very clever in choosing the right bowlers to hit. Anyhow, he has the ability to hit any bowler out of the park.

  • on May 19, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    ABD is under the same constant scrutiny now as Sachin Tendulkar used to be. He is amazing talent and has proven himself in all formats. Ofcourse, he will have bad days like Tendulkar used to have, but like Tendulkar in the past ABD is most talked about cricketer and a benchmark for good reason.

  • on May 22, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    MSD is da best in all formats for finishing da game becoz he bats with a sensible head and plays according to the situation....

  • fifth_ump on May 20, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    While this analysis is helpful to shortlist candidates, it will neither tell, nor must not be used, for purposes of finding better finishers. A few other dimensions will be useful: - number of times these shortlisted guys remained not out till the end AND lost a close game. - number of times these shortlisted guys got out in the ending stages of a chase AND lost the game. (The above will help eliminate non deserving candidates) - a game is a game, but big match finishers must be given extra points for the sheer pressure they withstand to deliver.

  • xtrafalgarx on May 20, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    Finishing is overrated. Smashing a couple of sixes at the end of an Innings is now commonplace, nothing special, a lot of people can do it, we saw Faulkner do it the other day.

  • ladycricfan on May 19, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    @freedomofspeech2, you call Dhoni not a match winner. Then How come he has won so many trophies. Non other Indian captains have any trophies except Dev, who has one,WC. How many trophies AB has won to show for his match winning abilities, specially with the talented team like SA? Dhoni's captaincy skill alone is enough to win matches. Add to that his wicket keeping and finishing matches in pressure situations he is incomparable.

  • freedomofspeech2 on May 19, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    ABD is not a finisher..He is a top class batsman who can take any bowlers to the cleaners. He can score wonderfully in any formats, can play all the shots in the book and also can improvise new shots... He scores at very quick pace and gets out sometimes so that batsman like Dhoni can take time and score off the last over.

    Dhoni is a good finisher but not a match winner...He cannot win when the target set is a bit high..He can chase any run a ball targets not if the target is very high. He gave up against Punjab X1 when chasing 230 plus target.... I would have backed ABD to go for the target.... I do not understand the role of finisher...If you can score a 20ball 23 or something like that in the last overs and win the match...Yes Dhoni is the best.. I can bet on Dhoni 7 out of 10 times to win the match...But you need to score a target of 200plus in 20 overs...or 60runs to get in 25 or 30 plus balls...Dhoni backs out.I would bet my money on somebody like ABD to do that.

  • ladycricfan on May 19, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    At the start of his international career, Dhoni used to play in Sehwag's mode. See the ball, hit the ball style. But through experience he understood that that style doesn't necessarily win you games. He started valuing his wicket. Pacing the innings and batting till deep will win you more games than carefree batting. He evolved as a better cricketer. Everybody gets better with experience. But in Dhoni's case he completely changed the way he approached the game. Hence all the trophies.

  • ladycricfan on May 19, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Definition of finisher means you bat till the end and win the games. Not to leave it to others to finish it. To do that you have to play percentage shots. Dhoni does that vey often. AB goes for his shots and and might lose his wickets in the process, as he did in yesterday's match. Of course his cameo won the game for RCB and deserved MOM but he did not finish the game. Both their methods are equally valuable for the teams. But to call one a finisher there is no one better than Dhoni.

  • on May 19, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    If AB plays countinuisly he will finish the match before 20th over (By 18th or 19th over). .... But if Dhoni .....he will take it up to the 20th over and will finish it at the end....but Dhoni will never give a chance to opponent to come back..thats the different between AB & Dhoni....if Dhoni is there... more than 90% of the times he will win the match... AB is technically more sound than dhoni, but Dhoni is ahead of AB Devilliers in finishing stages at the moment.. ..we will see in the future.... but both of them are fantastic cricketers...any true cricket fan will love both of there talent....

  • imtiazjaleel on May 19, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    Dhoni creates fear among the bowlers and they often does mistakes at the end. He is very clever in choosing the right bowlers to hit. Anyhow, he has the ability to hit any bowler out of the park.

