Impact of Longest Sixes on ODI Matches

"Impact of Longest Sixes on ODI Matches "

The longest six in ODI matches can be strategically valuable for any batting team in the world of cricket. There is no denying that scoring sixes significantly boosted the team’s total score, and that alone put heavy pressure on the bowlers’ department. Therefore, let us discuss the world of ODI and how big hits can influence the match outcomes of any cricket team. In this guidepost, we will walk you through the impact of long sixes in the ODI cricket format.

Historical Context

The power-hitting in ODI has experienced a remarkable transformation throughout the years of its existence. To know some of its evolution, let us go back to the past and understand its changes.

In the early days, the batting equipment was a lot heavier and less powerful, making it difficult to execute hitting. Therefore, sixes were less frequent to hit, and besides, there were fewer field restrictions in the initial overs, so batsmen faced a challenge to score quickly. 

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In the 1990s, there was improvement in bats as they were lighter than in the past, and this was the era where power hitting was slowly being introduced in the cricketing field.

In the 2000s, the introduction of powerplay was happening. So, there are fewer fielders outside the circle in the overs, favoring aggressive batting. In this era, as well, hitting abilities are being recognized and incorporated into the team’s squad. 

In the present day, this is the introduction of 360-degree Batting. The batsmen are now skilled at playing innovative shots around the wicket, making it harder for bowlers to restrain them. On top of that, modern stadiums often have flat pitches and shorter boundaries, which aid in power-hitting. Lastly, the bat equipment technology is better than in the past.

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Momentum Shifts 

A well-hit six can change the flow of the game by shifting the momentum in favor of the batting team. Unfortunately, it can discourage the bowler and fielding team from performing well. What’s more, a six can add six runs to the team’s total score. This can make a huge difference in the match score. Nevertheless, a six can intimidate the opposing team and stir their minds to change their present playing tactics. 

In this section, we also provide some of the longest six in ODI. Shahid Afridi (158 meters) and Bret Lee (143 meters). 

Shahid Afridi made one example of the match with the longest six in an ODI. This cricketer is known for his aggressive batting style and holds the record for the longest six in international cricket. During a match in South Africa in 2013, he launched a ball 158 meters into the air.

Psychological Impact 

Hitting six can terrify the opposition team, forcing them to reconsider their plans for facing the cricket match. It can cause doubt in the minds of bowlers and fielders, resulting in mistakes in their respective roles. That alone creates opportunities for the batting side to play effectively and successfully. Nevertheless, having sixes from the batting team can also affect the opposing team’s overall confidence. Thus, it can lower their inner willpower to perform better as the batting team keeps scoring six in their cricket match. With such an impact, it can deflate the energy of the opposing team. Which now suffers from the batting team’s sixes. 

Pressure on Bowlers 

A bowler who gets hit for six can question their bowling strategy and execution. They might wonder if they have lost their touch in the game. Or if the pitch is favoring the batsmen too much. Accepting a big hit can be a frustrating scenario, particularly if the bowler feels they delivered a good ball in the cricket match. This frustration can sometimes be visible as resentment towards themselves or even the batsman. Repeatedly getting hit for sixes can wear down a bowler’s confidence. They might start bowling defensively, fearing another big hit, which can be unfavorable for the bowler’s side.

Required Run Rate Influence 

Now, let us say the batsman hits a long six. This will increase the batting team’s score to +6 runs. The number of runs required to win will be lowered. In short, hitting a long six can significantly reduce the number of runs required by the batting team.

Let us say the batting team’s score is 110 runs after 20 overs in a match chasing a target of 250 runs. In this case, the required run rate for the batting team is 4.6 runs per over (250 runs minus 110 runs) / (50 overs minus 20 overs). Let us say the batsman hits a long six. This will increase the batting team’s score to 110 runs (110 runs + 6 runs). As a result, the number of runs required to win will be reduced to 134 (250 runs minus 116 runs).

This is the mathematical formula below to compute the required run rate for the longest six in ODI.

The Required Run Rate Formula = (Target – Runs Already Scored) / Overs Remaining

From this computation, we can see that the required run rate is reduced for the batting team. This would imply less pressure and impact on the part of the batsmen when facing cricket matches, especially when they hit the longest six in an ODI. Since long six has been an advantage to any batsman,


Power-hitting has become a great force in shaping the flow of ODI cricket matches. It has transformed the game from a contest of building innings to a high-scoring game where sixes are a major thing. Therefore, an aggressive batting style in achieving the longest six in ODI puts immense pressure on bowlers and forces them to adopt new strategies. While others want power-hitting and traditional skills to complement each other, we see that big hitters will remain a vital part of determining the outcome of ODI matches.

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