Hitting a six is not just all about brute power and muscle. A number of times an over-boundary can also be struck by sheer timing. It is quite natural that Virat Kohli will have to depend more on timing because he doesn’t have the brute power that a Chris Gayle has. But then there are some who can conjure up a six from nowhere when their team need it. Orissa POST takes a look at some of the top six hitters of the world (people who have hit a minimum of 200 sixes) in all formats of the game. With the World Cup on it is quite certain that more power hitters will emerge and among them the name of Andre Russell is sure to figure prominently.
Chris Gayle (West Indies): The ‘Universal Boss’ as he calls himself is really the boss in this six-hitting category. In 450 matches in all formats till date, Gayle has hit an astounding 517 sixes. As far as ODIs are concerned, Gayle has so far dispatched 314 balls over the ropes, again by far the most among any contemporary batsmen. That number will certainly increase in this World Cup.
Shahid Afridi (Pakistan): The former Pakistani skipper was also known for his ability to hit sixes at will. His total stands at 476 from 524 games in all the three formats. It will take some catching to do for the current players. In 398 ODIs, Afridi has smashed 351 sixes, even more than Gayle. But then the West Indian is still playing and can still catch up.
Brendon McCullum (New Zealand): The swashbuckling Kiwi batsman known for his firepower has hit 398 sixes in 432 games. McCullum has retired and it is quite possible that players like Rohit Sharma will catch up with him. But even then that will need a great effort from the Indian opener. In 260 ODIs for New Zealand, the former skipper hit 200 sixes – no mean feat.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India): Still playing, though this World Cup may be his swansong, Dhoni has this ability to pull out a six out of nowhere. Old-timers of the game may remember Salim Durrani – one of India’s most flamboyant cricketers. He used to hit a six on public demand. Dhoni probably doesn’t do so, but has this uncanny ability to pull out a big shot whenever required. In 529 matches, Dhoni has so far hit 354 sixes and he features fourth in the list of six-hitters. In ODIs, the figure stands at 224 sixes from 361 games.
Rohit Sharma (India): Now who would have thought that this player would feature in the list of big-hitters keeping in mind his physical built. But what others do with power, Rohit does it with sheer timing. With 352 over-boundaries from 327 matches in all formats, Rohit is the only other player than Gayle to average more than one six per game. In 206 ODIs, Rohit has so far hit 218 sixes… again more than one per game.
Martin Guptill (New Zealand): One will certainly be surprised to find this name on the list. His name stands at eighth (Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka and AB de Villiers of South Africa are sixth and seventh with 352 and 328 sixes, but both retired) and he has the potential to certainly go a few notches higher. Guptill, once considered a dour batsman has now blossomed into a big six hitter. From 292 games he has 290 sixes and in ODIs the figure stands at 164 from 169 matches.
Eoin Morgan (England): The England captain is a fearless hitter of the ball in the shorter formats of the game. His ability to innovate makes him a very special batsman and like Dhoni he can hit a six out of nowhere. Morgan has so far hit 279 sixes in 311 games. He has still some years left in him and so he can go past the 300 mark. In ODIs, Morgan has so far hit 192 sixes from 223 games (the match against South Africa played Thursday excluded).
- Among the other Indian players who have hit more than 200 sixes in all formats of the game are Sachin Tendulkar (264 sixes from 664 matches), Yuvraj Singh (251 from 402), Sourav Ganguly (247 from 424) and Virender Sehwag (243 from 443)