What makes sixes sexy? The oomph factor.
Now, there are sixes and then there are sixes. Some fly over the boundary rope in an unimpressive trajectory; some go off the edge into the stand; while some travel the yards beyond the unorthodox prodding, be it a ramp shot or the scoop or whatever new trick the modern-day batsmen come up with.
The freaky shots may stun you for a while but that's about it. Creative, yes, but they invoke no awe. It's all utility, no inspiration.
And then there are those which go in a wide arc, high, off the middle of the bat, in the 'V-zone' and with a full stamp of authority of the man who makes it possible. As it climbs up and up into the sky, teasing your eyes before making the long descent, you know it's special. You feel it.
If you have watched the video where Sir Garfield Sobers belts the hapless Glamorgan spinner Malcolm Nash for six sixes in an over back in 1968, the first in a first-class match, you realise why all sixes don't carry the same zing.
Some are sublime while some are, well, merely hit over the rope.
As the Delhi Daredevils young guns Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson got into the mood at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium against the Gujarat Lions on Thursday night, subtlety and brute power presented themselves in an interesting mix. That they made a short walk of a massive target of 209 is only incidental to the breathtaking experience they conjured for the audience.
It is not that you don't see a 43-ball 97 or 31-ball 61 in a T-20 match often. The shortest format of the game is tailor-made for such knocks. But some remain etched in the memory for their redeeming quality.
The partnership between Rishabh and Sanju was one such. One could ask what's so great about it? Didn't Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers score 229 runs together last season? Of course, there have been 150-plus partnerships. These two scored 143. What's exceptional about it?
Well, it's the experience. You won't get it if you have not been on the field. Television does not bring you the feel of it. You don't quite get the sense of abandon. And it was the sixes that stood out. Of Rishabh's nine sixes, three were in the classic V-zone; five, if you stretch the V at the ends to make it wider.
But the three were a real treat, as graceful as sixes could be. There's something irresistibly delicious about left-handers when they get their act right. Sanju hit seven in his knock of 61. Neat and fearless, there were glimpses of Sir Vivian Richards in his hitting. It was a bit like Virendra Sehwag as well.
It's the attitude, not the power that gives the big hits the oomph factor. There was loads of attitude in the way both the Delhi batsmen went about their 63-ball partnership.
Is the performance a flash in the pan? Nothing is constant in this format but going by the way the two have batted in the past, one thing is for sure: They are special talents. If they can make T-20 hitting graceful and memorable, cricket-lovers can expect better from them in the future.
Coming back to the sixes, one would hope they remain beautiful in the classical sense, in the V-zone and off the middle of the willow. All the time.
Published Date: May 05, 2017 15:49 PM | Updated Date: May 05, 2017 15:58 PM