  • on May 19, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    ABD is under the same constant scrutiny now as Sachin Tendulkar used to be. He is amazing talent and has proven himself in all formats. Ofcourse, he will have bad days like Tendulkar used to have, but like Tendulkar in the past ABD is most talked about cricketer and a benchmark for good reason.

  • on May 19, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    ABD is a complete player with no. of shots in final crucial overs. He wil target any blower. He wants to end in penalimate over. On d otherhand, MSD fully rely on tatics. Although He too capable of targeting any blower, he oftenly wil target weak blowers and took match to last bal. Comparatively MSD s more successful though weaker.Thus they r defining their places in team.(ABD-3rd,MSD-6th)

  • on May 19, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    clearly msd is a better finisher . he has finished the game many times for his side

  • on May 19, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    @Ashish KC you are right. In the end overs, ABD becomes predictable. His favorite spot is over square leg and he moves a little right which allows the bowler to aim at the stumps and yesterday CSK's spinners were little smart in bowling to him though couple of them went for six.

    As far as MSD, he keeps his mind blank. he calculates how much to score in these overs and then calculates how much is enough to score in final overs. The good thing about Dhoni he's not pre-meditated. If you bowl to his legs, he will smash you over long on. If you bowl little wide off stump, it will sail over point region. Therefore, he does not allow the bowler to come at him, rather he waits for them to commit mistake. So, please dont talk about Dhoni. Best finisher in current erna. He's class.

    @looloogun superbly pointed out. Yuvraj and Kaif were awesome once for India. Under tense situations, if Kaif and Yuvraj stays, any target was acheivable. Both were brilliant in point region. Missing those days lot

  • Mad_Hamish on May 19, 2014, 3:19 GMT

    A big issue here is that we're only looking at cases where the chase was successful and they've been not out at the end. How often has the player had a chance to finish the match and failed to do so? If somebody hits 50 from 25 (say) and gets out leaving an easy chase have they done a worse job than somebody who makes 55 from 30 and stays unbeaten? I'll say that Dhoni's method also has the risk that you might get stuck down the bowler's end for the last over and often you only need the big hits in the last over because you've been slow until then.

  • RoyRulez on May 19, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    The problem with AB is that no longer a cricketer. He has become a bechmark against whom others are measured. In IPL (as a finisher) you compare Dhoni with him, in ODIs, you compare Kohli and Amla with him, in test matches, you compare Clarke and Sanga with him!!!

    He may not clearly come up as the best in all the comparisons but if someone can be so versatile, what more do you ask for?

  • n9exorcist on May 19, 2014, 2:20 GMT

    Undoubtedly it's MSD. His technique of taking the game to the end overs and creating his team of more possibilities to win the game, is certainly a appreciable one, though there might be critics in it. The fact is utilizing to bat all those 6-8 remaining balls in the end, and trying to connect to a maximum has a lot of advantage, than going for max in the 19th over and has highest chances of giving up the wickets. Considering the fact, the bowler will definitely crack out of the pressure and releases one or two loose balls in his final over and dhoni on other hand seize the opportunity to connect it to the maximum. This is really a strong mind game played by the skipper by keeping all the temperaments low and thus allowing the opposition without settling down until the end.

  • Jaganplus on May 18, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    I am not convinced that this analysis catches all the scenarios. E.g. in the CSK - RCB match today, AB turned the tide (hence mom) in last few overs but got out. To me that is as good as finishing when you leave a easy path for others. Also this analysis shows, if I am reading it right AB has way more runs for equal # of wins (10) than Dhoni, but Dhoni has marginally better run rate.

    Another scenario- You also need to look at the converse- i.e. How many times Dhoni and AB were there in last few overs and couldn't get over the line. I.e. the failure rate vs success rate.

    The second table of 'most # of 6's in successful chase- 20th over', while good for public consumption, is can't be used a an indicator.

  • Zeus7 on May 18, 2014, 18:52 GMT

    Dhoni is more or less a one trick pony. He only knows one thing, finishing a tight game. Mind you it's an amazing thing. ABD is probably as good as Dhoni in that respect. I would say 95% of what Dhoni does in late overs, ABD can do same. But Dhoni can't even do 50% of what ABD does in the middle overs.

