The first-ever international game was played in March 1877 between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Those were days when a six would be given only when a batter hit the ball out of the ground. This rule meant that no official six was hit in international cricket for its first 21 years of existence. Here we will talk about the players who have hit most sixes in international cricket.
The deadlock was finally broken by former Australian captain Joe Darling, who had some unique distinctions to his credit. He was the first-ever cricketer to score 500 runs in a series and also the first to hit 3 centuries in a single series. To add to it, he also hit the ball out of the ground on 14 January 1898 against England and there was international cricket’s first-ever six.
The game has evolved immensely since then, and now, with the kind of power-hitting and bloated bats we see, a lot of cricketers would still have many sixes with the late 19th century rules. Those who can strike beyond the ropes from ball one are the most valued individuals now, and the evolution of six-hitting continues to stagger the watching world.
Here’s a small look at the individuals, who hit the most sixes in international cricket.
10. Ross Taylor (New Zealand) – 272 sixes
One of the most revered and loved cricketers of the 21st century, Ross Taylor announced his retirement from international cricket earlier in 2022, but left behind an indelible legacy. He is often regarded as one of the most powerful strikers of the ball, but there were plenty of times he would clear the ropes with his finesse touches as well.
Taylor hit 272 sixes across all three formats, 146 of which came in ODI cricket. He cleared the ropes 55 times in Tests and 76 times in ODIs.
9. AB de Villiers (South Africa) – 328 sixes
His presence intimidated bowlers so much, they would be clueless as soon as he would arrive in the middle. AB de Villiers was a cricketing genius who made the game ever-so entertaining with his pyrotechnics and it would be an understatement to say he was a fine striker of the ball.
Across the 14 years he spent playing for South Africa and Africa XI (briefly), he hit 328 sixes in 420 international appearances. He is one of the 8 cricketers to have hit over 200 sixes in ODI cricket (204) and accumulated 64 in Tests, 60 in T20Is.
8. Eoin Morgan (Ireland/England) – 346 sixes
Although he hasn’t hung up his boots yet, it will take a monumental effort from Eoin Morgan to reach the next mile stone in the number of international sixes (400). However, his record thus far is as worthy of cherishing as any, with the former Irish international striking 346 sixes in his career.
Alike AB de Villiers and Ross Taylor, a bulk of his sixes have come in the ODIs. He hit 220 sixes in the 50-over format, whilst adding 120 in T20Is. He has just 6 sixes to his credit in Tests, which hasn’t been a format he concentrated on during his illustrious career.
7. Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) – 352 sixes
Sanath Jayasuriya’s early days were in a generation where openers still preferred conservative cricket, but this magnificent southpaw showed no mercy. He was one of cricket’s most explosive batters of all time and across the 651 international matches he played for Sri Lanka, he hit 352 sixes.
Only Chris Gayle and Shahid Afridi have hit more sixes in ODIs than the Lankan legend, who had 270 to his credit in this format. He got 59 sixes in Testa and 23 in T20Is.
6. MS Dhoni (India) – 359 sixes
Known for a pretty unorthodox approach, MS Dhoni was a no-nonsense cricketer and took no prisoners when it came to his power-hitting. Only Rohit Sharma among Indian cricketers has more international sixes than him. Hailed as the greatest finisher of the 21st century, Dhoni donned the international colours for 538 games, and scored 359 sixes.
He stands fifth in the list of most sixes hit in ODI cricket, with 229 of them to his name. He hit 78 sixes in Test cricket and 52 in the shortest format.
5. Martin Guptill (New Zealand)– 369 sixes
Another modern-day superstar for New Zealand, Martin Guptill averages more than one six every international game, and only 6 cricketers have that distinction among those who hit 200 or more sixes. He continues to contribute to the success of the Kiwis in limited overs cricket with his blazing fireworks.
Guptill hit 369 sixes in 345 appearances, 181 of which came in ODI cricket. He holds the record for the most sixes in the shortest form of international cricket, having hit it out of the park 165 times.
4. Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) – 398 sixes
A merciless striker of the ball, Brendon McCullum could wind up a game within a blink of an eye with his explosiveness. As fierce as he was, he also was quite fearless and often danced down the track to the quickest of bowlers in world cricket. He fell just two hits shy of a major landmark in this list, finishing his international career with 398 sixes in 432 appearances.
McCullum holds the apex spot in the list of most sixes in Test cricket, surpassing Adam Gilchrist during his breathtaking final hurrah. He scored 107 sixes in Tests, 200 in ODIs and 91 in T20Is, falling just short of another spectacular landmark of hitting three figures in all three formats.
3. Rohit Sharma (India) – 458 sixes
The Hitman is exploring new avenues in cricket, having recently taken up leadership responsibilities full-time in the international arena. It took him a while to get there, but before he bows out, he seems pretty adamant to finish as the cricketer who hit most sixes in international cricket history. He is 95 short of equalling the top-spot holder and there’s no denying that he has every opportunity.
Rohit Sharma hit 458 sixes in 392 appearances, out of which 245 came in ODIs, 150 in T20Is (Second highest in the format) and 63 in Tests.
2. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) – 476 sixes
He was “Boom Boom Afridi” for a reason. One of the most powerful and destructive batters in cricket history, Shahid Afridi thoroughly entertained the viewers with his unmatched ability to clear the boundary at will. He was the first cricketer to hit 400 sixes in international cricket.
The former Pakistani captain cleared the boundary 476 times in 508 appearances and holds the record for the most sixes hit in ODI cricket (351). He also has 73 sixes in T20Is, to go with 52 in Tests.
1. Chris Gayle (West Indies) – 553 sixes
Hailed as the greatest-ever of the shortest format, Christopher Henry Gayle was no sledge in the other formats, something that often goes unacknowledged. However, the numbers speak for his supremacy across all three formats, even when it comes to six-hitting. Chris Gayle is the only cricketer in international cricket to hit 500 sixes, and finished his tally at 553.
Although he leads the charts in the combined records, he did not finish as highest six-hitter in any format individually. He has amassed 124 sixes in T20Is (3rd highest), 331 in ODIs (2nd highest) and 98 in Tests (3rd highest).