Former India head coach Ravi Shastri went down memory lane to recall his historic achievement of smashing ‘six sixes in an over’ as a player and later doing commentary when Yuvraj Singh was doing the same against England’s Stuart Broad.
The 60-year-old feels he has been fortunate to have both achieved the record and witnessed six sixes being stuck in an over, adding that he has also coached the team through matches where they didn’t hit a single six in any over. He also explained how scoring 36 runs off six balls was different from the context of the game back then in 1985.
“My six 6s were different, simply because, for starters, there was no television. Much like Kapil Dev’s 175 in the world cup, no television, no coverage. But six 6s was massive, I didn’t realize it at that moment of time, that only one person had hit six 6s till that time and that was Sir Garfield Sobers and I became the second man to hit six 6s,” said Shastri during the latest episode of CRED’s The Long Game.
“Now first-class cricket is different from white-ball cricket. You know till that 4th six was hit in that game against Baroda, you know I wasn’t even thinking six 6s. The moment the 5th one was hit, which was probably the biggest of the lot because it went into the stands, off the ground at the Wankhede. Then I saw all my teammates along the sightscreen and then I realised that there is an opportunity to hit 6 sixes,” he added.
The former India skipper also mentioned how he anticipated the bowler’s move before the last delivery of that memorable over.
“I knew very clearly that this guy’s head is muddled now. I am the favourite here to get it, all I have to do is guess right. So I anticipated moving a little bit down the leg side thinking ‘create a space here, and if he bowls here I can smash him down the ground. if he bowls here, he goes here’. I guessed wrong actually because when I went here he went wide, but because of my height I could reach out and flat bat it to the sightscreen for six,” he recalled.
“All hell broke loose there, six sixes in an over, I went on to get 200 in that innings which is the fastest double-hundred till today in first-class cricket,” he added.
Reminiscing on his record, the maverick coach also recalled how he came to understand the importance of his feat of six 6s over the course of years.
“But still, when I went back home, the penny hadn’t dropped. It was only the next day, 3 years, 4 years, and 5 years down the line I realised that six 6s is special. And you realise 30 years after that, still, no one had broken, you know till Yuvraj came and got in the T20 tournament and Herschelle Gibbs got it in a World Cup game in the following year. But it was a rare, rare record. It’s a 100 percent record, it can’t be broken, it can only be equaled,” he said.
Interestingly, Shastri — the noted commentator — was on air during the India-England match in the 2007 T20 World Cup as Yuvraj Singh hit six maximums off Stuart Broad in the 19th over of the innings.
“I remember the India-England game (2007 World Cup). You know there was an exchange of words (between Yuvraj Singh and Andrew Flintoff), it had obviously rattled and needled Yuvraj. The stage was set for something special to happen and it started. The first one went for six, the second one went for six, the third one went for six and David Lloyd jumped out of his seat and took off. What happened after that was sheer mayhem,” he said.
He even mentioned his own feat, remembering the similarities between the two situations.
“I go into my state of mind having hit six 6s myself to try to anticipate what must be in the mind of the bowler and the batsmen. When the 5th six was hit, again David took off, with me of course. And I knew, and I said it in commentary, ‘I think Yuvraj is favourite to hit a six here’. The next one goes massive for 6, that’s when you take off. No one knew what was going to happen. It takes fierce concentration,” he said.