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Master Blasters unite in common cause

Gayle and Sehwag discuss their love of hitting sixes and taking on the Aussies

Chris Gayle and Virender Sehwag. Two cricketers cut from the same cloth. Ultra-aggressive, belligerent and entertaining.

And apparently united in their passion for trying to take down the Aussies.

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Gayle and Sehwag shared the stage at the launch of the former's book, Six Machine, in India recently and discussed their love of big hitting and matching wits – and hits – with the Australians, who through much of their respective careers have been the dominant force in World cricket.

The duo, arguably the most destructive opening batsmen through the first decade of this century, seemed to relish taking on the likes of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee through their distinguished careers.

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"We often discussed how to hit sixes and score quickly rather than occupying the crease for six-seven hours," Sehwag said.

"We talked about ways to thrash the Australians because they play their cricket hard."

Gayle nodded along with his Indian counterpart before adding: "Yes man, nothing gives me more pleasure than hitting sixes against the Australians."

And to the West Indian's credit, he's been quite successful at it.

In fact, in international cricket history – combining Test, ODI and T20Is – Gayle is the fifth-highest six-hitter of all time against Australia, with 53 in 47 matches.

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In all, he has scored 1,736 runs against the Aussies at an average of 33.38.

Sehwag was less prolific when it came to hitting maximums against the men in green-and-gold, clubbing 22 in 58 matches.

Overall, he scored 2,491 runs at an average of 31.93 against the men from Down Under.

Recently-retired New Zealand blaster Brendon McCullum and big-hitting Indian Rohit Sharma share top spot among the six-hitting brigade, each having plundered 61 maximums against Australia in the three formats combined.

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McCullum managed his at a rate of a little less than one every match, having faced the Black Caps' trans-Tasman rivals on 68 occasions, while Rohit has raced to the top of the tree from just 39 matches and will almost certainly build on that record in the coming years.

Interestingly, Sehwag (three in 79 innings) and Gayle (two in 55) combined for just five hundreds against the Australians, while neither fared particularly well when it came to "thrashing" them: Sehwag tasted victory 19 times from 58 attempts for a 32.76 per cent win rate; Gayle won 10 from 47 matches for a 21.28 per cent win rate. 

Meg Lanning Steve Smith