Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: This could come as a surprise, but it should not be for those who know Tim Southee’s style of using the willow. During the opening Test against Sri Lanka at Galle, Southee equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of sixes in Test cricket. Southee equalled Sachin when he hit Akila Dhananjaya for a six to register his 69th of his career. Tendulkar too has the same number, but the Indian great has played more matches. The Indian master featured in 200 Tests and batted 329 times, while Southee is currently playing his 66th Test having received 96 opportunities with the bat. In all probability, he would also breach Tendulkar’s number as he is 30 and has time on his side.
What is more surprising is that Southee is currently placed 17th in the list of all-time six-hitters in Test cricket. He is also third in the all-time Kiwis list of six-hitter in Test cricket. In this list, Brendon Mc Cullum is at the top of the tree with 107 sixes and he is followed by Chris Cairns, who has 87 to his name.
Southee is primarily a fast bowler and arguably the best New Zealand has produced. Yet, he can swing the willow rather well. He is a lower-order batsman which means he does not get a lot of opportunities to get big scores. He has a career-best Test inning of 77 off 40 balls came in only his second innings of Test career in 2008, which was laced with as many as nine sixes.
He has already pipped former cricketers AB de Villiers, Sanath Jayasuriya, Ian Botham and could go past Ben Stokes, David Warner and Ross Taylor among current players.
Southee managed to score 14 off 19 balls, but that one six made all the difference.