It was not in sequence, but Joe Burns hit 84 runs from 14 balls in Chennai. In tamer words, he hit 14 sixes from 131 balls. Each shot was deafening, riskless and the impact it had on the India A bowlers deserves not to be underestimated. Burns hit 84 runs from 14 balls.
Six-hitting can sometimes be blindly frenetic, like slogs off length balls or top edges flying over the keeper. In such cases though, the bowler's spirit is not brought down; an error in length was punished and luck was not his friend in the second instance. The bowler can correct himself, and he can hope. He has options.
Six-hitting, though, can also be clever, like an inside-out loft over extra cover, or the extension of a straight bat to deposit the ball onto the sightscreen. These can happen to good balls, and are tantamount to a batsman establishing his class. Such hits leave bowlers' brains scrambled.
Burns hit 14 sixes. Nine of them were straight, and twice he hit them back-to-back. That is indicative of his strength - he is over six feet tall, has a lovely long reach and almost cheats when decides to come down the pitch - and clarity of thought. Homing in on the sightscreen gives you the shortest distance to cover. On a pitch that was slow, but not quite turning as much, it is a sound tactic to mess with a spinner.
Parvez Rasool tried bowling around the wicket. But Burns took guard outside leg stump and created his own room. Karn Sharma flattened his trajectory, but Burns did not care. He was quick enough to step down and when he did, a length ball was waiting for him. That is another example of effortless dominance. By regularly wading down the track, Burns frightened the spinners into giving up their most potent weapon - flight and turn. India A's spin trio of Rasool, Karn and Axar Patel bowled flatter and flatter. They are not known for getting the ball to hoop around corners anyway, and when they are threatened to not even try, where will the wickets come from?
That is another feather in Burns' cap. He realised if he left the crease, chances of missing the ball and being stumped were lesser than say if he were facing Yasir Shah or Rangana Herath.
Burns played the odds, and hit 14 sixes, just one less than Shane Watson's Australia ODI record of 15. Thirteen of those hits were against spin. However, Burns himself was rather matter of fact about it.
"That is another example of effortless dominance. By regularly wading down the track, Burns frightened the spinners into giving up their most potent weapon - flight and turn"
"I think it was just one of those days where the ball seemed to land just over the rope and it's a game of fine margins, isn't it?" he said.
"I tried to hit the ball down the ground as much as possible. The wicket wasn't really turning massively, it was just a little bit slow. So I felt that if I could get to the pitch, it meant that I could either hit it straight or if it beat me, I could hopefully get one square. It's probably the way I try and play spin in Australia as well. Seemed to suit this wicket"
This knock does not necessarily mean Burns is destined for international greatness. He might find those small margins working against him in this very series. He will certainly play on much tougher pitches and he will be put under a lot more pressure by spinners who back themselves to give the ball flight and will it to turn. He will no doubt find rushing down the track and using a straight bat might actually be detrimental when the pitch is worn and has a lot of rough. Such cases require the batsman to play the angles and be far less gung ho.
This knock - his highest List A score of 154 off 131 balls - is simply a measure of how well Burns thinks with bat in hand and how well he susses up conditions.
There was a time when it was recommended that Australia's domestic teams be incentivised to include more young players. But a tangential consequence was they were found out in international cricket when the situation demanded too much of them. So the selectors opted for older and calmer heads like Chris Rogers and Adam Voges. With mountains of domestic runs and matches under their belts, their muscle memory also invariably included a template for most twists a match might take.
Burns is 25 years old. He won the Bradman Young Player of the Year award in 2013. His credentials are rated outside of Australia as well, with English county Middlesex signing him earlier this season. He might not be the best player they have, but as a batsman, he seems to know what he is doing. He is stable and sensible, and that is what experience translates to. It is also something Australia would dearly like at the moment.