217 sixes in 3 years: Birthday boy Rohit Sharma is a six-hitting machine

Indian opener Rohit Sharma turned 33 on Thursday and even though the superstar might be celebrating a quiet birthday amid the Covid-19 lockdown across the country, over the years, he has given his fans plenty to cheer about with his big-hitting. Currently perched at No.2 in the ICC ODI batsmen rankings, just 14 points behind India captain Virat Kohli, Rohit’s rise as a modern-day great has been nothing short of exemplary. And his gigantic sixes have had a big role to play in that.

Rohit Sharma has hit 423 sixes in international cricket across formats. That’s the 3rd most in the world after Chris Gayle (534) and Shahid Afridi (476). While his relatively green Test career has seen him hit 52 maximums, he owns the record of hitting the most number of sixes in T20Is in the world – 127!

Rohit’s elegant style of batting has also meant that his sixes are relatively easy on the eyes and don’t reflect the muscular power of some of his peers like Gayle or Andre Russell. One of the best proponents of the hook/pull shot in cricket, Rohit mostly depends on timing the ball sweetly in order to put it over the fence – an attribute which has helped him smash an unprecedented 3 double hundreds in ODIs.

Rohit Sharma also holds the record for the most sixes hit by an Indian player in a Test, ODI and T20I. While his 13 sixes vs South Africa in Vizag last year as an opener are the most by an Indian in Tests, Rohit also owns the corresponding ODI (16 vs Australia, Bengaluru 2013) and T20I (10 vs Sri Lanka Indore, 2017) records for the country. To date, Rohit is the only player across the world to have hit 10 or more sixes in an international match across all the 3 formats.

Curiously, Rohit’s boundary-hitting has only got better with age as he has been hitting the most sixes in internationals in each calendar year for the past 3 years. After taking over AB de Villiers’ record for the same by hitting 65 sixes in 2017, Rohit has followed that up with 74 maximums in 2018 and 78 in 2019.

However, as Rohit turns 33, possibly the only thing missing from his amazing CV has been a relatively quiet Test career. But if 2019 is anything to go by, when he donned the opener’s role in the longest format with aplomb, Rohit might still take care of this anomaly by the time he decides to hang his boots.

After all, in his debut Test series as an opener vs South Africa, he made his intentions clear when he smashed a total of 20 sixes in the series – most ever by a single player in any Test series. If that was the beginning, we can’t wait for the next chapter to unfold in Rohit’s Test career.

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