The 20th over in the Indian T20 League often brings out the best of a batsman and a bowler, especially in situations where teams aim to accelerate their innings very quickly.
Big hitters in T20 cricket are assigned to ace the situations in death overs, but it comes down to assessing the conditions and being able to strike big when the iron is hot.
A host of players have martialled the art of hitting sixes in the competition, but none so have made an impact as these five batsmen in the 20th over of the Indian T20 League.
MS Dhoni - 49 sixes
MS Dhoni, or as cricket fans refer to him as captain cool, is regarded as the greatest finisher in Indian T20 League history.
With over 200 games under his belt, the Chennai skipper has smashed a record 49 sixes in the 20th over and rightly so, the final over is where fans await to see Dhoni bring about the beast in him.
Needless to say, his finishing skills aren’t just limited to the franchise cricket tournament but his stats for smashing sixes is simply impressive - 216 sixes at a strike rate of 241.63 and averaging a six in 15.68 deliveries.
Dhoni stands third in the list of most number of sixes in the entire Indian T20 League, but on the contrary, he is the most prolific Indian player ahead of Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma.
Kieron Pollard - 27 sixes
A global T20 superstar and an iconic figure in Mumbai’s history, Kieron Pollard sits second on this list with 27 sixes from 52 games.
The Trinidadian scripted history earlier this month as he smashed six sixes in an over against Sri Lanka, the third player to do so in history, but his exploits in the Indian T20 League have turned him into a cult figure for the fans of the cricket extravaganza.
The 33-year-old has registered a strike rate of 219.23 when hitting sixes in the 20th over, with a tally of 342 runs.
While his performances at times are drawn in comparison to Chris Gayle, Pollard is in a league of his own and is poised to continue doing what he does best - smashing sixes at free will.
Rohit Sharma - 23 sixes
The hitman and Mumbai captain is one of the top five run-getters in the Indian T20 League, with 5230 runs to his name. But as far as his finishing role is concerned, he has proved himself whenever in such situations.
Rohit Sharma has smashed 23 sixes in the 20th overs in 27 matches, at a strike rate of 281.82, having effectively cemented himself as an opener from his initial batting position in the middle-order.
In the process, he has hit 248 runs from 88 deliveries in the final over and is someone who looked upon as a match-winner on a couple of occasions given he has tallied 248 sixes in his career.
Hardik Pandya - 23 sixes
Hardik Pandya is one of the most eccentric players in the Indian T20 League, and that is evident from the fact that the Baroda allrounder has hit 23 sixes in the 95 balls he has faced in the 20th overs.
As part of the Mumbai team, the 27-year-old has donned the superhero’s cape on plenty of occasions having hit 233 runs in the final over, at a strike rate of 245.3 including 15 fours as well.
Pandya has featured in six campaigns in the cash-rich league, aggregating 1349 runs at a strike rate of 159.26. Often playing in the fifth or sixth batting slot, the allrounder has become one of the most dangerous batsmen in recent years and one can fancy the Mumbai star to showcase his tenacity in the 2021 edition.
Ravindra Jadeja - 15 sixes
Lastly, we have Chennai’s Ravindra Jadeja who has smashed 15 sixes in the 110 deliveries he has faced in the final over in the Indian T20 League.
A confident hitter in the middle order, Jadeja has remained unbeaten 54 times at the crease and rescued the team at times when the top-order has failed in the batting department.
The 32-year-old is MS Dhoni’s go-to man in run-chases and the pair’s strong partnership is something that has continuously captivated fans all these years. Jadeja’s 15 sixes have come at a strike rate of 190.91 and he is poised for a strong campaign this year.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Manjunath Kiran