Former Australia batsman Michael Hussey, who was part of the Proteas coaching staff during the 2015 World Cup, has hailed India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the ‘greatest finisher of all time’ in limited-overs cricket. South Africa have had some reasonably good finishers toward the end of innings in ODI and T20I cricket.
- The hard-hitting left-hander holds the loose role of finisher for the Proteas at the moment. He has effectively been tasked with this for a decade, but never quite silenced critics enough. Miller’s most recent gig as finisher was in March’s second ODI against Australia in Potchefstroom, where a 90-run alliance with opening batman Janneman Malan moved the hosts from a precarious position to triumph. Miller’s 37 not out from 29 deliveries also shepherded Malan to a maiden ODI century.
- A bit lower down the batting order than Miller, a fellow left-hander. Phehlukwayo’s prowess as a finisher was announced via a victorious 42 not out from 39 deliveries against the Australians at Kingsmead in Durban four years ago. The hard-hitting Dolphins star has orchestrated several cameos since, including 2019’s unbeaten 38 from just 15 deliveries against the Sri Lankans at Kingsmead.
- The stalwart right-hander spent some time at positions four and five in the order in the ODI team, but predominantly arrived at the crease at sixth or seventh. The same predominantly occurred in T20I cricket. While not numerically the highest of a six-year international career, the 35 not out slapped off 19 deliveries against the Indians in Kanpur in 2015 was arguably his best. It powered the Proteas to a triumphant 300-plus total against an imposing opposition attack in challenging conditions.
- The early years of the tall all-rounder’s international career promised plenty, but have ultimately failed to oblige. In 2016, he smeared the England bowling attack to all corners of the Wanderers in Johannesburg en route to 62 from 38 deliveries. Pursuing a target of 263, South Africa were all but out of the contest at 210-8 before Morris cut loose. He fell shortly before the winning runs, which were eventually struck by tailender Imran Tahir.
- More than a quarter of the veteran all-rounder’s 81 innings in international cricket finished not out. In late 2008 and early 2009, he went for four successive ODI innings – 31 not out, 37 not out, 40 not out and 11 not out – unbeaten. Three of those yielded victory. Morkel, like Behardien, was bumped up and down the order according to circumstance and scenario. He even batted as low as eighth position on a dozen occasions in ODI cricket.
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