One of the reasons IPL has been incredibly successful and in its tenth season is the level of entertainment provided by the players. In T20s, there are few things more entertaining than a batsman hitting a bowler out of the park. And IPL has certainly has had its fair share of big-hitters who have cleared the boundary with utmost
The likes of Chris Gayle, David Warner, AB de Villiers all spring to mind. But when it comes to the most sixes in the tournament's history, some of the most explosive hitters in the history of the IPL don't even make it into the top five.
MS Dhoni, who has made a career of hitting sixes to win games and arguably hit the most memorable six by an Indian is joint-sixth with 140 sixes in the tournament. Yuvraj Singh is in ninth place while David Warner is in eighth.
Here are the 5 players with most sixes in IPL history:
#5 AB de Villiers
141 sixes in 120 matches
In the first two seasons of the IPL, AB de Villiers was yet to establish himself as the plunderer of bowling attacks, whose mere name brings fear to the mind of any opposing bowler. So he started his IPL career with just 13 sixes in 21 games in the first two editions.
Now, I say just, not because the tally is low or by any means unimpressive, it is because of the fact that he scored 37 in IPL 2016. Absolutely mind-boggling doesn't even begin to cover the whole array of his six-hitting abilities or his incredible knack of getting the ball over the boundary irrespective of the line or length of the ball.
He isn't called Mr.360 for no reason and his tally of 141 sixes is only going to go one may. Much like the ball that he hits, UP. Still, despite his impressive record he is only fifth on this list and one of three current Royal Challengers Bangalore players to feature.
#4 Virat Kohli
148 sixes in 139 matches
When you think of six-hitting machines, Virat Kohli is not the first name that hits you like rain on a hot summer's day. But the man, who confessed that he tries his best to not even lift the leather ball off the ground in Tests, features in fourth place on the list of players with most sixes, above a certified six-hitting machine in AB de Villiers.
The fact that he has played 139 matches, which is more than all but two players in the top five, certainly helps his cause but that alone cannot explain how Kohli has managed to hit more sixes in the IPL than two of India's most destructive batsmen in Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni.
What does, instead, is the fact that, Kohli is the type of player who was thought to be made obsolete by T20s, the conventional do-gooder who follows the text book but has instead flourished with the shackles taken away. While Kohli has the lowest percentage of IPL runs in sixes among the top five, he has shown that proper shots and having the right technique can still get you plenty of sixes.
#3 Suresh Raina
160 sixes in 147 matches
Perhaps the real reason why Suresh Raina hasn't been himself in India colors have to do with the color of his jersey. Across the first eight years of the IPL, decked in yellow, Raina made a mockery of his shortcomings as a batsman, the boundaries and the quality of bowling on display at the IPL.
For Chennai Super Kings, Raina was the epitome of consistency. The casual flick of his legs, the waltz down the track with utter disdain when he is faced with a spinner or just the effortless ease with which he caresses the ball over cover, all the way over the boundary for a six. Those were moments that brought tears of joy to the eyes of the millions of his adoring fans.
In IPL 2016, Raina missed his first IPL game and yet he has played more than anyone else and features in third place on this list and second on the list of most runs in the history of the tournament, below just Virat Kohli after the RCB skipper's you-have-to-see-it-otherwise-you-will-not-believe-what-happened season in 2016.
#2 Rohit Sharma
163 sixes in 142 matches
At the start of his IPL career, Rohit Sharma was the daredevil in charge of high-profile heists which few deemed possible. As a care-free middle-order batsman, he caressed and elegantly flicked the ball past the boundary and sometimes into the crowd for a maximum.
For certain players, hitting a boundary involves so much effort but one look at Rohit and you'd think that depositing international fast bowlers into the stands was almost as easy as swatting a fly for him. And ever since he moved to the Mumbai Indians and also started opening the innings, he has had more time to showcase his skills.
That explains why he holds the record for most sixes by an Indian batsman in IPL. One that he shows no signs of relinquishing for any length of time given his recent form in the tournament.
#1 Chris Gayle
251 sixes in 91 matches
If you are one of the unfortunate few, who has never seen Chris Gayle in full flow or have any idea as to the kind of player that he is, the title of his autobiography tells you all that you need to know about the most destructive opener that the format has ever seen.
When you title your autobiography as "Six Machine", a title which apart from cheeky is also true that tells you everything about the man who wields his willow like a weapon of mass destruction sending the poor balls to their grave. His jaw-dropping numbers in not just T20s but in the IPL as well makes one wonder if it is even a fair fight.
Despite being the only player on this list to have played fewer than 100 IPL matches, he is the only one to have scored more than 200 sixes, the only one to average well in excess of 2 sixes per game and hit a staggering 44% of his runs in sixes.