Kris Srikkanth has questioned the commonly accepted understanding of a T20 finisher, stating as per his understanding openers can be finishers as well. Srikkanth went on to use examples from the Indian team to elaborate upon what he thinks a finisher's role is in the game's shortest format.
With the rise of the T20 format, teams have gradually begun to recruit more and more role specialists, targeting players with specific skillsets for particular periods within the game. For instance, there is often a top-order anchor, a middle-order slogger, a death-over bowling specialist, a mystery spinner and so on. Perhaps the role that has gained the most attention is that of a finisher who is typically assigned the duty of winning his team games in the final few overs during crunch situations.
The term has largely come to be used for hard-hitting batsmen who take the crease after the 15th over and strike at over 180 to take their teams to seemingly impossible totals. However, former Indian opener and renowned commentator Kris Srikkanth has questioned this definition of the term, stating anyone who comes in during the middle-overs and carries his bat through to the end while taking his team to the chequered flag should be deemed a finisher,
"What do you mean by a finisher? In my book, the finisher is the guy who can take the batting from the 8th or 12th over, and win the match for India. He starts from the 8th or 6th over, but where is the good finisher?" he was reported saying by Hindustan Times.
“KL Rahul is a good finisher. Rohit Sharma is a good finisher. They go opening by the way. I just can't say that you bat the last 5 overs and say he's a finisher.”
As far as the Indian team is concerned, the conventional role of a finisher presently resides with Dinesh Karthik who has been specifically roped in to play the last four overs of India's batting innings. That does not mean India lacks firepower in the lineup around him, with the likes of Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav all capable of going gung-ho and striking at over 12 runs an over. Srikkanth stated as per him the whole bunch of Men in Blue's middle-order batting core is good enough to finish games, even though they come into the game much earlier than a usual finisher is expected to.
"I would call Dinesh Karthik a fine finisher but actual finishers are guys like Suryakumar Yadav. He is a brilliant finisher. You have Rishabh Pant, who is a brilliant finisher. You have Hardik Pandya, who is a brilliant finisher too. I think I would like to clarify that a finisher is a guy who takes the team from the 8th over and goes on till the 20th over,” the 62-year-old concluded on the matter.