Gibbs picks Viru, Yuvi to go 6x6
South African opener Herschelle Gibbs, who smashed a record six sixes off Holland leg-spinner Daan van Bunge's over in the 2007 World Cup, feels his feat could be replicated at the upcoming ICC World Cup in the sub-continent. The 36-year-old earmarked Indian swashbucklers Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh as the batsmen most likely to achieve it.
"Sehwag has the kind of attitude that I can appreciate. What makes him different from all of us is his ability to go for his shots from the outset. He backs himself against all bowlers," Gibbs told HT. On Yuvraj, who hit six sixes off a Stuart Broad over at the T20 World Championships later in 2007, he said, "He is in the same mould as me. When he gets in the zone he's impossible to stop. He also hits the ball very cleanly."
One could forgive van Bunge for not being in the most jolly of moods after Gibbs got six on six - the only batsman in ODIs to achieve the feat. However, the Dutchman found a way to put a humorous twist on what must have been an embarrassing situation. "After the match we got downed a few pints and exchanged jerseys. On the one he gave me was a message: 'They were only small sixes!' We had a nice laugh about it," Gibbs said.
Elaborating on his frame of mind going into that over, he said, "I'd been in the middle for a while, and a couple of overs prior to that (30th over) I got a message from the pavilion to get a move on. Before that over I'd made up my mind that I was going to go after the slow bowlers." After being hoisted for four straight hits over the fence, van Bunge sent one short and wide. Calling it the 'crucial ball' on his way to the record, Gibbs said, "Most batsman would have just cut the ball down to the third-man boundary, but I took my chances."
Gibbs gamble paid off as he swat-pulled the ball over long-off in a shot of great improvisation. "It felt great, but I didn't know I'd become the first batsman (in ODIs) to do it. After the innings one of our support crew told me about the record," he added.
Gibbs agreed that the small ground at Warner Park in St Kitts helped him. "I think the short boundaries played a part," he said.
Gibbs goes big: Six in the city H Gibbs (SA) vs NED in 2007 WC league match
For an amateur like Daan van Bunge, leg spin didn't come easy. Full tosses and long hops were a regular feature of his bowling. However, the day he was hit for six sixes in an over by Herschelle Gibbs he did not bowl all that badly, at least to begin with. Gibbs danced down the track and dispatched three perfectly good deliveries, once over mid-wicket, twice over long-off. That is when van Bunge lost it. A full toss was dispatched over mid-wicket, a long hop outside off stump was hit back over his head and the last ball went high over mid-wicket. The dubious record was van Bunge's. Gibbs became the third batsman in first-class cricket to hit six sixes in an over, joining Sir Garfield Sobers and Ravi Shastri. He is the first to do it in ODIs.
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