  • D-Coach on May 18, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    As a batsman or player I love to say Albi / Warner / Shewag / Yuvi are much better than Dhoni as Dhoni can not hit against the best bowlers in the world as consistently like others. He is best to showcase things in and out of cricket but with due respect to his temperament.

  • on May 18, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    ABD is no doubt most complete batsman but when it matters he never delivered leave ipl .... and who ever question MSD's technique or funda y they don't give a try . in my opinion ABD is overrated as a finsiher he's no where near MSD

  • Samar_Singh on May 18, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    No doubt ABD is the best in all condition and in all situation. He has all array of shots even for the dipping yorkers. Dhoni is a flat tracker.

  • SHEKHAR-reddy on May 18, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    i have an example. in the final of t20 world cup when malinga and co were firing the yorkers, what did/ could dhoni and virat do?nothing. just imagine devilliers in that situation bringing out the reverses and scoops. that makes him the best of his generation.

  • looloogun on May 18, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    i dont think AB is a great finisher , he is a free flowing batsman with all the shots possible .comes in the catogory of a viv ,lara ,tendulkar,kp ,gayle etc whereas dhoni is a great finisher may be the best comes under the beven ,symo catogory the smart players .inzi had this habit of pulling tough victory chases like 1991 wc ,350 odd chase agaiinst ind etc . currently duminy looks a perfect smart finisher .yuvi is not a bad finisher either replaced robin singh for india he and kaif were brillient once for india .

  • Cric_Tic on May 18, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    MSD is alws better than AB. He has often come when the team is struggling and also there is slim chance of win.

  • MeanderMealie on May 18, 2014, 10:32 GMT

    Dhoni's success is invariably related to all the batsmen that come to bat before him. He usually gives lame excuses when top order is not firing. On the other hand, AB is an institution in himself. AB is much more dignified in his approach & backs his players. Even if his team is not performing or misfires, AB can be counted to turn the tide, whereas Dhoni is only concerned with staying not out.

    The term 'Finisher' can be given to anybody who finishes the game in style, but, in totality, finisher is someone who knows when to stop, when to crawl, when to walk, when to run, & when to blast off. This requires a hell lot of Technique, Temperament, Composure but most importantly, Integrity. Dhoni is far behind AB

    Dhoni may feel sorry, but this one undoubtedly goes to AB de Villiers.

    AB de Villiers is most probably the finest finisher of modern cricket. No Doubt.

  • on May 18, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    dhoni - best finisher ever..

  • on May 18, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    I think MSD is the best finisher in the world cricket.

  • creebo777 on May 18, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    Only reason abdv got out to Johnson is because he ran out of partners, and got out to slower balls ..played Johnson with ease, pointing vs abdv ? Atleast abdv can play on the sub continent

  • on May 18, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    It's ABD without any doubt what so ever.

    ABD plays according to the situation and can shift gears at such levels that Dhoni or any other players doesn't even have.

    No doubt Dhoni has done it many times but he is not upto the level and brilliance of ABD. He's the best batsman in the world in all format and everyone who knows Cricket well will agree with him the best batsman in the world.

    It's ABD all the way. Sorry dhoni fans but He's not upto the genius level of ABD.

  • on May 18, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    @Zeus7..i already admitted that AB is an great test player....you should also count the fact that MSD bats way down the order...and that can't help you when you suppose to bat with tailenders particularly in test matches...you are saying dhoni is just a finisher in a sarcastic way...but when you bat at no6,7 you can't build the innings you can only get to finish the innings....that's what dhoni is best at...and no one else can come close when it comes to finishing......i can say many players like kohli,gambhir,williamson,duminy,sangakkara,mahela,trott,clarke...(and goes on and on) who can build the innings just like AB can....but when it comes to finishing the game....it is an sheer talent very few players who can get close to dhoni when it comes to play under pressure........

  • xtrafalgarx on May 18, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    @Anshu Anand: The Australian's didn't care for stats either. Ponting batted at no.3 and would also have gladly given up hundreds for the cause of the team. Kallis has never been a dominant batter, that's why i named him last. But Ponting took the heat at no.3 and took on bowlers around the world with his hook shot from ball 1. Ponting was much much more destructive that ABD in his hay day and he averaged 72 for 5 years. He has scored a hundre in each innings three times in is career, more than anyone else, and the fact that ABD always gets out in the 90's shows that his mental aptitude isn't good enough.

