Will test cricket ever be the same?
Since the appointment of Brendan ‘Baz’ McCullum, England have revolutionised the longer format of the game – introducing the same blistering hitting, innovative shot-making and breathless running between the wickets that fans expect to see in T20 and limited-overs games.
The modernisation of test cricket has happened so quickly, so starkly, it’s already been christened ‘Bazball’. Perhaps not surprising, really, given that McCullum once held the world record for the fastest test century.
Playing such a high-risk brand of cricket won’t always pay off, but since McCullum’s appointment in May 2022, England have whitewashed both New Zealand and Pakistan, defeated South Africa and trounced India in the rearranged test at Edgbaston last July – scoring more than 650 runs in the game at a rate in excess of 4.50 runs per over.
The progress has continued into 2023 as well, with the precocious Harry Brooks bludgeoning five sixes in a single over in a warm-up game for the series in New Zealand.
Once upon a time that would have been unheard of in the longer format of cricket, and there will be plenty of MCC members chuntering into their Bollinger when the English summer gets underway.
But, given the success England have had thanks to the swashbuckling approach of McCullum and captain Ben Stokes, Bazball is here to stay – expect more records to tumble in the months and years ahead.
What Is the Most Sixes Scored In An Over (All Cricket)?
Brooks was one big hit shy of perfection for England. If the right-hander had cleared the ropes with all six deliveries faced, he would have joined a very exclusive club to do so internationally.
Amazingly, the perfect over didn’t occur until 2007 on the international stage, with former South Africa powerhouse Herschelle Gibbs achieving the feat in a World Cup game against the Netherlands.
It’s a trivia question that the bowler on that fateful day, Daan van Bunge, will not want to be remembered for….
Later that same year, the second perfect over was struck, with England’s Stuart Broad on the receiving end of some blitzkrieg ball-striking from India’s Yuvraj Singh. On TV commentary duties that day was Ravi Shastri, who became the second-ever player to hit six sixes in an over back in 1985 in an Indian domestic game.
Who was the first professional player to hit six sixes in an over? None other than the legendary Sir Garfield Sobers, who was Nottinghamshire’s overseas player in 1968 when he continuously crashed Malcolm Nash into the stands to record a moment of batting history.
At the time of writing, no player has thwacked six sixes in an over of test cricket. But the way England and Bazball are going – it’s predicted that other international teams will follow this more adventurous style of play too – it’s surely only a matter of time….
What Is the Most Sixes Scored In An Innings (All Cricket)?
In 1996, Sanath Jayasuriya achieved the remarkable feat of blasting eleven sixes in an innings for Sri Lanka against Pakistan – breaking the previous record of eight set by Gordon Greenidge in 1989.
But that was a different age for cricket and today, with gym-honed physiques wielding heavier bats, you won’t be surprised to learn that Jayasuriya’s record has been bettered 14 times since.
Rohit Sharma set a mark of 16 sixes in an innings while representing India back in 2013, which was a record that stood for six years – until former England captain Eoin Morgan went one better.
The left-hander cleared the rope with consummate ease in a World Cup game against Afghanistan, smashing 17 sixes into the stands in a score of 148 off just 71 balls.
What Is the Most Sixes Scored In An Innings (Test Cricket)?
Incredibly, the record for most sixes scored in a test innings belongs to a player better known for his bowling exploits!
Wasim Akram was revered for the control he was able to exert over the swinging ball, with his toe-crushing yorkers in particular helping the Pakistan ace to 414 test wickets.
But in October 1996 while representing his country against Zimbabwe, Wasim showed his class with willow in hand – destroying the Zimbabwean bowling attack with 12 sixes on his way to a score of 257 not out.
At the time of writing, just five players have struck eleven or more maximums in a single test innings – two of them are McCullum and Stokes….