The Mantra of Six-Hitting in Cricket
Kevin Pietersen (© AFP)

Kevin Pietersen, Darren Lehmann, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, and Reeza Hendricks share the secrets of hitting a sixer and narrates the evolution in technique and the game.

“There is no batter in the world who goes out now and think that they can’t hit a six” those are the words from Kevin Pietersen, a former English international cricket player. Indeed, no batsman in the world of cricket enters the pitch without thinking of hitting a sixer. Those who play cricket or at least played once in their respective lives dreamt of hitting an impressive over boundary shot.

Some international players are renowned big-hitters, while others send the ball off occasionally. However, there is no secret behind hitting big. According to David Miller of South Africa, “it’s something that you are constantly grooving and constantly working on”. Kevin recalls their practice session during the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and says, “that was the first time we really went out and practised range-hitting.” Kevin’s statement only substantiates what Miller says.

A player must identify the ideal ball and time their shot in order for that to land straight over the rope. Dwaine Pretorius points out, “it’s important for you as a player to really understand what ball is the ball that you can hit and the length that you can hit and which one is your strength.”

Many consider that the player’s strength is essential to swing the bat hard and fast, and it’s not an entirely wrong notion. Strong players like Chris Gayle, Andre Russel, Kieron Pollard are big hitters and brute force to reckon with on the pitch. However, it’s not the only quality in a big hitter. “You can always get the power through gym and getting strong”, says Miller. Further, he continues, “but you look at Nicholas Pooran at the moment, even AB de Villiers, they are not as big and strong.” The statement strongly advocates the prowess of skill and practice over might.

With all that said, players like David Miller, Kevin Pietersen, Darren Lehmann all put emphasis on the bat. In Miller’s words, “I’m not necessarily big on weight of a bat, but it makes a massive difference in the mental side of things.” Swinging a heavy bat creates more force driving the ball further. Kevin Pietersen says how he started with a bat that was relatively lighter than what he used last. In addition to that, Kev says, “your bat has to be something that when you look down and think, ‘I’m going to take this bowler on’, you stand a good chance.”

Inferred from the players’ comments, the mantra of hitting a six remains the amalgamation of practice, skill and timing. However, the six-hitting techniques and practices have evolved over the years as Reeza Hendricks says, “the basics of the game still remain, but everything else around it within the game is evolving.”

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