With the fast pace of the modern-day version of the game, big-hitting is the need of the hour. Everyone these days wants the batsmen to hit the ball over the boundary rope all the time. And, while some of the batsmen are not able to match up with the pace, some do it effortlessly.
Often termed as the entertainers, bowlers fear bowling to them and they miss no chance to punish them (the bowlers) if they bowl even a single loose delivery. They stock up big innings after big innings and are the fan favourites.
Hence, here we will have a look at five such names who have hit the ball over the ropes, more often than their counterparts:
NOTE: All of the three formats (Test/T20I/ODI) were taken into account while formulating this list.
5. MS Dhoni
Known as the ‘captain cool’, ‘finisher’, ‘thalaiva’ and what not, the former Indian captain and the current wicket-keeping mainstay of the Indian ODI side, Mahendra Singh Dhoni finds his name on the fifth spot. Known for his hitting skills all across the globe, MS has been playing the role of the big hitter of the Indian side for many years now.
Having captained the side to victories in all the three major ICC events, he knows pretty well when it’s the right time to step on the gas. A perfect mix of a calm yet brutal personality, MS can easily be regarded as the man who can do it all. Over the years, it is pretty visible that his mind has started to write cheques that his body can’t cash at the speeds it used to, but he has indeed aged well.
In the 526 innings he has played in international cricket so far, the man has hit 359 sixes, 1486 fours and 16 centuries while maintaining an excellent average of 44.96.
4. Brendon McCullum
The Kiwi who could hit the ball all over the park, Brendon Barrie McCullum the second wicket-keeper batsman in this list is placed on the 4th position. And, this is enough to tell how explosive he was in his playing days. The first New Zealander to hit a triple ton in tests, the first and one of the only to batsmen to hit two centuries in T20Is and score 2000 runs, the first one to hit a century in the Indian Premier League, McCullum’s record can’t be done enough justice to in a single paragraph.
The man who hit a century in his last test innings and was the highest run-scorer in T20Is at one point of time, the fans still crave to see him bat for one last time. Having the ability to hit pacers like Shaun Tait over the wicket-keeper’s head for sixes, he was truly the Haley’s comet of modern-day cricket.
He wore the Kiwi jersey on 474 occasions and made the ball fly into the stands 398 times and hit 1552 fours, 19 tons and maintained an average of 34.37 in the process.
3. Rohit Sharma
The only individual to hit three ODI double tons, even crossing the 250 run mark once, Ro-‘HITMAN’ Sharma is the third individual on this list. The man who has the record of hitting the most number of sixes in a Test series is bound to have his name on this list.
And, that’s not it. He also holds the record of scoring the most runs in T20Is and also scoring the most number centuries in the format. There is no doubt that he has the skill and the will to hit the ball over the ropes and that might be the reason that he does it so often. He has hit more sixes than any other Indian batsman in history and continues to make the ball cross the boundary rope every time he steps on the field with a piece of willow in his hands.
Many people may not be familiar with the fact that Rohit Sharma started his cricketing career as an off-break bowler. But, destiny had in store for him, the heights of success that he would have never imagined. Rohit has batted in 360 international matches so far and the ball hit off his bat has crossed the boundary rope 404 times so far and he has also hit 1220 fours and 37 tons at an average of 43.84
2. Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi finds his name on the second spot of this list of big hitters. Rightly named ‘Boom Boom Afridi’ by his fans, his international career was characterised by his famous explosive playing style. He was known to start hitting the ball all over the ball right from the first delivery he faced.
And, most probably this was the very reason that he has his name listed thrice in the list of the seven fastest centuries hit in ODI cricket so far. But sometimes, his overly aggressive approach cost him dearly. On several occasions, he was dismissed cheaply after getting off to great fiery starts. This very fact can be verified by seeing his ODI batting average. Even though he had scored 8000 runs in the format, his average still lingers at a mere 23.58.
But, in spite of all this, to this date, his innings bring a smile on the face of the fans and that is all what a sportsman wants. He hit 476 sixes in the 508 innings he played in his international career and also sent the ball rolling the ropes 1053 times, hit 11 centuries and had an average of 23.92 while doing all this.
1. Chris Gayle
The ‘Universe Boss’ Christopher Henry Gayle, the proud owner of almost all the record in the shortest format of the game, finds his name at the pole position. Known to be most brutal hitters of the cricket ball, it is almost a second nature to Chris to smack the ball into the stands. Be it a spinner or a pacer, if the 40-year-old finds the ball in his slot, it is bound to be found among the spectators or even out of the ground.
Playing in an era of equally great batsmen like Brendon McCullum and Virender Sehwag, Gayle managed to forge a reputation of his own. With minimal footwork in play, he even once hit one of Brett Lee’s delivery out of the Oval ground, which is a mammoth field in itself.
It should be of no surprise to anyone that he has the record of scoring the fastest ODI double ton credited to his name. He achieved this feat against Zimbabwe while playing at Canberra where he scored 215 runs off just 147 deliveries.
Christopher Henry Gayle has hit the ball out of the park on 534 occasions so far and has hit 2312 boundaries, 42 centuries and has managed to maintain a healthy average of 38.79 runs while wrecking all this havoc.
~Written by Satvik Pandey
Watch: Chris Gayle makes a ‘cry-baby’ face in MSL 2019
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