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‘Never in my life did I imagine that I’ll be the one’: Rohit Sharma as he attempts to shatter Gayle’s six-hitting record

Rohit Sharma is just a few more hits shy of dethroning Chris Gayle as the undisputed king of sixes in world cricket

For someone blessed with the gift of timing, Rohit Sharma‘s strokeplay can be deceiving. Always labelled with the moniker of ‘having an extra split second’, Rohit has never been considered a power hitter like MS Dhoni, Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill or the mighty Chris Gayle. Yet, here is he, just 14 sixes shy of breaking one of the most revered records in the world of cricket. With 539, Rohit holds the distinction of smashing the second highest sixes in international cricket, with only Gayle ahead of him. But with a packed calendar ahead, it is only a matter of time before Rohit leaves the Universe Boss behind to become the undisputed king of sixes.

For a 22-year-old starting off for India in 2007, and not being a permanent fixture in Team India colours, this achievement is quite thunderous for Rohit. He has 280 sixes in ODIs, 182 in T20Is and another 77 in Tests – even doesn’t have these many (he has 78 in Tests) and neither does Sachin Tendulkar – so for Rohit to reach the landmark will add further glory to his already rich CV that boasts three ODI triple centuries.

“It will be a unique record for sure. Never in my life would I have imagined that I would be the one to break Chris Gayle’s record. It is funny. I am not a muscle person but I like hitting the ball hard,” he told senior journalist Vimal Kumar in a chat on his YouTube channel.

Rohit’s formative years

Looking back at his formative years, Rohit’s early cricketing days were vastly different from what one might expect from a record-breaking six-hitter. Back in school, he and his friends had protocols set for them by coaches, and coming from the ‘Khadoos‘ Mumbai school of cricket mentality, following the basics was all there ever was. Rohit and Co. didn’t have nets, and the fear of injuring someone with an aerial shot prevented them from practicing big hits.

“When I started playing cricket, we were told to time the ball. The aerial shots we play we were asked to cut them down. We used to practice in school so there was no chance of hitting the ball in the air because that could have hit someone. We didn’t have nets back then so we used to play the ball along the ground all the time. That’s how the basics began, time the ball, come in the line of the ball, keep your head still. We would be chucked out of nets if we hit along the air,” added the India captain.

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