In the ongoing debate regarding the title of the greatest finisher in world cricket, South Africa’s batting maestro, AB de Villiers, has conclusively settled the speculation. Undoubtedly, one of the game’s most exceptional batter, he represented the Proteas in an impressive 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, and 78 T20Is, amassing a staggering total of over 20,000 international runs.
AB de Villiers ends the great finisher debate
During a recent Q&A session on his 360 show, De Villiers was posed with the question of selecting the ultimate finisher in cricket history. Without hesitation, he bestowed this honour upon the Indian cricket legend, MS Dhoni, regarding him as the preeminent finisher.
“Obviously me (laughs). No, I would say definitely MS Dhoni. I love watching him play,” De Villiers said.
“There’s always been a big debate over who’s the best finisher – me or him? We can settle it now – I say MS is the best finisher. I am very happy to give credit where credit is due. For CSK in the T20s and IPL and for India in all formats of the game – just a fantastic person, just a fantastic man. A great role model for all cricket players around the world,” the 39-year-old added.
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Dhoni’s mastery in the art of finishing
De Villiers showered accolades on the former Indian skipper for his extraordinary achievements, both on the international stage and in the realm of franchise cricket. The Pretoria-born cricketer specifically highlighted iconic moments from Dhoni’s career, notably the straight six in the 2011 World Cup final that secured India’s historic victory. De Villiers underlined that Dhoni’s mastery in finishing transcends all formats of the game.
“The things he has pulled off in the past… I think of that 2011 World Cup – hitting that straight six to win the World Cup. That will be engraved in my mind forever. MS has done it so many times in all formats of the game,” the South African concluded.
Records and feats still in De Villiers’ arsenal
Interestingly, it’s worth noting that De Villiers still holds the record for the fastest ODI hundred (31 balls) and the fastest ODI fifty (16 balls), both records established during the same extraordinary match against West Indies in Johannesburg in January 2015. In that remarkable innings, the right-handed batter smashed an incredible 149 runs off just 44 deliveries, featuring nine fours and a whopping 16 sixes.
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