5 Times Indian Players Finished Off Games With Six In Final Over: White-ball cricket is getting more and more exciting with every passing era. The key reason for that is that teams are now equipped with better strategies and players with calm temperaments when dealing with run chases.
No matter how big the target is, in the current era, it is never enough to be in the reach of any side.
The Indian team, in particular, is arguably the best chasing side, with the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and prior to them MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina giving hard times to the opposition bowlers. The success and modus operanid of these aforementioned players have transferred to the youngster lot and there have shown great calmness in run chases.
Here are 5 memorable instances when Indian players finished off the game with a six in final over of the run-chase:
Axar Patel vs West Indies (ODI), Port of Spain, July 2022
Axar Patel is the latest name in the list of Indian players to win the game with a six. Of the unlikeliest of heroes India had in their batting line-up, it was number 7 batsman Axar Patel who clobbered West Indies’ Kyle Mayers’ low full-toss down the ground for a maximum when 6 runs were needed off the last 3 balls.
Axar scored 64* runs off 35 balls, mostly batting with tailenders, in the chase of 312.
Dinesh Karthik vs Bangladesh (T20I), in Colombo, March 2018
The 2018 Nidahas Trophy will always be remembered for Dinesh Karthik’s jaw-dropping heroics in the final vs Bangladesh. To think – Karthik only batted for 8 balls in that game. But what he did in those 9 balls was nothing short of a miracle, helping India win from a likely losing situation.
India needed 34 runs off the last 12 balls – and Karthik tore into the Bangladeshi bowling right from the first ball. He smashed 29 runs in 8 balls – with the help of 2 fours and 3 sixes, the last of which came on the last ball when 5 runs were needed but Karthik hammered it over extra cover for a maximum to complete one of the most unforgettable run chases.
MS Dhoni vs Sri Lanka (ODI), in Port of Spain, July 2013
At this peak, MS Dhoni is arguably the greatest white-ball finisher and slogger in the death overs. Of the number of times Dhoni has finished a game with a maximum, this one against Sri Lanka in the 2013 tri-series final in West Indies is quite special – for it was the final of a tri-series and also Dhoni was batting with the last man, number 11 Ishant Sharma.
Dhoni being Dhoni took the game down to the last over, by scoring 29 runs off 48 balls until 15 runs were required off the last 6 balls against inexperienced pacer Shaminda Eranga.
The first ball was a dot – but then Dhoni did a Dhoni: 6, 4, 6. The game is over in a matter of deliveries. Dhoni smiled casually as Virat Kohli came running in from the dugout and jumped on him to celebrate.
Harbhajan Singh vs Pakistan (ODI), in Dambulla, June 2010
Fans had known that Harbhajan Singh could give the ball a good whack as he’d done on some occasions in the IPL and even in Test cricket. But this was a big occasion: an Asia Cup game against Pakistan.
But that didn’t deter Bhajji from taking on Pakistan’s young fast bowling sensation Mohammad Amir. India needed 7 runs in the last over with 4 wickets in hand. Raina took a single on the first ball, but on the second Raina got run out. Praveen Kumar got a couple and a single to leave Harsbhajan two balls to score 3 runs.
But the Turbanator needed one ball – a big swing of the bat and he connected his pull well enough to send the ball flying over the legside boundary. The arms came off, the expletives too and Harbhajan was clear that it was all directed toward Shoaib Akhtar.
Hardik Pandya vs Australia (T20I), in Sydney, December 2020
Hardik Pandya has grown into a full-blown finished by this point in his career. And a true testament of it came in a T20I match in 2020 against Australia at the SCG. Chasing a target of 195, India reached 149/4 before Pandya took off.
He clattered fours and sixes right away to reduce the equation down to 14 required in the last over, bowled by Daniel Sams. After taking a couple on the first ball, Pandya smoked Sams for two sixes in the next three balls to finish the chase with a nonchalance.