A touch of Panache: 5 of the best no-look sixes the world has witnessed
Can the breath-taking sight of a cricket ball sailing high and long into the stands whilst the spectators go ballistic get any better? Yes, it can, if it's a no-look six.
Smacking a six with your bat is not just a statement of confidence that reverberates with the audience. It's a blend of one's batting ability and strength, perfected by timing.
Sure, raw power is an important factor at play here. But if strength was the most vital factor behind hitting a six, there would be hundreds of batters who would never get caught out in their entire careers.
What makes a particular six memorable is the way it is struck. Finesse of the strike, balance of the batter, match situation, judgment of the delivery's length and eyes locked in at the ball are among the several ingredients behind it.
However, one particular element marks the difference between a forgotten six and a six remembered for ages - "a unique touch of panache added by the batter in his/her strokeplay that exuberates confidence". This, of course, is the no-look factor and the sheer confidence it displays.
Five unforgettable no-look sixes
#1 Dewald Brevis (vs. KKR in IPL 2022)
The young gun from South Africa earned a big contract from Mumbai Indians for IPL 2022. Brevis is referred to by many as "Baby AB" owing to his caliber of playing a diverse range of strokes all over the ground, much like the legendary batsman AB de Villiers.
In his first ever IPL match, the 18-year-old showed a glimpse of his confident batting style. In the 14th match of the IPL 2022 between KKR & MI, Dewald Brevis hammered a six off Varun Chakaravarthy that left everyone stunned. As the ball drifted slightly to the leg-side, he absolutely smacked it for a 81-meter long no-look six. What a style-studded IPL debut!
#2 Shubman Gill (vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2021)
The right-handed youngster from India has impressed the cricketing world with his picture-perfect shots and elegant displays of batting. Shubman Gill is well-recognized to have a very strong fundamental technique and it was reflected quite well in IPL 2021. While playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, he delivered one of the best no-look sixes ever seen.
Gill's stroke had class written all over it. Facing T Natarajan, he picked the length perfectly and maintained just the right balance. A high elbow position came into play and he connected the ball with the full face of the bat, straight over long on.
#3 Andre Fletcher (a number of times in CPL, T-10 league and BBL)
Andre "The Spiceman" Fletcher is widely regarded as an explosive batsman who can change the complexion of a game in a matter of minutes. The West Indies cricketer is well-known for pulling off some extra-ordinary no-look sixes a number of times so far.
Playing for St. Lucia Zouks in CPL 2019, he delivered a thunderous no-look six off Jerome Taylor and left everyone speechless in the ninth match of the CPL 2019.
The Spiceman has produced such treats for fans a couple of times in the Big Bash League as well.
Featuring in a match for the Melbourne Stars against Brisbane Heat in the 2020-2021 season, he picked up the length early on as Xavier Bartlett released the ball. He shifted his front-leg slightly away and deposited the ball into the stands over deep mid-wicket for a huge six.
#4 Washington Sundar (vs Australia in 2021)
One of the most crucial techniques a good batter follows is to focus on the bowler's grip on the ball before being released to judge the length of the delivery early. The aim is to keep the head in line with the ball and transfer the weight on to the foot to get into the required position to launch a clean hit.
This is exactly what Washington Sundar did to perfection against Nathan Lyon in the fourth Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2019-202.
Sundar's no-look six has been an absolute beauty of a sight to behold. Everything about his no-look six was perfect and fans all over the world couldn't help but applaud him. The confidence he showed by keeping his head down even after playing the stroke showed how accurately he kept his head in line with the ball from the get-go.
#5 MS Dhoni (vs. New Zealand, 2009)
If one wants to see the true impact of timing combined with strength, look no further than MS Dhoni's absolutely annihilating no-look six in the third ODI against New Zealand at Christchurch in 2009.
As soon as the ball left the bowler's hand, MS picked the landing spot perfectly. He swung the willow with exquisite timing and didn't even bother looking at the ball that soared miles away into the stands. Timing and power did the job while the no-look confident swagger served as the icing on the cake.
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