It is 12 years since the Indian T20 League first started and we have had a record-breaking number of sixes in the league over the years. With bats getting bigger, batsmen getting powerful and boundaries getting shorter, sixes have flooded in recent years. But who has the most of them over the years in the league? Surely an Indian? No, it isn't.
The Universe Boss is unsurprisingly at the top of the list for the most sixes in the history of the tournament. The marauding left-hander, who is a regular feature in the league since 2011, has a whopping 326 maximums. Gayle's sensational hitting prowess is well known and the destructive opener, who once smashed 37 runs in an over off Prashant Parameswaran, also holds the record for the most sixes in an innings in the Indian T20 League - 17 vs Pune in his record-breaking 175 in 2013.
AB de Villiers
It is a slight surprise that a middle-order overseas batsman comes behind Gayle in this list. But AB de Villiers is as integral to the competition as the Indians and has been a phenomenal player in the league since it's inception. The South African has 212 sixes in the Indian T20 League over the years, including 12 in a game against Gujarat during a 52-ball 129 carnage. His strike-rate in the league (151.23) is better than Gayle and he even has more 50-plus scores than the West Indian.
There is no denying that MS Dhoni is the owner of the most important six in the history of Indian cricket. The former skipper has been a revelation in the Indian T20 League and his record fee comes from the command he has over the bowlers. Clearing the ropes is inherent to Dhoni's reputation as a player and his 209 sixes despite making just 23 50-plus scores, and no hundreds show that he is a consistent six-hitter, even when playing cameos.
The Hitman, as Rohit Sharma is sometimes called, is a belligerent beast once he gets set at the wicket. Over the years, Rohit's prowess at clearing the ropes with ease has only gotten better. While this is prominent and evident in international cricket where he accelerates after getting set, in the competition, it has often flown under the radar. Rohit has 194 maximums in the league but is well and truly capable of going past de Villiers at least in one season if he gets going.
Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina are the highest run-scorers in the Indian T20 League and also the most consistent batters in the league's history. While Raina tails Kohli in the runs tally, he edges ahead when it comes to hitting maximums. The Chennai left-hander has as many sixes as Rohit Sharma (194) in the league's history. Raina is more of a consistent six-hitter rather than a relentless one and has never hit more than six maximums in an innings.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain