You must have seen players smashing the ball. It seems effortless to you. And it is the best part of a cricket match to witness those effortless hits.
As we know patience and practice is the key to achieve things, but many more factors are needed to smash those perfect sixes.
All cricket legends, including Kevin Pietersen, Darren Lehmann, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, and Reeza Hendricks, discuss the planning, pacing, and hard work needed to smash the strike. Also, explain how cricketers in the new millennium can hit so many sixes in a single inning.
On the subject of modern players hitting the ball higher than ever before, Kevin Pietersen said in an interview with Betway, “Hitting sixes is about confidence and knowing your tools, in the 2010 world cup which we won in the Caribbean, that was the first time we went out and practiced range hitting. If a ball is in the area where I am clouting, she goes.”
When Pietersen was asked about AB de Villiers and Hardik Pandya, on how talent triumphs over strength, he commented “You can look at Hardik Pandya from India, he’s muscly but he’s not a Kieron Pollard or Chris Gayle, hitting sixes regularly, it’s timing-based. Your bat has to be something that when you look down and think, I am gonna take this bowler on, you stand a good chance. Fielders don’t matter anymore, you can get caught on mid-on, there is no batsman in the world who goes out now and thinks that they can’t hit a six, gone are the days of getting yourself in. That’s what they do, that’s how they play now, it’s the entertainment that they bring to the game”
“The feeling when you have hit a six, it just comes out from the great sound of the bat, that is what I do miss as a batsman,” said Darren Lehman, Former cricketer and Australian coach, remembering his old days.
Dwaine Pretorius, on the other hand, emphasised the importance of knowing which ball to hit and which one to leave. Reeza Hendricks added in a similar way that the game’s fundamentals haven’t changed, but everything else has.
“You can always get the power through the gym and get strong but if you look at Nicholas Pooran at the moment, even AB De Villiers, they are not as big and strong. It is something that you are constantly grooving and constantly working on. I am not necessarily big on the weight of a bat, but it makes a massive difference in the mental side of things. Gone are the days of getting yourself in. Players are realising that they can score 13 or 14 overs,” said David Miller talking about how physique also matters when it comes to playing.
According to players, consistency and maintaining personal fitness is the key to achieve those perfect sixes. Knowing the game and its technique is also one of the important factors to keep in mind.