Ross Whiteley: Worcestershire finisher could hit sixes for England - Steve Rhodes
Worcestershire's record-breaking six-hitter Ross Whiteley deserves an opportunity with England's T20 team, says his county boss Steve Rhodes.
Whiteley, 28, failed to take his chance when called up by England Lions in 2015-16, making just 62 runs in five matches and 78 in four List A games.
But hitting six sixes in an over against Yorkshire on Sunday has brought him back into the spotlight.
"I hope Ross gets a chance in some of these T20s coming up," said Rhodes.
"The one thing that disappoints him is that when he played with the Lions, he didn't quite show what he's got," Rhodes told BBC Hereford & Worcester.
"If you get picked for a higher level and you don't produce, then you fall by the wayside. But I'd certainly rather him in our team then play against him. He's one of the best finishers in the game.
"He went in earlier against Yorkshire as we had a bigger target to chase. Anything from eight overs out, he's devastating."
Whiteley will be back in action on Wednesday against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge when he faces England limited-overs opener Alex Hales, another man to have hit six successive sixes, although his effort against the Birmingham Bears in 2015 was not in the same over.
Six sixes in an over...
- 31 Aug 1968 - Gary Sobers. Bowler: Malcolm Nash. Nottinghamshire v Glamorgan (County Championship), St Helen's Ground, Swansea.
- 10 Jan 1985 - Ravi Shastri. Bowler: Tilak Raj. Bombay v Baroda (Ranji Trophy), Wankhede Stadium, Bombay. Shastri went on to reach the fastest double century in first-class cricket history in the same innings, off 123 balls, matched last summer by Glamorgan's Aneurin Donald.
- 16 March 2007 - Herschelle Gibbs. Bowler: Daan van Bunge. South Africa v Netherlands (World Cup), Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts.
- 19 Sept 2007 - Yuvraj Singh. Bowler: Stuart Broad. India v England (T20 World Cup), Kingsmead, Durban.
- 23 July 2017 - Ross Whiteley. Bowler: Karl Carver. Worcestershire v Yorkshire (T20 Blast), Headingley. Carver's over also included a fifth-ball wide, but Whiteley hit sixes off all the other six legal deliveries - the first time the feat has occurred in England.
Whiteley's feat dampened by defeat
Yorkshire-born Whiteley became only the fifth batsman in professional cricket history to hit six sixes in an over but, of the four previous batsmen who have achieved the feat, he was the first to end up on the losing side.
Having lost by 37 runs, Worcestershire now have just one point from their first five T20 Blast group games.
"It probably didn't sink in at the time," said Whiteley. "I was more focused on just trying to win, and the fact that we didn't was pretty tough to take.
"I'm a team player and, having lost the game, the personal milestone does not mean that much. But I've been pigeon-holed as a power hitter, so it's nice to back that up."
Whiteley has hit 75 sixes in 46 T20 matches for Worcestershire since arriving from Derbyshire in 2013, his best season's effort coming in 2015 when he cleared the ropes 29 times, matching both Luke Wright of Sussex and West Indies opener Chris Gayle, who plundered his in just three matches for Somerset.
His eight in the innings had earlier been matched by Yorkshire's David Willey, who then edged their private duel by getting him out. And, even then, both were short of the nine posted by Glamorgan's Colin Ingram against Essex at Chelmsford a week earlier.
But most disappointed man of all at Headingley was BBC Hereford & Worcester commentator Dave Bradley. He was the lucky man on the microphone when Whiteley was at the crease, but his chance to be immortalised soon disappeared when he discovered that the station's recording equipment was not working.
Whiteley's sixes in T20 Blast
- 2013: Three sixes in two matches
- 2014: 16 sixes in 13 matches
- 2015: 29 sixes in 14 matches
- 2016: 15 sixes in 13 matches
- 2017: 12 sixes in four matches