All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been on role for India in the ongoing Test series, as he has become joint-second Indian to register seven sixes in an innings of a Test match to march into the record books.
A powerful striker of the ball, Pandya has achieved the milestone at Kandy during the third Test of the ongoing three-match series against Dinesh Chandimal-led Sri Lanka.
The 23-year-old Pandya played a significant innings while flaying the Sri Lankan bowling attack to register his maiden Test hundred at Pallekele in his only second Test.
However, the promising prospect Pandya fell one six short of the former cricketer-turned-commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has had smashed eight sixes against Sri Lanka in Lucknow on January 18 in 1994, where he scored 124 runs off 223 balls.
Pandya, who took on hosts bowlers particularly left-arm orthodox spinner Malinda Pushpakumra and went on to register 26 runs which was comprised of three sixes and two boundaries, in an over – to become the joint fourth on the all-time list following Brian Lara’s 28, George Bailey’s 28 and Shahid Afridi’s 27 in an over.
Moreover, Pandya during the course of his second fifty crunched six maximums to score at the brisk pace for the visitors.
After hitting the ball neat and clean into the stands, Pandya has joined former explosive opener Virender Sehwag and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to achieve the feat.
Both the senior campaigners have registered seven sixes in Mumbai (1999) and Hyderabad (2010) respectively.
The hapless bowling arsenal of Sri Lanka had no answer whatsoever for the batsman like Pandya, who have had entertained the sparse crowd on day two of the Seagram’s Royal Stag Test series.
During his magnificent hundred, Pandya shifted the gears to help India – to post 487 in 122.3 overs.
Pandya’s innings can be understood by the scoring rate he has gone for as he notched up his triple figure mark before the lunch session. However, the session was extended by half-an-hour as India were already nine down.
After smashing three consecutive sixes, Pandya was busy in making a tough day for the statisticians, was the last man to go when he was caught by Dilruwan Perera on the bowling of left-arm slow bowler Lakshan Sandakan after scoring 108 off 96, as his innings included eight boundaries too.
Coming to the conclusion, Virender Sehwag is holding the record of smashing a 78-ball century against Windies in 2006 at Gros Islet, as Pandya become second quickest in the list to register away Test hundred as an Indian player.
Interestingly, the list also includes current Indian head coach Ravi Shastri, who has smashed six sixes in his unbeaten knock of 121 against the Lions in Mumbai.
Stats: Most sixes by an Indian in an innings in Tests:
|Navjot Singh Sidhu||124||8||Sri Lanka||Lucknow||18 January 1994|
|Virender Sehwag||293||7||Sri Lanka||Mumbai||2 December 2009|
|Harbhajan Singh||111*||7||New Zealand||Hyderabad||2010|
|Hardik Pandya||108||7||Sri Lanka||Pallekele||12 August 2017|
|Ravi Shastri||121*||6||Sri Lanka||Mumbai||15 October 1986|