The team that scores the most runs wins a cricket match and generally, a huge chunk of a side’s scoring happens toward the end of their inning. 

Runs that come at a very quick frequency generally happen toward the fag end of the innings where batters look to maximise the runs that they can score. 

These are the overs that are known as slog or death overs and they are called slog overs because batters tend to go all out and slog or muscle the bowlers over the boundary ropes in their effort to score big before the end of their innings.

With that in mind, here’s a look at what are slog overs in cricket and some of the best players in this phase of a contest.

What are slog overs in cricket?

Slog overs are a series of overs in white-ball cricket where the batters attempt to score as many runs as possible in a short period of time, usually at the end of an innings. The team’s performance in slog overs can make the difference between a win and a loss.

There is no hard and fast rule about which overs are considered slog overs. A lot depends on the format and number of wickets available in hand for the batting side.

If a side has a long batting line-up with wickets in hand, the batters can start slogging early instead of waiting for the last few overs to begin. Usually in One Day International (ODI) cricket, the last 10 of the 50 overs are considered slog overs. In T20 cricket, the final four or five overs are generally considered slog overs.

Also called the death overs, slog overs are often the most exciting part of the contest. While the batters take risks to try and score more runs, the fielding team has to think quickly and strategically to try to stop the batting side from scoring too many runs.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was considered one of the best finishers in the game due to his ability to have maximum impact in the slog overs. His unbeaten 91 in the 2011 ODI World Cup final against Sri Lanka remains one of his finest examples of how to play a knock under pressure in the final overs of a game. 

Yuvraj Singh was another batter who was considered one of the most dangerous batters in the slog overs. His fearless and clean hitting got India over the line on many occasions. 

AB de Villiers, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi, Michael Bevan and Andrew Symonds were some of the other batters who had a good reputation in the slog overs.

On the other hand, the bowling side usually reserves their best bowlers for the end of the innings. Bowlers who concede less than seven runs per over in the death overs are considered effective and are called slog-over specialist bowlers. 

Lasith Malinga, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and Umar Gul are some of the top bowlers who are renowned for their accuracy and ability to bowl yorkers and slower balls at the death, which often makes it difficult for the batters to score runs. They are also known for maintaining their composure and remaining focused when bowling under pressure.

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