One of the oldest sports in the world, Cricket has come a long way from the barren grounds of London to greenish Pitches of South Africa and noisy grounds of India. With the development of different and shorter formats of the game, the style of play and mindset of players has also seen a significant change over the years in the longest format as well. Aerial boundaries are now more frequently seen than any time in history. Here’s a look at the top 10 batsmen with most sixes in Test Cricket history.
10Mathew Hayden (82)
Mathew Hayden is a retired Australian cricketer who used to open the innings for the Aussies in their most dominant era in the world of cricket. The mighty left-hander was known for his skill to score quick and smash all big boundaries all over the ground. In his 15-year-long test career, he scored a total of 8625 runs in the 103 innings that he batted for the Kangaroos.
In fact, Hayden holds the record of scoring a record 380 runs against the Zimbabwe which remains the highest score by an Australian and second-highest individual score ever. Standing 6ft 2in tall, the muscular leftie had no trouble in transforming and getting into the new and upcoming t-20 culture in the mid-2000s. Evidently, he stands 10th on this list with a total of 82 sixes in his 15-year test career. In the era of dominant fast bowling and bouncy pitches all over the world, the Australian great maintained a strike rate of 60.11 in the longest format of the game, even while opening for the better part of his career.
9Andrew Flintoff (82)
Andrew Flintoff was a right-handed English batsman who was better known for his fast bowling. His 226 wickets in 79 test matches speak for the fact. Apart from his big-time bowling performances and wicket-taking ability, the man has just about 4000 test-runs to his name. Although his average was 31.78, Flintoff knew how to entertain the audience just the right way, irrespective of the colour of the ball. Flintoff feared for his tail-end hitting adding that extra weight to English innings. In his 11-year-long career, he hit the red ball 82 times out of the boundary rope equalling Hayden’s record in 54 innings less.
8Sir Viv Richards (84)
Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards was the definition of word swag in the 70s and 80s. When the trend was to bat long by keeping the ball grounded, the man used to hit it way over fielders’ head and out of the parks. The epitome of aggression and power-hitting in that era of cricket. Sir Richards used to hit high sixes on bigger grounds lower quality bats.
One of the greatest batsmen of all-time, Sir Richards was one of the pillars of Windies dominance in world cricket in the 70s. He averaged a 50.24 at an unbelievable strike rate of 86.07, scoring 8540 runs in 121 test matches. And not to forget the fact these extraordinary numbers are not from the era when fearless batting is a product of all the safety gear from top to bottom is keeping the batsman body intact. To play a hook shot then was a partial gamble for life. In his 17-year-long test career, he hit a total of 84 sixes to rank 8th in this list.
7Chris Cairns (87)
The New Zealand cricketer is one of the greatest all-rounders and matchwinners of all-time. Although his career was cut short by frequent injuries, the cricketer made quite an impact on the game of cricket and the history of New Zealand. His greatest achievement would probably be the match-winning century against India in the Champions Trophy Finals (Knockout Trophy) in 2000, helping New Zealand claim their first and still the only ICC Trophy. Also, the right-hander was known for his power-hitting and long sixes. He has a total of 87 sixes to his name in the longest format of the game, putting him at number 7 on the list.
6Brian Lara (88)
Arguably the greatest left-handed batsman ever, the West Indian goes down in the books as the only man in history to score a 400* in an international inning. Apart from his impeccable class and flamboyance while batting, the Windies legend is also known for his timely big shots that put fear in the bowlers head. Amassing a giant 11953 runs in his 17-year test career at an average of 52.89 at a strike rate of 60.51. Not to forget his 34 centuries and 9 double-tons. The leftie hit 88 sixes to go along with all these to stand 6th on the list.
5Virender Sehwag (91)
Virender Sehwag is one of the most famous openers of the Indian Cricket team. With an excellent hand-eye coordination and bat swing, Sehwag made a career batting without moving his feet. His batting was based on the simple philosophy of watching the ball carefully and hitting it over the fielders.
Labelled as a white ball player due to his unorthodox technique and non-defensive mindset, Sehwag turned out to be a heck of a test opener. His 8586 runs at a strike rate of 82.23 in the era fierce fast bowling with the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Brett Lee, Dale Steyn speaks for man’s ability and performance together. He remains the only Indian batsman with two triple centuries in the longest format of the game. Everything looked possible and balls used to come out of the middle of his bat. He could even score a triple century in a day of play in test cricket. In his 12-year test career, he hit the ball over the ropes 91 times to stand at number 5 on this list.
4Jacques Kallis (97)
Arguably the greatest all-rounder of all-time, the South African great was a treat to watch both with the bat and the ball in his hands. He was indeed among the most consistent and complete player of cricket who literally could do everything in the game at the highest level. Not to mention his calm and class not only change with the format but also got enhanced with the kind of play required from him. He could open the innings with both bat and ball, and also bring the game home for the proteas time and again. In fact, he has 45 centuries in the longest format of the game, just Sachin Tendulkar (49), while playing 34 matches less than him. Kallis stands 4th on the list, hitting 97 sixes in his 18-year-long test career.
3Chris Gayle (98)
Another West Indian great and left-hander who used hit the ball out of the park as if he born to do so. Well, evidently he did the same facing the very first ball of his Test career. The left-handed opener was indeed one of the best of all-times across the three formats. Standing a muscular 6ft 2in tall, Gayle was never much interested in running between the wicket for runs. He found it easier to swing the ball overheads of the fielders and collect boundaries. Apart from Sehwag, he is the only batsman in the world with a triple century in the tests to go along with a double-ton in the ODIs. In his 14-year-long test career, Gayle has struck the ball over the ropes 98 times, putting him 3rd on the list.
2Adam Gilchrist (100)
The other half of Australian opening duo who also kept the wicket for the Kangaroos for a long time. The skilful left-hander is known for his timely masterclass and jawdropping wicketkeeping. Gilly was one of the most critical parts of the dominant Aussie squad in the 2000s. Famously known for his class ball-striking ability in all the three formats of the game, Adam Gilchrist had a strike rate of 81.96 in the longest format of the game. It was one of the most enjoyable sights, seeing Gilly hit the red ball over the ropes with so much ease. In fact, he stands second in the list with a century of the same.
1Brendon McCullum (107)
One of the greatest Kiwi skipper, Govesman, opener and arguably the fiercest hitter of all-time, Brendon McCullum, was on the go mode from the very first delivery. In fact, the right-hander would step out facing the very first ball of a test match, going for a six above a fielder placed in the deep. Although his batting style and midset did not suit the longest format, he could manage a plethora of boundaries in his 101 test matches. Hitting 107 sixes in 176 innings for the Black Caps, Brendon McCullum currently stands atop the list of most sixes in Test Cricket history.