    People say ABD was able to 'handle' Johnson in the SA tests, but MJ still got him out FOUR TIMES in that series and he only scored 1 hundred, Warner scored 3 including 2 in 1 innings. ABD is Overrated.

  • on May 18, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    By far ABD is the best batsman in the world. He plays according to the situation builds the innings if needed and finishes in style with his innovative shots. Dhoni comes to bat very late while team needing 20 odd runs in 15 deliveries which can be done by many. Real test for Dhoni comes when he has finish games requiring more than 60 runs at runrate of 12:-)

  • Htc-Baseball on May 18, 2014, 8:51 GMT

    its all about abd and yuvi, if these two stand together , CSKs mediocre bowling wont stand a chance, hope RCB doesn't include Aaron and dinda

  • My Name is Red on May 18, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    Where is Dhoni the international T20 finisher? Smashing sixes off second rate overawed domestic bowlers in IPL is no big deal which is what MSD is good at...but is that his legacy? What about international T20 ? How many games has Dhoni finished for India? We went three straight tourneys without going past the group stage where was he?

  • Zeus7 on May 18, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    @ Ravi Teja Topalle: "MSD is slightly lagging at test level.."

    You are joking right?? Otherwise, I see a huge difference of 13 in avg. in test matches for Dhoni and AB. Let's not forget 19 vs 6 century in favor of AB.

  • Zeus7 on May 18, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    LOL!

    The stats are clear here. Dhoni is just a finisher (a very good one), the number of runs show that AB is a finisher *and* also helps to build an innings. Dhoni comes late just to show a few finishing touches. The innings are built by lot of other batsmen above him. AB does both, he build innings and also finishes matches.

  • on May 18, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    Has dhoni ever payed like Virat does it in international, which is doing almost impossible for others, like chasing 320+ scores in 36overs. I agree one need to bat till end and take team to victory. People are forgetting once virat or AB play their role of bringing, then only dhoni will be able to play as finisher. So guys credit should be given for playing respective roles played. Tendulkar's, virats's, AB's bring attack to bowlers and destroy their confidence, which will help finishers to play their game.

  • on May 18, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    dhoni is the best! :D

  • westindiesupporter on May 18, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    In all forms of cricket especially in t20s, the best finisher is none other than Darren Sammy.

  • Nadeem1976 on May 18, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    Best Finisher does not mean crossing the finish line but cross it with Bang and also in big big matches under extreme pressure. Check Dhoni's amazing ability to play with easy in pressure big matches and 90% winning those big matches. Dhoni is IMPACT player. AB is best batsman today on planet earth but he is not MSD. MSD is best of all time when it comes to Finishers.

  • neo-galactico on May 18, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    Uhm... AB is not a finisher, he's never been a finisher. He's the best batsman in the world though and easily the most adaptable. Therefore, Dhoni wins this contest by default.

  • Thenain on May 18, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    Leave aside past records; in this tournament, James Faulkner has been the best finisher of the game

  • ladycricfan on May 18, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    Ab bats down the order. But he finishes the games through his array of brilliant innovative shots he can hit all around the park. Dhoni, the best finisher the world has ever produced, finishes the games with his strategy. He tries to bat as many balls as possible, thus taking the match to the last over,. By doing so he and his partner accumulate runs without taking undue risks and eataway the target. Gives respect to Narines, Steyns and Malingas of the world who usually bowl the 17 the and 19 th over and is happy to score run a ball or even satisfied with less than that. And when it comes to the pressure cooker of 20th over, his cool calm demeanour wins the games against a nervous bowler, every time.

  • YogifromNY on May 18, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    Dhoni is definitely the better of the two, imo. His strategy of taking the game till the last over can backfire if he gets out by over 19, but it seems to work for him. He is right, by the 20th over and with Dhoni facing him, the bowler's more on edge than MSD is and Dhoni usually wins. Whataplayer!

