The 2011 Men's Cricket World Cup-winning six by MS Dhoni at the Wankhede Stadium to end India's 28-year-old wait for the biggest prize in 50-over cricket still remains fresh in the minds of many cricket followers, and altered many lives. Dhoni's famous six over long-on off Sri Lanka's Nuwan Kulasekara inspired big-hitting batter Kiran Navgire to leave athletics and take up cricket in a bid to hit sixes like her idol. Cut to 2022, Navgire, originally from Solapur in Maharashtra who plays domestic cricket for Nagaland, on Thursday set the Women's T20 Challenge stage on fire with a 34-ball-69 at a strike-rate of 202.94 in her first innings of the competition, including setting the record for fastest fifty of the competition in 25 balls. But what stood out most were the five clean majestic sixes coming off Navgire's bat at MCA Stadium. "I watched the 2011 World Cup final and Dhoni sir's winning sixer is something that impressed me even now.
That six inspired me to hit sixes that way and it has inspired me in every match, that I can hit a six like that and finish matches," said Navgire to Velocity team-mate Yastika Bhatia in a video on bcci.tv. Navgire, who took up international cricket playing bowlers like Poonam Yadav, Salma Khatun and Rajeshwari Gayakwad to the cleaners after coming at number three, says her love for sixes is so high that she practices range-hitting a lot. "I really feel good as I practice hitting sixes in the nets because I follow Dhoni sir a lot. I love finishing (matches) in the style like him, so I practice hitting big sixes in the practice sessions a lot." Navgire, 28, came into limelight when she hit 54 fours and 35 sixes while amassing 525 runs for Nagaland in the Senior Women's T20 Trophy and justified the hype around her against Trailblazers with a blazing knock.
"In domestic cricket, I had batted up the order and had a good season there and had some good scores, which meant I had the confidence. "My game revolves around my power-hitting ability and if it's in my arc, I send it out of the park and if there are good balls, I like to rotate strikes playing singles and doubles. I don't like playing dot balls and want to score something off every ball and hence I got a good score." She admitted being scared before going out to bat. But words of advice from Velocity coach Devika Palshikar helped her calm down. "Initially, I was a bit scared but then everything settled down. The captain (Deepti) and teammates gave me a lot of confidence. Coach Devika ma'am said 'you don't need to look at the bowler but at the ball'. I did just that; anything coming in my area will be sent out of the park and if not, rotate strike and play easily." Now with Velocity set to face Supernovas in the final on Saturday, expect more sixes coming from Navgire's bat in true Dhoni style.