ESPNcricinfo Match Point Analyst
Michael Bevan is an analyst on ESPNcricinfo’s Match Point panel for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Widely regarded as one of the best all-rounders to have played the ODI format of the game, the former left-hander was involved in three World Cups, winning two (1999 and 2003) as he grew his repertoire as the cricketer who redefined what it meant to lead tail-enders to the winning runs. Primarily seen as a batting all-rounder, he carves his ODI reputation out under the moniker of ‘The Finisher’ for anchoring unlikely victories and helping Australia dominate the sport in the ‘90s.
Born in Canberra on May 8th, 1970, he was often hailed as the world’s best limited-overs batsman during his peak years and was a key figure in the Australia side for the better part of a decade — stretching back to his ODI debut in Sri Lanka in 1994. With a record batting average for retired players of over 53 in ODIs, he also averages the highest of any player to have scored 10,000 runs in List A cricket; with just over 57 runs per game.
He was noted as one of the most difficult batsmen to get out in 50-over cricket and one of his most memorable performances demonstrating this came against the West Indies in 1996, in a Sydney ODI, where the Windies left the Aussies reeling at 38/6, chasing 173 to win. Bevan’s unbeaten knock of 78 in over 150 minutes led his team over the finish line in a dramatic affair, culminating with him smashing a boundary to win it off the last ball of the match – completing what is widely regarded as one of the best knocks to have graced this format.
Also known for his ‘chinaman’ bowling, Bevan, was an AIS Australian Cricket Academy scholarship recipient in 1989 and went on to score 785 runs in 18 Tests matches. However, Australian selectors found his prowess best kept for ODI format and was considered a ‘specialist’ in 50-overs. Before retiring with Tasmania in 2007 due to age and injury, he also played in Australia for New South Wales as well as for English counties such as Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Sussex.