  • on May 18, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    i can say number of classical finishers played at international level by MSD.....dhoni is untouchable at that.....but when it comes AB...i can't remember even few finisher role innings played by AB while chasing at international level.....anyone can remind me if any.....but MSD is best player under pressure....there should be no comparision between these two.....AB is a greate player even at test level...MSD is slightly lagging at test level.....

  • on May 18, 2014, 5:30 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx - In Judging AB de villiers, You cannot look at the stats. 100's he does not care for much. I think he has gotten out in the 90's more number of times than any other batsmen you mentioned in the list. He does not care for the stats unlike many.

    Other thing you need to take into account is the way he dominates great bowlers when he is on song. I don't believe any of the other greats you mentioned did that. For example, in the recent test series against Australia, he was the only batsmen who was comfortable against Mitchell Johnson. I do not remember Kallis dominating attacks even when he was on song. He is not overrated, ABD is underrated.

  • Cricket_Is_Oxygen on May 18, 2014, 5:30 GMT

    The Only disadvantage with Dhoni is that he cannot win games when the run rate creeps up more than 15.. When Dhoni is in that situation he needs a another striker at the other end.. But ABD can win these games single-handedly.. Credit must be be given to his talent.. But when it comes to temperament no one can beat MSD in the world he is the best..No situation fazes him.. #MSD is the best when it comes to finishing..

  • Cricket_Is_Oxygen on May 18, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    Iam pretty amused with the fact that you people consider ABD better than Dhoni as a finisher.I just want to know how many times you people have seen ABD finish off games for SA.Ofcourse he is a wonderful talent.But imagine Dhoni in a finish inevitably he wins the match.. How many times India have lost by a small margin before Dhoni.But after Dhoni it has reduced drastically.He backs himself to win those close finishes.In this IPL RCB lost the match against KKR.Eventhough Yuvi was the catalyst for the loss when ABD came out to bat RCB required just around run a ball.but it was ABD who made a mess of it(Ofcourse a splendid catch by Chris Lynn).Imagine Dhoni in the same match he would have never allowed the situation to get worse.Ofcourse he would have taken it to the last over but until he finishes it off ther is no problem with that strategy.ABD finishes games only at the IPL that too only at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.He could have finished off games at other venues but thats rare.

  • on May 18, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    i can say countless number of classical finishing moments finished by dhoni at international level....but when it comes to AB..he is a failure as a finisher at international level...i can't remember even few successful finisher innings played by AB while chasing....any one can remind me if any....but MSD is the best player under pressure

  • xtrafalgarx on May 18, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    Can't believe the reputation AB de Villiers has before him. He good, but i don't think he is anywhere near as good as he is made out to be. He has nearly played a 100 tests and only has 19 hundreds. Guys Like Ponting, Hayden, Tendulkar had around THIRTY test hundreds by that time and also averaged 55+ in Ponting/Tendulkars/Kallis case.

    He is no where near these great players, he is overrated.

  • Alexk400 on May 18, 2014, 2:21 GMT

    Even if dhoni gets out , his team will pass the line. better stat is who has better win loss ratio with chasing with +40 runs.

  • Ammo666 on May 17, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    Of course AB De Villiers with no question at all...he is really prominent, a GEM of a cricketer & even can call him a legend also! look at his elegance & techniques.. can't even compare with Dhoni..but not saying Dhoni is bad but AB is AB!

  • on May 17, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    ab is the best.. in all prospective

  • on May 17, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    Im a bit confused here... You stated that "Dhoni's success is further highlighted by the fact that all but two of the sixes hit by the others - Morne Morkel and Harbhajan Singh - have come in losses; the two victories effected by Morkel and Harbhajan were when ten runs or less were required off the last over." But as far as I remember, Rohit Sharma hit 24 runs [4nb,1lb,1,6,2,4,6] when 21 was required of the last over of the Deccan Chargers Innings against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 16, 2009, at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, in IPL 2009. And again in the 5th Edition of the IPL in 2012, Rohit hit 2 sixes in the last over for Mumbai Indians to complete the chase against Deccan Chargers on Monday, 9th April, 2012. So all in all, Rohit Sharma hit atleast 4 sixes in the 20th over of a chase in a winning cause. Im a bit confused because this contradicts your statement. So it would be nice if you could clear my confusion. :)

  • on May 17, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    AB is undoubtedly the best batsman in the current times but when it comes to chasing a target there are times when he gives his wicket cheaply, and this is where Dhoni stands out to be unique in the business. He never ever gives away his wicket going for an unnecessary shot while chasing. His calmness puts additional pressure on the fielding side and pressure as always is a very small thing to effect Dhoni's game and so, he finishes almost every single time the team required.

  • osteo on May 17, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    Big marigin of runs with small no of balls ab is better than dhoni. Run a ball games and little higher than that dhoni is better. But dhoni needs partnership but ab can donebit in single handley. In consistent form dhoni is best among others

  • Cricpendulus on May 17, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    I'd like to believe Dhoni indeed deliberately pushes it to the last over for he knows not many can her the nerves associated with that kind of high-pressure situation ... Rocky Balboa'esque ...

  • siddhartha87 on May 17, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    AB is spectacular,when he is on song he is unstoppable.But when it comes to finishing the things consistently,no one can beat Dhoni

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  • siddhartha87 on May 17, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    AB is spectacular,when he is on song he is unstoppable.But when it comes to finishing the things consistently,no one can beat Dhoni

  • Cricpendulus on May 17, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    I'd like to believe Dhoni indeed deliberately pushes it to the last over for he knows not many can her the nerves associated with that kind of high-pressure situation ... Rocky Balboa'esque ...

  • osteo on May 17, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    Big marigin of runs with small no of balls ab is better than dhoni. Run a ball games and little higher than that dhoni is better. But dhoni needs partnership but ab can donebit in single handley. In consistent form dhoni is best among others

  • on May 17, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    AB is undoubtedly the best batsman in the current times but when it comes to chasing a target there are times when he gives his wicket cheaply, and this is where Dhoni stands out to be unique in the business. He never ever gives away his wicket going for an unnecessary shot while chasing. His calmness puts additional pressure on the fielding side and pressure as always is a very small thing to effect Dhoni's game and so, he finishes almost every single time the team required.

  • on May 17, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    Im a bit confused here... You stated that "Dhoni's success is further highlighted by the fact that all but two of the sixes hit by the others - Morne Morkel and Harbhajan Singh - have come in losses; the two victories effected by Morkel and Harbhajan were when ten runs or less were required off the last over." But as far as I remember, Rohit Sharma hit 24 runs [4nb,1lb,1,6,2,4,6] when 21 was required of the last over of the Deccan Chargers Innings against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 16, 2009, at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, in IPL 2009. And again in the 5th Edition of the IPL in 2012, Rohit hit 2 sixes in the last over for Mumbai Indians to complete the chase against Deccan Chargers on Monday, 9th April, 2012. So all in all, Rohit Sharma hit atleast 4 sixes in the 20th over of a chase in a winning cause. Im a bit confused because this contradicts your statement. So it would be nice if you could clear my confusion. :)

  • on May 17, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    ab is the best.. in all prospective

  • Ammo666 on May 17, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    Of course AB De Villiers with no question at all...he is really prominent, a GEM of a cricketer & even can call him a legend also! look at his elegance & techniques.. can't even compare with Dhoni..but not saying Dhoni is bad but AB is AB!

  • Alexk400 on May 18, 2014, 2:21 GMT

    Even if dhoni gets out , his team will pass the line. better stat is who has better win loss ratio with chasing with +40 runs.

  • xtrafalgarx on May 18, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    Can't believe the reputation AB de Villiers has before him. He good, but i don't think he is anywhere near as good as he is made out to be. He has nearly played a 100 tests and only has 19 hundreds. Guys Like Ponting, Hayden, Tendulkar had around THIRTY test hundreds by that time and also averaged 55+ in Ponting/Tendulkars/Kallis case.

    He is no where near these great players, he is overrated.

  • on May 18, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    i can say countless number of classical finishing moments finished by dhoni at international level....but when it comes to AB..he is a failure as a finisher at international level...i can't remember even few successful finisher innings played by AB while chasing....any one can remind me if any....but MSD is the best player under pressure